The authority of the bible–an unlikely topic for me

Here is an excerpt from one of the most powerful articles about the authority of the bible that I have ever read. It is by N.T. Wright. You can read the whole article here

“That, in fact, is (I believe) one of the reasons why God has given us so much story, so much narrative in scripture.  Story authority, as Jesus knew only too well, is the authority that really works.  Throw a rule book at people’s head, or offer them a list of doctrines, and they can duck or avoid it, or simply disagree and go away.  Tell them a story, though, and you invite them to come into a different world; you invite them to share a world-view or better still a ‘God-view’.  That, actually, is what the parables are all about.  They offer, as all genuine Christian story-telling the does, a world-view which, as someone comes into it and finds how compelling it is, quietly shatters the world-view that they were in already.  Stories determine how people see themselves and how they see the world.  Stories determine how they experience God, and the world, and themselves, and others.  Great revolutionary movements have told stories about the past and present and future.  They have invited people to see themselves in that light, and people’s lives have been changed.  If that happens at a merely human level, how much more when it is God himself, the creator, breathing through his word.”

The really beautiful thing about this article is that it rips apart all the beliefs about scripture that I have not agreed with—but I didn’t really understand the authority of scripture. His biggest point is that God did not make a rule book where we would know exactly what to do in every situation. (otherwise, he would have create a google search-like index where we could ask the question)

He didn’t create us so we would be like robots that he could control.

He didn’t write out doctrines and creeds.

He made us to be in relationship with him, with the bible helping us to learn about him and who he is. This article actually helped inspire me to want to be “steeped in the bible” so that I can stay more connected to him. I guess that is why I love to listen to Bott Family Radio because they have 24 hour bible teachings. Even if I don’t always agree with the preachers (and sometimes I get downright mad at some of them!) I learn more and more about the bible.

As my relationship with God becomes more intimate and more real, I find myself so much more at peace. I am still processing my feelings in various ways—but find I need to do this less and less. The more connected I am to God, the more he helps me to find answers to my questions.

I feel grateful that people who believe in similar ways as I do are my friends on facebook, and because of one of these people’s postings, I found N.T. Wright’s writings.


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