The Bible Says… by Duane W.H. Arnold

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22 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    “In other words, the Church was to act as a living interpretation of the divine revelation contained in Scripture. ”

    That might be my favorite sentence that you’ve ever written…

  2. Duane Arnold says:

    Michael

    Thank you…

  3. Michael says:

    One of the things that I’ve noted in my drift away from evangelicalism is how many in the church do not see the Bible as a narrative of creation, fall, and redemption and see it instead as a set of isolated verses matched to isolated doctrines.

    It’s very difficult to help people see the macro as well as the micro…

  4. Duane Arnold says:

    Yes, I think it’s because people find it easier to deal with the “abstract” (doctrine) than with the “real” (actual people)… Books don’t disagree with you, people do!

  5. Michael says:

    Duane,

    Yes…
    The other thing is that verse by verse teaching has a way of isolating each part of the text from the other instead of being seen as part of the larger narrative.

  6. CostcoCal says:

    Great points!!

    Now that I think about it, I’m with you on this one:

    “As I’ve gone along in my faith, I find that I read the Bible more, but I quote from it less, especially when I’m in a heated discussion with others.”

  7. Duane Arnold says:

    #6
    Many thanks!

    #5
    Yes, try to teach Esther verse by verse… Tough to do because it is part of a narrative with a single lesson…

  8. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “I think that this is a problem today for those who have a high view of Scripture, but who also tend to extract individual verses, snatched almost at random, to bolster an argument or to prove a point. ”

    Although I wouldn’t describe his as a high view of Scripture – this is the Rick Warren method – and grab from a translation that suits your purpose (pun intended) 😉

  9. Jean says:

    “Yes, I think it’s because people find it easier to deal with the “abstract” (doctrine) than with the “real” (actual people)… Books don’t disagree with you, people do!”

    I agree with the point about abstract doctrine and attribute the condition of evangelism to four weaknesses:

    1) An over emphasis of transactional theology from overemphasizing the epistles;

    2) The inability to incorporate the gospels into regular preaching as relevant to Christians for more than just moral examples.

    3) The curse of dispensationalism.

    4) Adoption of solo scriptura.

  10. Duane Arnold says:

    #9 Jean
    I so agree with you about the Gospels. Someone made the observation that until almost the 20th century, most people could actually see their lives in the Gospel narratives – they tend sheep, we tend sheep; they sow seeds, we sow seeds, etc. Now, we look at the narratives as you say, “morality tales”, when they should be at the heart of who and what we are…

  11. Bob Sweat says:

    “I think that this is a problem today for those who have a high view of Scripture, but who also tend to extract individual verses, snatched almost at random, to bolster an argument or to prove a point. ”

    After 50+ years of being a Christian, and involvement, at one time or another, with six different denominations (for the sake of CC, “movements”), proof-texting seems to be a way of life for pastors. I’ve done it myself!

    We haven’t had a Rick Warren “best down” for awhile. 🙂

  12. John 20:29 says:

    well, i could “teach” the Bible verse by verse… 🙂

    thankfully, i’ve never been exposed to teaching that isolated any part of the text from rest of the collection… except in those Bible studies where everyone sits around in a circle and gives their “insights” on what the verse “means to me”…

    to sit under a teacher who knows the whole of the Bible, studies long and arduously without a preconceived agenda and then teaches passages in the context of the whole is, a blessing and the only way to sustain one’s walk… IMNSHO – it seems to me we all need that and it produces a frame of reference that precludes throwing out random verses – like little fizzling truth bombs

    #9- we’ve overemphasized transactional theology, the epistles, marginalized the gospels, and been cursed with reliance on the Bible resulting in dispensationalism? if we have done that, then yes, we evangelicals are without hope and in peril more than all the rest of christendom – just sayin, not agreein … again God keep

  13. Steve says:

    Jean @ 9. I’m curious what you mean by the weakness on the 4.) Adoption of solo scriptura? I never heard anyone mention this as a weakness before.

  14. Jean says:

    Hi Steve,

    After this short quote is an article by Gene Veith who distinguishes sola scriptura from solo scriptura. If these resources don’t answer your question, please follow up and I will try to provide further explanation.

    “That’s precisely the concern I raised in my analysis of the 2014 report—the idea that many Christians seem to think saying Sola Scriptura is the ultimate authority somehow means it is my personal “solo” reading of Scripture that is authoritative. They reject the witness of the Church down through the ages in favor of a personal, private understanding of Scripture (which is not at all what the reformers meant by the term “Scripture alone”). Consequently, we see that many Evangelicals deny that the historic Church’s creeds and confessions have any relevance today. In fact, the 2016 report indicates that 23 percent percent of Evangelicals believe “there is little value in studying or reciting historical Christian creeds and confessions,” while a further 9 percent are unsure.”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2016/10/solo-scriptura-vs-sola-scriptura/

  15. Duane Arnold says:

    #14 This is really great….

  16. Steve says:

    Thanks Jean. Very helpful!

  17. Duane Arnold says:

    By the way, an interesting treatment on the scope of Scripture is the DVD series “Testament” by John Romer. I don’t know if Romer is a believer. He is an Egyptologist by training. His overview and insights, however, are very worthwhile. You’ll probably not agree with all that he says, but again, very worthwhile.

  18. Duane Arnold says:

    Better yet… the series is on YouTube https://youtu.be/ExVmKyg3xFg

  19. JonnyB says:

    Wow that was great!!!

    Reading the title my mind immediately thought how can we abandon “the sword of the Spirit,” but after reading your text I got full comprehension of where you were going with this.

    You handled a tough topic wonderfully.

  20. John 20:29 says:

    ahhh, “solo” was a gotcha, i thought it was a typo 🙂

  21. Duane Arnold says:

    #19 JonnyB
    Many thanks!

  22. Surfer51 says:

    Well thought out Duane.

    Your a pillar in the Church.

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