Jim Wright is a church sower, public but unassuming, thinker, mentor, teacher, local church elder, motivated by redemption, foe of tyrants, friend of the dispossessed, retired international attorney, entrepreneur, former private pilot, and so-so bass fisherman.
Marianne is a retired public school teacher, private but strong, heart, skilled counselor, knows deep intimacy with God, a comfort to others in the Lord, wise, motivated by mercy but has strong resolve, gardener, and a bridge to healing for many.
Together, we have been part of a community of simple, participatory fellowships for many years in our own home county - some of which we helped start.
Our blogs and devotionals spring from firm roots in those local fellowships.
In fact…you can’t really do one without the other! They are like two sides of the same coin.
Disobedience to the known will of God is at the root of all sin, confusion and hypocrisy.
Only the obedient know the truth, who is the person of Christ, as He said.
The scriptures, even badly translated and misapplied, cant keep pure and humble seeking hearts from finding God, while perfect doctrine and Greek or Hebrew exegesis cant fix a heart that wont bow.
John Baptist was sent to straighten out Gods people’s addled brains and divided hearts before they could hear and receive the words of God from the Word of God.
The scribes and pharisees who killed Jesus, and crucify him anew since then, are the same lot that divorce Him from His Word, to justify their disobedience and to lead astray the simple.
Thankfully, the love of God is even bigger than their blindness, as apparently, a sizable number of them were converted after Jesus rose, albeit they were a constant legalistic thorn in the flesh to the early church.That’s how I see it.
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
Have wondered that but unable to verbalize like u do. Thanks for your website & posts.
Just a matter of finding any place where the Bible unequivocally refers to itself as “The Word of God”. Then it will take equal partnership with The Word, his son.
Jesus is clearly the Word made flesh (John 1:1) and in two – but only two – passages is called “the Word of God” (Heb. 4:11-15; Rev. 19:13). But it is bizarre to claim that the Person of Jesus – or your existential perception of Him – is the only Word of God.
The teachings and good news proclaimed by Jesus, then taught by the Apostles and finally embodied in the New Testament, is called “the Word of God” in passages too numerous to list.
But more to the point, Jesus Himself – yes, red letter – calls scripture “the Word of God” (see Matt. 15:1-9, Mark 7:1-13, John 10:31-36). Paul also calls scripture “the Word of God” (Rom. 9:6).
Scripture itself says that all scripture is God’s very self-breathed Word and trumps any opinion, doctrine or practice to the contrary. Really, this is so complicated? See 2 Tim. 3:16-17, which Peter proclaims is “scripture” in 2 Pet. 3:16-17.
Anyone who says that the Person of Jesus is the only expression of the Word of God, or denies that scripture is the written Word of God, is just Biblically naive.
You can reject those claims, but don’t blindly deny that they exist!
“But it is bizarre to claim that the Person of Jesus – and our existential perception of Him – is the only Word of God.” You’re right, Jim, that would be a bizarre claim. What is it that made you think I was making such a claim?
However, your passages are not the proof you’re claiming. Matthew 15 speaks of the Decalog – which, as you know, was known as the 10 Words. Those were given on stone directly by God. Mark 7 – actually the very same scene. John 10 speaks of the Word of God – without explanation. Could very likely be speaking of direct words from God!
Romans 9 is speaking of a promise from God, i.e. “I give you my word”.
Still waiting for an unequivocal passage.
Please, my brother, I will avoid lofting cheap shots like “Biblically naive” if you will.
That’s real sleight of hand stuff.
Jesus calls what we call the OT the “Word of God”, but you want to limit it to “10 Words” – even though Jesus explicitly referenced more than the Decalog in those passages I cited and in John 10:35 explicitly calls “scripture” the “Word of God” which “cannot be set aside”.
Paul talks about the totality of the OT as God’s promises, with numerous quotations from the OT, but you want to limit Rom. 9 and it’s reference to the “word of God” to “a promise”???
And what about all the references to the apostolic message which then became the NT being the “Word of God”, or that “all scripture” is “breathed by God”?
