Relevant Bible Quotes

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Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. Do not defend God's word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it. . . . Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity!
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
God knew man would evolve. People think some of the Old Testament laws are absurd now because we live in a very different culture, a different time period. They had their problems and we have ours. God is constant but man is not, and he foreknew the ever-changing world his people would have to deal with; therefore, and if there is indeed an omniscient God, a Christ-like figure would be our only rational, possible connection to a constant, holy God throughout the evolution of culture and social law. The only answer that makes sense when it comes to relevance regarding religions and time periods is Christ, and the chances are slim that men could have invented it.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
And to belove God, to center in God, has an additional crucial meaning. To belove God means to love what God loves. What does God love? The answer is in one of the most familiar Bible verses, John 3.16: “God so loved the world…
Marcus J. Borg (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary)
I don’t know 449 that much about the Bible, other than it was written thousands of years ago, which dilutes its relevance. However, I know its faithful followers tend to cherry-pick verses to suit their needs, the same way they cherry-pick words or scenes from other books to label obscene.
Ellen Hopkins (Rumble)
The reader is invited to ask him-or herself, Is it possible that I am seeing the world from inside a System? Am I, unbeknownst to myself, a Systems-person? The answer is always, Yes. The relevant question is, simply, Which System?
Modern biblical scholarship has demonstrated that the Bible is the product of cultures whose values and beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of our world are no longer held to be relevant, even by most Christians and Jews.
Hector Avalos (The End of Biblical Studies)
Here's the real secret: you can fulfill the commands of the Bible better by falling in love with God than by trying to obey him. It's not that your obedience isn't significant or relevant; it's simply not the center of the wheel. No, the hub of your life is your relationship with God. Your behavior and obedience radiate like spokes from the center of your life and allow you to roll forward. When you try to make your eternal behavior the hub on which you turn, you get stuck. Forward motion must be fueled by love.
Chris Hodges (Fresh Air)
But a flawed and erroneous Bible is no longer the authoritative Word of God. And that low view of Scripture has successively given license to liberal theologians, militant feminists, homosexuals, and many others intent on assaulting the authority and relevance of God’s Word.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Final Word: Why We Need the Bible)
Biblical scholars, for example, are almost solely devoted to maintaining the cultural significance of the Bible not because any knowledge it provides is relevant to our world but because of the self-serving drive to protect the power position of the biblical studies profession.
Hector Avalos (The End of Biblical Studies)
Since one could virtually open the Bible to any page and likely find something that speaks to his particular situation, is it fair to attribute this to the voice of God? After all, the Bible is not the only relevant book in existence. There are other religions with other scriptural texts which could do the same job. In fact, the text need not even be “scriptural.” I could select Sartre’s “Existentialism and Humanism” off the shelf, randomly flip to any page, and likely find something applicable to my life. Does this mean God is speaking through the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, a man who was by no means considered a friend to Christian thought? If the answer is yes, then who really needs to read the Bible? If this God is capable of turning anything into his “word” at any time, then you could theoretically receive a message from him in your Alpha-Bits.
Michael Vito Tosto (Portrait of an Infidel: The Acerbic Account of How a Passionate Christian Became an Ardent Atheist)
I said, "Mary, tell me something. Why do you have that picture from The Wizard of Oz on your wall?" Mary chuckled at my question. "Oh, that's my favorite move. I saw it the first time when I was five. But it's more than that. The story is so relevant to my life. That big, wise Wizard, you know. He's nothing. You pull back the curtain, it's just a man. I went through my whole life looking at the men at church as the Wizard, practically as God. I believed every word they said, every way they interpreted the bible, every condemning judgment on my gay son. After Bobby died, I started to study on my own, and I see the Bible through my own eyes now, not through theirs. I pulled back the curtain, and it was not God, just men. The tin man, he had a heart all along. The lion had courage all along. I knew the truth about Bobby all along, but I didn't listen inside, I listened outside. Most of us go on dancing down that yellow brick road to find the izard and be told the secret. But the secret is, the kingdom of God is within, inside every one of us. That picture, I keep it there to remind me." (49)
Carol Lynn Pearson (No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons Around Our Gay Loved Ones)
Christians also speak of the Bible as the revelation of God, indeed as the “Word of God.” Yet orthodox Christian theology from ancient times has affirmed that the decisive revelation of God is Jesus. The Bible is “the Word” become words, God’s revelation in human words; Jesus is “the Word” become flesh, God’s revelation in a human life. Thus Jesus is more decisive than the Bible.
Marcus J. Borg (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary)
Holy scriptures may have been relevant in the Middle Ages, but how can they guide us in an era of artificial intelligence, bioengineering, global warming, and cyberwarfare? Yet secular people are a minority. Billions of humans still profess greater faith in the Quran and the Bible than in the theory of evolution; religious movements shape the politics of countries as diverse as India, Turkey, and the United States; and religious animosities fuel conflicts from Nigeria to the Philippines.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
[Professor Greene's] reaction to GAMAY, as published in the Yale Daily News, fairly took one's breath away. He fondled the word "fascist" as though he had come up with a Dead Sea Scroll vouchsafing the key word to the understanding of God and Man at Yale. In a few sentences he used the term thrice. "Mr. Buckley has done Yale a great service" (how I would tire of this pedestrian rhetorical device), "and he may well do the cause of liberal education in America an even greater service, by stating the fascist alternative to liberalism. This fascist thesis . . . This . . . pure fascism . . . What more could Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin ask for . . . ?" (They asked for, and got, a great deal more.) What survives, from such stuff as this, is ne-plus-ultra relativism, idiot nihlism. "What is required," Professor Greene spoke, "is more, not less tolerance--not the tolerance of indifference, but the tolerance of honest respect for divergent convictions and the determination of all that such divergent opinions be heard without administrative censorship. I try my best in the classroom to expound and defend my faith, when it is relevant, as honestly and persuasively as I can. But I can do so only because many of my colleagues are expounding and defending their contrasting faiths, or skepticisms, as openly and honestly as I am mine." A professor of philosophy! Question: What is the 1) ethical, 2) philosophical, or 3) epistemological argument for requiring continued tolerance of ideas whose discrediting it is the purpose of education to effect? What ethical code (in the Bible? in Plato? Kant? Hume?) requires "honest respect" for any divergent conviction?
