A lamp unto my feet, and ...some great reading too!

Had an interesting convo with my dad recently regarding our views of the Bible, it's importance in the life of a believer, how we live out our faith, if our beliefs or our behavior matters more, Jesus, how a disciple becomes more like the rabbi they desperately want to emulate, whether Jesus was fired up about us making disciples (Mt. 28:20) or converts, etc.

Admittedly much of the dialogue was perhaps generational difference, but the shifting plates of spiritual paradigms was unmistakable.

If you don't think people should "worship" it, how can I then refer authoritatively to it regarding Jesus, whom you do worship?

Cool thing is, it's not either/or. It's not "Idolize the Bible" or "Disregard it."

I think another view is to regard it very highly, see it as God-breathed, but apply our understanding and ability to see context.

As you know, the Bible says there is no afterlife. It's quite plain, in the book of Ecclesiastes. Fortunately, we can contextualize and make use of literary tools. Problem is, you do that to someone's pet verses, they think you've not only unraveled that verse -- you've rejected Christianity. It all crumbles! It's logical: If the Bible is God's ultimate gift to man, and my interpretation is right-on, then, well, the conclusion's obvious. It's all over.

And yes, people can and do idolize just about everything, mostly themselves. (I'm guilty of this.) Really, idolizing scripture is pretty popular. Jesus dealt with people all the time who did it. It's easier to relate to a book -- or, more honestly, one's understanding of a book -- than a living God.

By the way, man can know God's qualities without the Bible. (This I know; the Bible tells me so, in Romans 1.)

I kinda think the Bible is NOT "the path to God". It lights my path, certainly, but it is not the path. Jesus is the path, folks.

Further, if Christianity means primarily relating to a book, you can have it. Seriously. I have no interest in that kind of religion. Between you and me, nothing bores me more than playing scripture run-n-gun, missing the point, entirely.

Jesus flat-out BLASTED people for using their interpretations of scripture to thrust their vaunted tradition at him. How in heck we manage to miss that is beyond me. He blasted them.

Oh, Jesus regarded scriptures highly -- but not high enough for them. They had their book, their interpretation, and he kept veering from it.

I do not believe that this attitude -- did I mention He blasted it? -- is monopolized by the Jews. I see it nearly on a daily basis. And He blasted it because it was idolatry.

Please know, "The Word" (in John 1:1) is Jesus, without question, in that chapter.

The Word is not the Bible, and the Bible is not Jesus. The Bible is not prophesied about in the O.T. as part of God's redemption plan for the world.

Genesis through Revelation -- all about Jesus.

Jesus didn't promise us the Bible to lead us into all truth, but the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will not be command-and-controlled, and He will not be flow-charted, and He will not be voted upon, and will not be reduced to formulae, and, if we think He can't lead people into all truth without a Bible, stand by to have our little ideas again blown to bits.

The need of every disciple of Jesus is not necessarily to KNOW more, but to put into PRACTICE what he/she already knows.

Jesus was quite clear on this point also. I have given you a clear example of how to live, so live it. DO IT.

We always seem to major on Jesus being the Truth (devotionally, theology, study), less about the Life (morality, compassion, even justice), and hardly at all about Jesus as the Way. What does it mean that Jesus is the WAY? That we should live in the WAY of Jesus?

Was he impulsive? Mischievious? Coy? How did he treat merchants (waitresses/baristas)? Was he competitive? Feisty? Melancholy? Would he rather have a deep conversation with one friend or surfacy chatter with lots of people? What was his favorite wine?

Without piety or religious paraphernalia, what way did he live...and hope to see us follow suit?

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