If my very breath conveys words, then they are my words. When God’s very breath conveys scripture, they are His Words.
That seems rather unequivocal to me, unless words – and God’s decision to communicate through them – no long have meaning.
Only when we want our own words and existential opinions to trump His Words and propositional truths, do we need to engage in such denial.
I am not being dishonest at all, Jim, no sleight of hand here. Sorry you feel the need for another cheap shot. Remember, you have tipped your hand that the Reformed view is your presupposition…and so decides your conclusions.
When I look at these passages, I don’t see anything that points to that book in your hand and calls it “The Word of God”. When Jesus uses “The Word of God” in the Mt and Mk passages, he IS specifically speaking of one of the 10 Words, “Honor your Father and Mother”. And look at Romans 9:6-7
6 It is not as though God’s word(R) had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel.(S) 7 Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.””
Notice that “For” word an the beginning of 7 – it ties the two verses together. Paul is speaking specifically of the word, or promise given to Abraham – and God did not go back on his word!
Is it universally agreed by all your brothers and sisters that “Theopneustos” must equal “breathed by God”? How about God-inspired, the more natural translation of that unique word?
Sorry if disagreeing with your presuppositions frustrates you. And that is really all we’re disagreeing over: whether the words of the Reformers was the word of God.
Jim, I am not “reformed” in my theology, although I appreciate some aspects of those views. I have told you that in the past, but you persist in repeating that falsehood.
As to the passages in question, I leave it to others to actually read them – especially Jesus’ own red-letter proclamation that “the word of God” is “scripture” which “cannot be set aside” and that its truths stand against all opinions to the contrary. John 10:35 (NIV).
Theopneustos is a word created by Paul, and is found in no other Greek literature. It is a combination of two words which in the Greek literally mean “God” and “breathed”. There was no existing word that conveyed the profound significance of scripture as not just words, but as words breathed by God Himself.
And even if theopneustos can be explained away through some modern day concept of “inspired” – rather than accepting its literal meaning as it would have been understood when written – are you saying “all scripture”, because it is “inspired” by God, is secondary or of no plenary authority against one’s own existential opinions?
As I said in my original post: Why is it so hard for some to grasp that we can express the heart of the Living Word, while still submitting to the truth of His written Word?
I agree – remember, in light of Jesus’ words that one essential element of the New Covenant would be that people would not have a need for one to teach them. So, by all means, go to those passages! Don’t listen to either of us telling you “Jesus says Scripture is the Word of God there” – or that he doesn’t. Go decide for yourself!
“And even if theopneustos can be explained away through some modern day concept of “inspired” – rather than accepting its literal meaning as it would have been understood when written – are you saying “all scripture”, because it is “inspired” by God, is secondary or of no plenary authority against one’s own existential opinions?
More words in my mouth there. There is a presumption inherent in that first sentence, and it’s very important that it be drawn out – the assumption is that thepneustos means “breathed directly by God”, and that I am trying to explain that away. Not at all, I really want to know what the possible meanings of that word are, alone in the New Testament. I will not decide ahead of time, cannot rule out anything.
The truth is, I hold the Bible in very high regard. I believe that the writings there are a gift from God. However, it is very, very important, in my mind, that Jesus did not say that the Spirit hand-in-hand with the Scripture would lead you unto all truth.
So are you backing away from your earlier statement to me that you have a Reformed view of Scriptures?
Jim, where did I ever say I have “a Reformed view of Scriptures”? Citation, please…
“I have significant theological differences with Rome and I will never abandon the biblical truths of salvation by grace alone, the supremacy of Scripture over tradition (although I’m growing much more willing to consider tradition as I seek to understand Scripture), and the priesthood of all believers. On these essentials, I am reformed through and through. ” from
Yes, I agree with the reformation on the very specific issue of the supremacy of scripture over tradition. You are taking a very, very specific reference to a very, very specific aspect of scripture way beyond my stated views.
As I then state, I am also increasingly willing to consider tradition as I seek to understand Scripture. That’s not so reformed, is it?
Wow, Jim. Did you read that post? I significantly depart from reformed theology in it.