William F. Buckley Jr. (God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of 'Academic Freedom')
I conclude this section with a possibly puzzling postscript on the meaning of the word “literal.” What is the literal meaning of a parable? Its literal meaning is its parabolic meaning. What is the literal meaning of a poem? Its literal meaning is its poetic meaning. What is the literal meaning of a symbolic or metaphorical narrative? Its literal meaning is its symbolic or metaphorical meaning. But in modern Western culture over the last few centuries, “literal” has most often been confused with “factual,” and factuality has been elevated over the metaphorical. Hence when people say they take stories in the Bible and the gospels “literally,” they most often mean “factually.” Thus the difference is not ultimately a literal versus a metaphorical reading, but a factual versus a metaphorical reading. And to read a story factually rather than metaphorically often involves a misjudgment about the literary genre of a story. When the metaphorical is understood factually, the result is a story hard to believe. But when a metaphorical narrative is understood metaphorically, it may indeed be powerfully and challengingly true.
Marcus J. Borg (Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary)
The unity of Scripture also means we should be rid, once and for all, of this “red letter” nonsense, as if the words of Jesus are the really important verses in Scripture and carry more authority and are somehow more directly divine than other verses. An evangelical understanding of inspiration does not allow us to prize instructions in the gospel more than instructions elsewhere in Scripture. If we read about homosexuality from the pen of Paul in Romans, it has no less weight or relevance than if we read it from the lips of Jesus in Matthew. All Scripture is breathed out by God, not just the parts spoken by Jesus.
Kevin DeYoung (Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me)
Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something 'timeless' in the Tyndale/King James synthesis. For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivalled only by Shakespeare in this respect. It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening. From the stricken beach of Dunkirk in 1940, faced with a devil’s choice between annihilation and surrender, a British officer sent a cable back home. It contained the three words 'but if not…' All of those who received it were at once aware of what it signified. In the Book of Daniel, the Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar tells the three Jewish heretics Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that, if they refuse to bow to his sacred idol, they will be flung into a 'burning fiery furnace.' They made him an answer: 'If it be so, our god whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, o King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.' A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it 'relevant' is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare. 'Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward,' says the Book of Job. Want to try to improve that for Twitter?
Christopher Hitchens
Or is it the opposite-that the US has moved so far and so fast toward cultural permissiveness that we've reached a kind of apsidal point? It might be instructive to try seeing things from the perspective of, say, a God-fearing hard-working rural-Midwestern military vet. It's not that hard. Imagine gazing through his eyes at the world of MTV and the content of video games, at the gross sexualization of children's fashions, at Janet Jackson flashing her aureole on what's supposed to be a holy day. Imagine you're him having to explain to your youngest what oral sex is and what it's got to do with a US president. Ads for penis enlargers and Hot Wet Sluts are popping up out of nowhere on your family's computer. Your kids' school is teaching them WWII and Vietnam in terms of Japanese internment and the horrors of My Lai. Homosexuals are demanding holy matrimony; your doctor's moving away because he can't afford the lawsuit insurance; illegal aliens want driver's licenses; Hollywood elites are bashing America and making millions from it; the president's ridiculed for reading his Bible; priests are diddling kids left and right. Shit, the country's been directly attacked, and people aren't supporting our commander in chief. Assume for a moment that it's not silly to see things this man's way. What cogent, compelling, relevant message can the center and left offer him? Can we bear to admit that we've actually helped set him up to hear "We 're better than they are" not as twisted and scary but as refreshing and redemptive and true? If so, then now what?
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
Judging by its commercial, political, and media success, the evangelical movement seems to be booming. But is it still Christian? I am not asking that question glibly or simply to provoke a reaction. My concern is that we are getting dangerously close to the place in everyday American church life where the Bible is mined for “relevant” quotes but is largely irrelevant on its own terms; God is used as a personal resource rather than known, worshiped, and trusted; Jesus Christ is a coach with a good game plan for our victory rather than a Savior who has already achieved it for us; salvation is more a matter of having our best life now than being saved from God’s judgment by God himself; and the Holy Spirit is an electrical outlet we can plug into for the power we need to be all that we can be.
Michael S. Horton (Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church)
It is interesting, really: The Old Testament fits far more easily with Christian nationalism but is so problematic to defend that they often retreat from it when pressed. For example, you might have noticed in Leviticus that the wording for the verse condemning homosexuality is almost identical to those condemning cursing or attacking one's parents and adultery. The wages of those sins are death, and the sinner is held responsible for that outcome. But a significant number of Christians commit these sins, including many clergy members (at least, it would seem, when it comes to adultery), so it is very difficult to hide the hypocrisy inherent in strongly enforcing one rule while taking a relatively understanding stance on the others. In some cases, the rules are deemed historical artifacts to sidestep troublesome challenges. The Bible is the literal Word of God… but Christians see no problem in wearing clothing woven of two materials, wearing gold, pearls, and expensive clothing, cutting their hair and beards, and getting tattoos. Those commands are deemed no longer relevant, while, inexplicably, other very similar proscriptions are still thought to apply to modern life.
Elicka Peterson Sparks (The Devil You Know: The Surprising Link between Conservative Christianity and Crime)
It is the lessons that we disagree with that force and challenge us to grow and learn for ourselves, and though the matter of spirituality and the afterlife are VERY grey areas, I hope that the thoughts I have on the matter will enlighten you, force you to reflect on your own beliefs, or piss you off enough to go and do your own research to find out if what I am writing is more relevant to your own life that you would like to believe.        Be skeptical, ESPECIALLY of things you read and things you see on the news. Do your own research on topics you think are relevant to your life. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, at least THESE days they are. This was not so until VERY recently in human history, and it still isn't in many parts of the world. From birth, humans are trained to believe the things that their parents believe and their social group believes. There are some of us that didn't believe, and therefore didn't behave. I got into so much trouble I was no longer afraid to get into trouble, and this gave me freedom and fearlessness of thought that no one else in my school had. I am extremely grateful for the punishments I received for the crime of thinking for myself. I am thankful for being ostracized for being different. The only way to lead yourself out of the imprisonment of outdated modes of thinking and ancient beliefs is to cast away the old system, and them you can start to build.
