Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our agenda in the Scriptures

I stole this from John Stott, but I don't think he'll mind.

We come to our reading of the Bible with our own agenda, bias, questions, preoccupations, concerns and convictions, and, unless we are extremely careful, we impose these on the biblical text.  We may sincerely pray before we read, 'Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law' (Ps. 119:18), but still the same non-communication may persist.  For even that introductory prayer, though to be sure it is taken from the Psalter, is suspect because it lays down the kind of message we want to hear.   'Please, Lord, I want to see some "wonderful thing" in your word.'   But he may reply, 'What makes you think I have only "wonderful things" to show you?  As a matter of fact, I have some rather "disturbing things" to show you today.  Are you prepared to receive them?'   'Oh no, Lord, please not', we stammer in reply.  'I come to Scripture only to be comforted; I really do not want to be challenged or disturbed.'

--From "The Contemporary Christian" (London and Downers Grove: IVP, 1992), p. 190.

--Excerpted from "Authentic Christianity", p. 133, IVP. 

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