All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for
correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be
competent, equipped for every good work.
// 2 Timothy 3:16-17
People’s approach to Scripture today is under immense pressure to deny its
power; they face a challenge to seeing it as God’s inspired word. It is seen as a
text for conservative people that is effectively irrelevant to today’s world.
However, God’s word has never been more relevant for the world we live in
Before the words “conservative” and “liberal” were made into political worldviews
or theological stances, they were words that were both to be celebrated and
embraced by all. John Piper helps us to grasp the true understanding of what it
means to be a Christ-centered conservative: “To conserve means to hold onto, to
keep, to maintain. And of course that can be bad if you hold on to what’s harmful
and good, if you hold on to what’s true and good and helpful.” Piper also helps us
to see that the word “liberal” is a good word, if properly defined in the context of a
faith relationship with God: “to be liberal is to hold fast to what is true and good
and beautiful and precious. And be freehanded and generous and largehearted
with what you have.”
We must prayerfully ask the Lord to renew our minds on our view of Scripture, to
do away with false ideas or weak views of the Bible. The Bible is not something
wielded as a weapon by the conservatives to condemn and it’s not a
philosophical text to be debated in order to justify a so-called liberal lifestyle. It’s
much better than that. Any of these views misses the wonderful and beautiful
opportunity to see our lives, and those of countless others transformed by the
power of God’s Word.
As we humble ourselves in our approach to God’s Word and let the Word “read
us” rather than filtering the Word constantly through our opinion, we find it is
profitable in the everyday. It truly is living water and bread to sustain and feed our
lives. It has the power to reveal lies in our life that, unless addressed, would
otherwise destroy us. It has the wisdom to teach us things that we would never
learn through any other means; it has the ability to correct, through love,
changing the course and direction of our lives for the better. It is strong enough to
train us in the ways of righteousness, even when our flesh rebels or fails us; and,
by the Spirit of God, it enables our lives to be empowered and equipped to fulfill
our call and purpose here on earth.
So this book is not for the conservative or the liberal, the religious or the agnostic,
the political or rebel, the intelligent or uneducated. This living book is from God
for all of His kids who are willing to listen and embrace the truth, remembering
how much He loves us and that He would not give us this eternal Word unless He
truly wants the best for us.
// Josh Kelsey