Ivan D'Amico (The Satanic Bible The New Testament Book One)
1. Divine Writing: The Bible, down to the details of its words, consists of and is identical with God’s very own words written inerrantly in human language. 2. Total Representation: The Bible represents the totality of God’s communication to and will for humanity, both in containing all that God has to say to humans and in being the exclusive mode of God’s true communication.[11] 3. Complete Coverage: The divine will about all of the issues relevant to Christian belief and life are contained in the Bible.[12] 4. Democratic Perspicuity: Any reasonably intelligent person can read the Bible in his or her own language and correctly understand the plain meaning of the text.[13] 5. Commonsense Hermeneutics: The best way to understand biblical texts is by reading them in their explicit, plain, most obvious, literal sense, as the author intended them at face value, which may or may not involve taking into account their literary, cultural, and historical contexts. 6. Solo Scriptura:[14] The significance of any given biblical text can be understood without reliance on creeds, confessions, historical church traditions, or other forms of larger theological hermeneutical frameworks, such that theological formulations can be built up directly out of the Bible from scratch. 7. Internal Harmony: All related passages of the Bible on any given subject fit together almost like puzzle pieces into single, unified, internally consistent bodies of instruction about right and wrong beliefs and behaviors. 8. Universal Applicability: What the biblical authors taught God’s people at any point in history remains universally valid for all Christians at every other time, unless explicitly revoked by subsequent scriptural teaching. 9. Inductive Method: All matters of Christian belief and practice can be learned by sitting down with the Bible and piecing together through careful study the clear “biblical” truths that it teaches. The prior nine assumptions and beliefs generate a tenth viewpoint that—although often not stated in explications of biblicist principles and beliefs by its advocates—also commonly characterizes the general biblicist outlook, particularly as it is received and practiced in popular circles: 10. Handbook Model: The Bible teaches doctrine and morals with every affirmation that it makes, so that together those affirmations comprise something like a handbook or textbook for Christian belief and living, a compendium of divine and therefore inerrant teachings on a full array of subjects—including science, economics, health, politics, and romance.[15]
Christian Smith (The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture)
..."facts" properly speaking are always and never more than interpretations of the data... the Gospel accounts are themselves such data or, if you like, hard facts. But the events to which the Gospels refer are not themselves "hard facts"; they are facts only in the sense that we interpret the text, together with such other data as we have, to reach a conclusion regarding the events as best we are able. They are facts in the same way that the verdict of a jury establishes the facts of the case, the interpretation of the evidence that results in the verdict delivered. Here it is as well to remember that historical methodology can only produce probabilities, the probability that some event took place in such circumstances being greater or smaller, depending on the quality of the data and the perspective of the historical enquirer. The jury which decides what is beyond reasonable doubt is determining that the probability is sufficiently high for a clear-cut verdict to be delivered. Those who like "certainty" in matters of faith will always find this uncomfortable. But faith is not knowledge of "hard facts"...; it is rather confidence, assurance, trust in the reliability of the data and in the integrity of the interpretations derived from that data... It does seem important to me that those who speak for evangelical Christians grasp this nettle firmly, even if it stings! – it is important for the intellectual integrity of evangelicals. Of course any Christian (and particularly evangelical Christians) will want to get as close as possible to the Jesus who ministered in Galilee in the late 20s of the first century. If, as they believe, God spoke in and through that man, more definitively and finally than at any other time and by any other medium, then of course Christians will want to hear as clearly as possible what he said, and to see as clearly as possible what he did, to come as close as possible to being an eyewitness and earwitness for themselves. If God revealed himself most definitively in the historical particularity of a Galilean Jew in the earliest decades of the Common Era, then naturally those who believe this will want to inquire as closely into the historical particularity and actuality of that life and of Jesus’ mission. The possibility that later faith has in some degree covered over that historical actuality cannot be dismissed as out of the question. So a genuinely critical historical inquiry is necessary if we are to get as close to the historical actuality as possible. Critical here, and this is the point, should not be taken to mean negatively critical, hermeneutical suspicion, dismissal of any material that has overtones of Easter faith. It means, more straightforwardly, a careful scrutiny of all the relevant data to gain as accurate or as historically responsible a picture as possible. In a day when evangelical, and even Christian, is often identified with a strongly right-wing, conservative and even fundamentalist attitude to the Bible, it is important that responsible evangelical scholars defend and advocate such critical historical inquiry and that their work display its positive outcome and benefits. These include believers growing in maturity • to recognize gray areas and questions to which no clear-cut answer can be given (‘we see in a mirror dimly/a poor reflection’), • to discern what really matters and distinguish them from issues that matter little, • and be able to engage in genuine dialogue with those who share or respect a faith inquiring after truth and seeking deeper understanding. In that way we may hope that evangelical (not to mention Christian) can again become a label that men and women of integrity and good will can respect and hope to learn from more than most seem to do today.
James D.G. Dunn (The Historical Jesus: Five Views)
A truly evangelical sermon must be like offering a child a fine red apple or offering a thirsty man a cool glass of water and then saying: Do you want it?” At Finkenwalde he effectively said the same thing: “We must be able to speak about our faith so that hands will be stretched out toward us faster than we can fill them. . . . Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it. . . . Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity!
