God’s Word and Correction


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I’m not convinced of the value of expressing beliefs through lists of “supporting” scriptures. To me it seems more like an exercise in concordance use than anything resembling an understanding of scripture.
It’s something I’ve chosen to avoid doing for some time – although far too often I can still be tempted to take a shortcut by using a search engine to find a verse to support what I want to say. However, most of the time when I do that I find the reference I sought doesn’t really give the support I’d hoped it would. Context can be very inconvenient at times, showing that “memory verses” can be very misleading.

Some people seem to think that if they give you a long enough list of scriptures, then the verses provided will make the validity of their point of view obvious – sometimes they think they don’t even need to express their point of view, assuming that the scriptures alone will make their understanding of truth evident (at least to those who are spiritually minded). But can a truth be made evident through a list of verses tracked down through a concordance or search-engine: a list presented with little attention given to what those verses are ACTUALLY saying within their intended biblical context?

Recently I read the following statement: “if any[one] wants to correct anything, just do it with scriptures, let God’s word bring the correction” .
But what exactly is meant by that? Is correction administered through providing a longer list of proof verses than the one “needing” correction can compile? Or is it a matter of duelling with those texts until a participant is beaten into submission by superior firepower?

Scripture is an essential God-inspired resource, but it can be misused.
It is very easy to find individual parts of the Bible to support almost any idea that man can create. Therefore it is also very easy to “correct” anything that contradicts our own ideas by seeking out a favourable collection of bible statements.
While there is a significant lack of respect for scripture across broad sections of Christendom, the opposite approach, making scripture the prime focus, is no less prone to leading to error. So, in using scripture to prove a point can we actually be missing the point?
In using it primarily as a tool to support or refute theological arguments are we missing the revelation of God that’s at its heart.

Instead of trying to shape our Christian life and beliefs according to isolated “texts” from scripture, maybe we should look more to the Person revealed throughout all of scripture, and see how we relate to Him, His character and His ongoing plans for His creation.

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3 thoughts on “God’s Word and Correction

  1. I would say some people are better at handling the Word of Truth than are others. For instance, go to marknanos.com and, about two-thirds of the way down the home page, click on “Lectures>>” to get to where you can then click on “Reading Paul in a Jewish Way… Oh be joyful…” from June 5th, 2015. Near the end of the October paper (revised from the talk in Germany), the term “proof texts” is connected to Paul.

    Nevertheless, I also answer “yes” to: While there is a significant lack of respect for scripture across broad sections of Christendom, the opposite approach, making scripture the prime focus, is no less prone to leading to error. So, in using scripture to prove a point can we actually be missing the point?
    In using it primarily as a tool to support or refute theological [and even political, I might add] arguments are we missing the revelation of God that’s at its heart.

  2. “..Instead of trying to shape our Christian life and beliefs according to isolated “texts” from scripture, maybe we should look more to the Person revealed throughout all of scripture, and see how we relate to Him, His character and His ongoing plans for His creation…”

    Amen..!

    Its a balance isn’t it..? We need both written scripture and indwelling Spirit – who will give the insight we need.. 🙂

  3. Yes Roger, we need ALL that God has given us. Too often I’ve seen people presenting either/or options. Some exalt the Word above everything else and give no thought to the Spirit. Others try to get by without the Word and insist the Spirit is all they need.

    I think in reality, anyone who choses one at the exclusion of the other is actually excluding BOTH.

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