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
White encouraged Updike’s equally scrupulous commitment. They bonded over dashes, colons, and commas—most amazingly in an exchange of letters in the last two months of 1954 concerning two poems, “The Sunflower” and “The Clan.” She wanted to make his punctuation consistent; he wanted to make his light verse flow in a manner pleasing to the ear and the eye. When he suggested changes to the proof of “Sunflower”—literally begging for a colon rather than a dash at the end of a particular line (“A colon is compact, firm, and balanced: a dash is sprawling, wishy-washy, and gawky. The colon suggests the Bible: the dash letters and memoirs of fashionable ladies”)—she replied with a three-page “treatise on punctuation” and a transcription of the relevant paragraph from H. W. Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (the standard reference at The New Yorker, thanks to Harold Ross, who always kept a copy handy). She urged him to “try to feel more kindly toward the dash”—and closed with characteristic graciousness: “I want to add that I am delighted to find anyone who cares as much as this about punctuation and who is as careful as you are about your verse. . . . And I thank you for a very interesting and amusing letter.
Adam Begley (Updike)
There is a powerful difference between picturing an image that does not relate to you, and recalling something specific that you are connected with. When memory experts memorize something that is idle or vain, they’re only attempting to picture an image that does not relate to them. They don’t have to daily apply the digits of mathematical pi to live by them. They don’t have to apply the Declaration of Independence in a practical day to day life. As if Americans say when living life, “As it is written in the Declaration of Independence.” So they teach you how to memorize things idly, where as it is better to make a heartfelt connection with the word of God. Therefore Beloved, read the scriptures first and have a full connection with it before you memorize. As we stated before, it is good to memorize what is speaking out to you in the scriptures. Where God is speaking to you and teaching you in the word is the best place to memorize. It makes an emotional connection with you, and it’s applicable to your life in the here and now. Seeing that it is immediately applicable to your life you’ll be able to make an emotional connection with what you are memorizing. As a result, when you are past these teachings and have full understanding, even years in the future you’ll still remember the scripture because it made an emotional connection with you. Much like reminiscing over the cottage experience, every time the topic is brought up you’ll have waves of scripture rushing to you for practical application. Therefore in this method we are seeking to make memorizing the scriptures an experience and not merely a task or a goal for godliness. When it is relevant to experiences there is more for the mind to grasp onto the memory with thereby giving greater longevity to the memory itself. Similar to the peg method where you create an image for the mind to have more to grasp onto, you are using an already existing “image” so to speak, that the mind will grasp onto harder. But why does it grasp harder? Because it isn’t something silly thought of by oneself but it is an ongoing experience that led to a reminiscent memory. Therefore memorize what God is speaking to you and what has strong meaning to you. Whatever jumps out at you from the pages is what the Lord wants you to be memorizing. Therefore as a good pupil and good student, memorize what the Lord your Teacher is giving you to memorize. In school we do not memorize anything but what the teacher gives us, otherwise it would serve no purpose. Likewise it serves a greater purpose to memorize what God is giving you in the here and now, versus memorizing something that is not applying to you at this moment. Yes, all the word of God applies to your life and it always will. But certain things are speaking true to the immediate lesson in life and thus the scriptures speak out to you, and seem alive. Therefore memorize the words that are alive and you will have a continuous living memory of the word of God.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
Summing Up Most revisionist positions argue that whatever the Bible says about same-sex eroticism in the ancient world does not directly apply to contemporary committed gay or lesbian relationships. Therefore, many revisionist positions resort to broad biblical categories like justice and love for evaluating same-sex relationships. However, though justice and love are necessary elements of any sexual ethic, they are not sufficient in themselves to develop a full sexual ethic from Scripture. What is required is a wider canonical exploration of biblical discussions of sexuality in order to develop a cross-cultural sexual ethic that may have relevance for gay and lesbian relationships today. That kind of exploration is the goal of this book.
James V. Brownson (Bible, Gender, Sexuality)
When the dominant culture makes its reality normative for the rest of the world, the Bible becomes domesticated and hence ceases to be relevant. As long as the United States remained homogeneously white, middle-class Protestant, only one interpretation, theirs, was needed. No other interpretation was considered, especially if it challenged the dominant culture's power or privilege.
Miguel A De La Torre
The secret of relevant preaching is that the message of the gospel and the situation of the listeners are related to each other in such a way that the listeners discover that its message really concerns their life as it is. Relevance occurs at the intersection of the unique message of the Bible . . . and the unique situation of the people in the pew.37
Murray Capill (The Heart Is the Target: Preaching Practical Application from Every Text)
I never knew what I was supposed to do during quiet time. Read one verse, is a chapter enough? Maybe I should memorize the whole book. The list seemed both empty and endless. There was a depth of intimacy and relevancy in my quiet times, but I didn't know what it was for a long time. While I never regretted sitting down and reading my Bible or making my myself pray through a list of people. I was often left feeling like I'd accomplished something rather than relating with someone. Jesus does not have bullet points. I cannot check Him off. But that is what I tried to do.
Emily P. Freeman (Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life)
When you are trying so hard to trend or to be relevant. You end up losing yourself. Please Lord keep me grounded so that I dont get confused by fame and by people calling my name. Let me not lead them astray or out of your ways and teachings. Let me not be boostful, selfish and arrogant.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Lord I don’t want to be relevant in the industry by shading, hurting and ruining other people’s lives, career and reputation, for the sake of likes, retweets and comments. Help me to make it, because of my hard work, education, talent, skills and support from people, not because I have dragged others down.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Now did God want you to read that verse at that moment? Sure. God could have used a thousand other verses to speak to you, but He used that one for you in a specific way. God does that sort of thing all the time. He brings versus to mind. He gives us a powerful sermon in our moment of great need. He leads us to a passage of Scripture that says just what He wants to say. So the problem is not with God’s mysterious ability to direct us to the right verses. The problem is not only in treating random verses as holier than other kinds of Bible reading, but in taking verses out of context and making them say things they were never meant to say. I can imagine a young man dating a girl named Becky. He is considering marriage, but he’s not sure. So he asks the Lord to give him a sign. Well, the day is January 24 and his Bible reading plan has him reading from Genesis 24 (NIV). He gets to the end of the chapter and reads “and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her.” The young man takes it as a sure word from the Lord to propose to Becky. To delay any longer would be disobedience. Or what about the woman who turns at random to 2 Samuel 7:3: “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you”? Is that always good advice, straight from the Lord? Maybe you’ve heard the joke about the man who was hoping to get a word from the Lord and happened to turn to Matthew 27:5 where it says that Judas “went and hanged himself.” Not happy with this word for the day, the man flipped his Bible open to another page, where his eyes descended upon Luke 10:37, “And Jesus said to him, ‘You go, and do likewise.’” These may be extreme examples, but they are not too far removed from how many Christians approach the Bible. Even if the answers seem thrilling in their relevance, we must not put any stock in anachronistic, out-of-context answers we read into the Bible after asking questions the Bible never intended to address.
Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will)
But is not the sourcebook of all valid theology the canonical Scriptures? Yes, and in that, as the spaceman found, lies the continuity of the Christian faith. But, as he also found, the Scriptures are read with different eyes by people in different times and places; and in practice, each age and community makes its own selection of the Scriptures, giving prominence to those which seem to speak most clearly to the community's time and place and leaving aside others which do not appear to yield up their gold so readily. How many of us, while firm as a rock as to its canonicity, seriously look to the book of Leviticus for sustenance? Yet many an African Independent Church has found it abundantly relevant. (Interestingly, Samuel Ajayi Crowther, the great nineteenth-century Yoruba missionary bishop, thought it should be among the first books of the Bible to be translated.)
Robert L. Gallagher (Landmark Essays in Mission and World Christianity)
With sin gone, what need of a Savior? What need of theology? What need, finally, of a church? As Sweet comments, “With everything gone, there was little reason for people to stay.”65 Of course, it took a while for the churches to empty out; indeed, it is still happening. But the result should have surprised no one. The more shocking phenomenon is that evangelical churches in many cases are tracking a similar path. Consider how many “conservatives” enjoy Robert Shuller. That brand of “gospel” cannot last. Weigh how many presentations of the gospel have been “eased” by portraying Jesus as the One who fixes marriages, ensures the American dream, cancels loneliness, gives us power, and generally makes us happy. He is portrayed that way primarily because in our efforts to make Jesus appear relevant we have cast the human dilemma in merely contemporary categories, taking our cues from the perceived needs of our day. But if we follow Scripture, and understand that the fundamental needs of the race are irrefragably tied to the Fall, we will follow the Bible as it sets out God’s gracious solution to that fundamental need; and then the gospel we preach will be less skewed by the contemporary agenda. (What this means for our preaching, in practical terms, I will sketch in chapter 12.) To put the matter bluntly: If you begin with perceived needs, you will always distort the gospel. If you begin with the Bible’s definition of our need, relating perceived needs to that central grim reality, you are more likely to retain intact the gospel of God.
D.A. Carson (The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism)
The purpose of Holy Scripture is not ultimately to make you smart, or make you relevant, or make you rich, or get you a job, or get you married, or take all your problems away, or tell you where to live. The aim is that you might be wise enough to put your faith in Christ and be saved.
Kevin DeYoung (Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me)
Take, for instance, the passage quoted above about women being silent in church. Is that a direct command to Christians now? Or was that a case of a particular command directed toward a specific situation that is not relevant for women and churches today? Or does it reflect a biblical teaching that is true at a level of general principle (and, if so, which principle?) but that must be applied variously depending on the specific historical and cultural situation? Different Bible readers believe each of these views, whether or not they are consistent in working them out. But let us suppose that one of the latter two views is correct. How might we know that? By what standard or principle could that be determined? And then what are the other implications of that standard if it is applied consistently? Nobody seems to know, or at least to agree. Yet these questions often matter a great deal.
Christian Smith (The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture)
We must not be naive. The legitimization of same-sex marriage will mean the de-legitimization of those who dare to disagree. The sexual revolution has been no great respecter of civil and religious liberties. Sadly, we may discover that there is nothing quite so intolerant as tolerance.6 Does this mean the church should expect doom and gloom? That depends. For conservative Christians the ascendancy of same-sex marriage will likely mean marginalization, name-calling, or worse. But that’s to be expected. Jesus promises us no better than he himself received (John 15:18–25). The church is sometimes the most vibrant, the most articulate, and the most holy when the world presses down on her the hardest. But not always—sometimes when the world wants to press us into its mold, we jump right in and get comfy. I care about the decisions of the Supreme Court and the laws our politicians put in place. But what’s much more important to me—because I believe it’s more crucial to the spread of the gospel, the growth of the church, and the honor of Christ—is what happens in our local congregations, our mission agencies, our denominations, our parachurch organizations, and in our educational institutions. I fear that younger Christians may not have the stomach for disagreement or the critical mind for careful reasoning. Look past the talking points. Read up on the issues. Don’t buy every slogan and don’t own every insult. The challenge before the church is to convince ourselves as much as anyone that believing the Bible does not make us bigots, just as reflecting the times does not make us relevant.
Kevin DeYoung (What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?)
Because the Bible is God’s message, it has eternal relevance; it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture. Because it is the word of God, we must listen — and obey. But because God chose to speak his word through human words in history, every book in the Bible also has historical particularity; each document is conditioned by the language, time, and culture in which it was originally written (and in some cases also by the oral history it had before it was written down). Interpretation of the Bible is demanded by the “tension” that exists between its eternal relevance and its historical particularity.
Gordon D. Fee (How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth)
The Bible reads like a collection of books about people caught up in exodus and exile. It is a book that shows the destruction of imperialism and war. It shows how innocents suffer. The climax of the book is the suffering innocent saviour crucified on a tree. But, God is not done there, it is also a story of resurrection, redemption, and hope. It is the story of people with good news to share by words and action. It is counter-culture and more relevant now than some may realise. In an age of wars and rumours of war, an age of refugees in exile and mass exodus, it speaks of the need for love and compassion. The early followers of Jesus were famous for love and not hate. So while the extremists, the religiously ignorant, the politically cold, the divisive nationalists and the greedy arms dealers fuel the world's problems, and beat the war drums, let us the people of new birth be lights in the darkness and voices in the wilderness. Let us live and sing the song of love, for truly His banner over us is love. It is to that beat we march and in His name, not the gods of hate and war, but the God of love, the Prince of Shalom (peace). Soli Deo Gloria. Amen
David Holdsworth
Biblical expositors are not pining away in their studies searching for ways to bring relevancy to their message. They don’t need to. The Bible is relevant. Rather, they draw out the implications and applications that are already there in the text in ways that make sense for the culture the church is embedded in.
David R. Helm (Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God's Word Today (9Marks: Building Healthy Churches))
In 1932 Bonhoeffer told Hildebrandt: “A truly evangelical sermon must be like offering a child a fine red apple or offering a thirsty man a cool glass of water and then saying: Do you want it?” At Finkenwalde he effectively said the same thing: “We must be able to speak about our faith so that hands will be stretched out toward us faster than we can fill them. . . . Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it. . . . Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity!
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
Exodus 3:13–15 God’s Name God’s statement “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex 3:14) is essentially in answer to the question, “What is your name?” God’s initial answer seems evasive. He is hinting at the real answer, though, since the Hebrew words for “I am” sound a bit like “Yahweh,” the name finally revealed in Ex 3:15 (“the LORD”). Two aspects of how divine names were utilized in ancient Egypt may relate to this revelation of God’s name. First, ancient Egyptians believed in a close relationship between the name of a deity and the deity itself—i.e., the name of a god could reveal part of the essential nature of that god. In Egyptian texts that refer to different but important names for the same deity, the names are often associated with particular actions or characteristics, and the words used tend to sound similar to the names with which they are associated. One can say there is wordplay between the action or characteristic and the name. For example, one text says, “You are complete [km] and great [wr] in your name of Bitter Lake [Km wr] . . . See you are great and round [šn] in (your name of) Ocean [Šn wr].” One can discern a similar wordplay at work in Ex 3:14. The action God refers to is that of being or existing. The wordplay consists in that the statement “I AM” comes from the Hebrew consonants h-y-h, while the name in Ex 3:15 contains the consonants y-h-w-h. Both words come from the same verbal root, and the linguistic connection would be immediately clear to an ancient listener or reader. It is not that God’s name is actually “I am” but that “Yahweh” reveals something about the essence of who God is—an essence that relates to the concept of being and to the idea of one who brings others into being. A second aspect of divine names in Egypt may be relevant. Deities sometimes had secret names, and special power was granted to those who knew them. Certain Egyptian magical texts (e.g., the Harris Magical Papyrus) give instructions on how to use the words of a god and thereby wield a degree of that god’s power.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
I loved how you wove so much of your story into His story! You’ve made the scriptures come alive with relevancy to not only your issues, but the issues we all face. This book kept my interest. I’ve never followed a devotion that was tied into an autobiography which could merge together two audiences: those who love biographies and those who love devotions. Fred Hennes Head Pastor Gateway Bible Church Scotts Valley, CA
David Zuccolotto (The Love of God: A 70-Day Devotion of Forgiveness)
Some people are ignorant of the world but educated in Scripture, and are therefore prone to missing the relevance of Scripture - these sometimes, later, amidst life's challenges and doubts, turn from the faith; other people are ignorant of Scripture but educated in the world, and are therefore prone to missing the truth of Scripture - they are often those who ridicule the faith. The apologist stands somewhere in the center. He articulates where some are prone to understanding the truth in beauty, others the beauty in truth - that of a spiritual Creator in relation to his scientific creation.
Criss Jami (Healology)
a book published in paperback via CreateSpace as well as Kindle will have different and separate keywords for the paperback sales page and the Kindle sales page. So make sure you utilize good relevant and DIFFERENT keywords for each version of your book!
Tom Corson-Knowles (The Kindle Publishing Bible)
we are getting dangerously close to the place in everyday American church life where the Bible is mined for "relevant" quotes but is largely irrelevant on its own terms; God is used as a personal resource rather than known, worshiped, and trusted; Jesus Christ is a coach with a good game plan for our victory rather than a Savior who has already achieved it for us; salvation is more a matter of having our best life now than being saved from God's judgment by God himself; and the Holy Spirit is an electrical outlet we can plug into for the power we need to be all that we can be.
Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it . . . Trust to the Word. —DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
Question Six: "Why do bad things happen to good people?” Answer: Bad things don’t happen to good people. This is because there are no "good” people according to the Bible (see Psalm 14:1–3). God’s definition of a "good” person is someone who is morally perfect — in thought, word, and in deed. Only God is good. A more relevant question would be, "Why do good things happen to bad people?” The answer is that God has lavished His kindness upon us, despite our many sins.
Ray Comfort (The Defender's Guide for Life's Toughest Questions)
The increases in productivity brought about by Ford’s innovation were startling and revolutionized not just the automobile industry but virtually every industry serving a mass market. Introduction of “Fordist” mass production techniques became something of a fad outside America: German industry went through a period of “rationalization” in the mid-1920s as manufacturers sought to import the most “advanced” American organizational techniques.12 It was the Soviet Union’s misfortune that Lenin and Stalin came of age in this period, because these Bolshevik leaders associated industrial modernity with large-scale mass production tout court. Their view that bigger necessarily meant better ultimately left the Soviet Union, at the end of the communist period, with a horrendously overconcentrated and inefficient industrial infrastructure—a Fordism on steroids in a period when the Fordist model had ceased to be relevant. The new form of mass production associated with Henry Ford also had its own ideologist: Frederick W. Taylor, whose book The Principles of Scientific Management came to be regarded as the bible for the new industrial age.13 Taylor, an industrial engineer, was one of the first proponents of time-and-motion studies that sought to maximize labor efficiency on the factory floor. He tried to codify the “laws” of mass production by recommending a very high degree of specialization that deliberately avoided the need for individual assembly line workers to demonstrate initiative, judgment, or even skill. Maintenance of the assembly line and its fine-tuning was given to a separate maintenance department, and the controlling intelligence behind the design of the line itself was the province of white-collar engineering and planning departments. Worker efficiency was based on a strict carrot-and-stick approach: productive workers were paid a higher piece rate than less productive ones. In typical American fashion, Taylor hid
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order)
The young are usually full of self-confidence, with grand dreams and ambitions. Up to a certain age, we believe that all of our plans will work. Many of our peers advise enthusiastically, “Go for it!” That advice may be encouraging and what we want to hear—but it’s in our own best interests to seek the experience and wisdom of those who have lived life with all its ups and downs, successes and failures. If we listen carefully to these older, wiser folks, we can avoid the pitfalls our own exuberance might plunge us into. Resist the assumption that older people are out of touch with today’s world—that their hard-earned wisdom is not relevant to our modern situations. The temptation is to wonder what they could possibly tell us about relationship problems or career choices when they haven’t the first clue about how to send a text message or change the settings on a computer. Never confuse knowledge—especially of technical things—with wisdom.
Ed Strauss (A Hobbit Devotional: Bilbo Baggins and the Bible)
Because Jewish thinking took many forms in different parts of the ancient world, it is valuable to be more precise in this case. Whereas Jewish people who liked apocalyptic literature would particularly appreciate Revelation, Jews in the Diaspora would appreciate Hebrews, and groups such as the Essenes might appreciate John’s Gospel, Matthew often moves in a more “rabbinic” world. That is, the views and arguments of teachers and interpreters of the law, who came to be called rabbis, are very relevant to Matthew’s Gospel. Most of the sources from which we know rabbinic thought are later, but they offer numerous parallels to Matthew’s ways of handling Scripture and intimate understanding of Pharisaic debates with Jesus (e.g., see notes on 19:3; 23:25–26). Because Jesus was himself a sage and engaged in discussion, and often debate, with Pharisaic teachers, Matthew continues to engage a world within which Jesus himself moved. ◆
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
Those who compare Jesus’ virgin birth to Greek stories about gods impregnating women, however, appeal to a milieu quite foreign to this account. In the Greek stories, the gods are many, are immoral, and impregnate women who are thus not virgins. Much more relevant are Biblical accounts of God empowering supernatural births in the OT (Ge 21:1–2; 25:21; 30:22; Jdg 13:3). Even among miraculous births, however, God does something new: Jesus is born not merely from someone previously unable to bear, but from a virgin.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
Here’s the routine: Once a week I require myself to summarize in my “bible” a paper I think might be relevant to my research. This summary must include a description of the result, how it compares to previous work, and the main strategies used to obtain it. These summaries are less involved than the step-by-step deconstruction I did on my original test-case paper—which is what allows me to do them on a weekly basis—but they still induce the strain of deliberate practice.
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
The unchurched kids laughed at the Bible studies based on television shows or songs of the moment. They weren't impressed at all by the video clips provided by the denomination's publisher, or by the knock-off Christian boy bands crooning about the hotness of sexual purity. What riveted their attention wasn't what was relatable to them but what wasn't.
Russell Moore
They are good evidence to prove that poems which seem often to be constructed of arbitrary surreal symbols are really impassioned reorganizations of relevant fact.
Sylvia Plath (Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams)
Beneath all the rhetoric about relevance lies a profoundly disturbing possibility - that people may base their lives upon an illusion, upon a blatant lie. The attractiveness of a belief is all too often inversely proportional to its truth... To allow "relevance" to be given greater weight than truth is a mark of intellectual shallowness and moral irresponsibility.
Alister E. McGrath
Because the Bible is God’s Word, it has eternal relevance; it speaks to all humankind, in every age and in every culture.
Gordon D. Fee (How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth)
My Research Bible Routine At some point during my quest, I started what I came to call my research bible, which is, in reality, a document I keep on my computer. Here’s the routine: Once a week I require myself to summarize in my “bible” a paper I think might be relevant to my research. This summary must include a description of the result, how it compares to previous work, and the main strategies used to obtain it. These summaries are less involved than the step-by-step deconstruction I did on my original test-case paper—which is what allows me to do them on a weekly basis—but they still induce the strain of deliberate practice. My
Cal Newport (So Good They Can't Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love)
True free will must be a freedom from God, so that even God cannot determine our choices and actions. This is the relevant issue when we consider if man has free will. With this in mind, the Bible never teaches that man has free will;[14] rather, it teaches that God has absolute sovereignty over man, even determining all his choices and actions. Nevertheless, the evil desire for autonomy is so ingrained in fallen man's thinking that he insists that he has such freedom, and even asserts that the Bible acknowledges it.
Vincent Cheung (Commentary On Ephesians)
The serpent is in effect saying, “Pay attention to me, and I tell you that God is trying to prevent you from having fun,” which is exactly what we hear today about modernizing the church. Don't believe the old rules, the old God, since we have a new god who knows better, which is our own whim. We want to do this and that. The old law does not interest us. That's why I always distrust certain "progressive" attitudes in religion. When people start worshipping words like “modern,” making things more relevant, you can be sure that they are shifting away from God, who is judged or regarded as outmoded relative to some more modern god, which always turns out to be the serpent. It always advises us to do the same thing. In other words, the only interesting objects are the ones that have been banned by God. In fact, they are not interesting at all. When Adam and Eve eat the apple, they gain nothing and they lose everything. They lose paradise. So this is very important for me, of course, because when people ask me what is mimetic desire in religious terms, my tendency is to say it's original sin. It's what's specific to humanity. Previously, I said humanity is more intelligent because it's more mimetic. But that means when it's exposed to evil, it can be good or it can also be evil. The one and the other go together. Therefore, we have an explanation of original sin that makes sense scientifically.   The
Michael Hardin (Reading the Bible with Rene Girard: Conversations with Steven E. Berry)
Doves had various symbolic functions in ancient sources; perhaps the most widespread and relevant for Jewish hearers would be the dove’s role as a harbinger of a new world in Ge 8:8–12.
Anonymous (NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture)
To see oneself associated in Christ’s death and declared innocent in his blood is the only worthy manner in which to examine one’s own life in the context of the new covenant meal. (Self examination according to the Old Covenant, i.e. Deuteronomy 28 is no longer relevant. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are holding to your faith, test yourselves, do you not realize that Jesus Christ is within you!” [2 Cor 13:5 — RSV])
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
The love of Christ resonates within us and leaves us with only one conclusion: Jesus died humanity’s death; therefore, in God’s logic every individual simultaneously died.  “Now if all were included in his death they were equally included in his resurrection. This unveiling of his love redefines human life! Whatever reference we could have of ourselves outside of our association with Christ is no longer relevant. “This is radical! No label that could possibly previously define someone carries any further significance! Even our pet doctrines of Christ are redefined. Whatever we knew about him historically or sentimentally is challenged by this conclusion.  (By discovering Christ from God’s point of view, we discover ourselves and every other human life from God’s point of view!) “Now whoever you thought you were before, in Christ you are a brand new person! The old ways of seeing yourself and everyone else are over. Look! The resurrection of Jesus has made everything new
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
affirmation speaks to the relevance of the doctrine of inerrancy
R.C. Sproul (Can I Trust The Bible? (Crucial Questions, #2))
For man to be free in any relevant sense, he must be free from God, and if he is free from God in any sense and in any degree, then God is not absolutely sovereign. The God of the Bible is rejected.[14]
Vincent Cheung (Ultimate Questions)
Another way of looking at our experience of difficulty in the text of Scripture is to receive our struggle as an inviting challenge from God. Thomas Merton suggested, For most people, the understanding of the Bible is, and should be, a struggle: not merely to find meanings that can be looked up in books of reference, but to come to terms personally with the stark scandal and contradiction in the Bible itself. It should not be our aim merely to explain these contradictions away, but rather to use them as ways to enter into the strange and paradoxical world of meanings and experiences that are beyond us and yet often extremely and mysteriously relevant to us.
James C. Wilhoit (Discovering Lectio Divina: Bringing Scripture into Ordinary Life)
Would Christ feel comfortable in an environment where men and women are consuming alcoholic beverages, gambling away their money, and engaging in conversation that is often filled with the baser things of life? It is a relevant question. As a Christian, Christ lives in you and you carry Him wherever you go. The Bible tells us to “come out from them and be separate” [2 Corinthians 6:17 NIV].
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
Eventually everyone vacates church where God is not obviously present and working. Getting people back to church is pointless unless God comes back first—that’s what Vertical Church is all about! Ritual church, tradition church, felt-need church, emotional-hype church, rules church, Bible-boredom church, relevant church, and many other iterations are all horizontal substitutes for God come down, we all get rocked and radically altered, Vertical Church.
James MacDonald (Vertical Church: What Every Heart Longs for. What Every Church Can Be.)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a well-known theologian who suffered greatly for resisting Hitler’s Germany and was executed just twenty-three days before the Nazis surrendered. Bonhoeffer had much to say about biblical preaching: “Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic.… Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it.… Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity.”28 Eric Metaxas added the comment, “He wished to impress upon his ordinands that when one truly presented the Word of God, it would undo people because it had the innate power to help them see their own need and would give the answer to that need in a way that was not larded over with ‘religion’ or false piety.’”29
James MacDonald (Vertical Church: What Every Heart Longs for. What Every Church Can Be.)
Pete realized that to Pearl, Satan had staged the world in this and every ancient particular. Pete imagined what it would feel like to believe such a thing, to see the very Devil ranging about the Earth like an art director, crafting fictions in the schists and coal seams and limestone. All to cast doubt on the Bible’s timeline. All for the harvest of lost souls. Maybe it would be worth it for the Devil. You could almost picture it. Almost. You could almost believe a book more real than the real, more actual and relevant than terra firma and all the dull laws that govern it. “You know, Jeremiah,” Pete said, “if I believed the things you did, I’d act at least as batshit as you do.
Smith Henderson (Fourth of July Creek)
Theological work and real pastoral fellowship can only grow in a life which is governed by gathering round the Word morning and evening and by fixed times of prayer. Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it . . . Trust to the Word. —DIETRICH BONHOEFFER
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
D. CONCLUSION: SILENCING THE MOST RELEVANT VERSES BY SAYING THEY ARE DISPUTED IS ANOTHER STEP TOWARD LIBERALISM I realize that the evangelical feminist authors who say the verses on women in the church are “too hard to decide” do not think they are moving their churches toward liberalism. They may just be overwhelmed with all the literature written on these topics and so they conclude, “I can’t decide this.” But then they do decide it. They decide to adopt an evangelical feminist view, contrary to the sense of those passages that has been plain to millions of readers for centuries. In doing so, they take their churches toward liberalism. The position that says, “We can’t decide these disputed passages, so we will make decisions based on factors other than these passages,” is guaranteed to silence the most important and most relevant passages of Scripture on roles for men and women. When evangelical feminists claim, “Nobody knows what these passages mean,” no further reasoning or argument from these verses can influence their decisions. Their position is: “The verses are too hard to decide. They are confusing. We can’t figure them out. Therefore we won’t consider these verses anymore. They cannot speak to us on this issue.” But to say this on an issue where God has given direct instruction, and where churches have to make decisions every day, and where the whole Christian church has had widespread agreement until the advent of modern feminism, results in silencing the most relevant verses, and thus it is ultimately another way to undermine the authority of the Bible. Saying that such passages are too hard to decide is another dangerous step on the path to liberalism.
Wayne Grudem (Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism?)
Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic . . . Do not defend God’s Word, but testify to it . . . Trust to the Word.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
At the messy, lovable, chaotic potluck that is life in the church, transgender Christians have a lot to bring to the table. We can help the church see Scripture through different lenses; we can help other Christians understand their own gender identities; we can help to break down barriers created by sexism and misogyny; we can remind people of the diversity of God’s creation, and of God’s unlimited nature; we can stand in the gaps and bridge middle spaces where others may be uncomfortable or uninformed; we can help make connections between the sacred and the secular, making the church more relevant for the world, and we can provoke people into asking questions about themselves and about God that they may never have thought to ask before.
Austen Hartke (Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians)
The Bible is relevant and real, and the people who inhabit its pages are people who have faced what you and I face. Life has disappointed them, others have disappointed them, and they have disappointed themselves. Just like us. Remarkably, amazingly and delightfully, these people are the people God uses. The disappointed ones. Sneaky and snarly people who often acted before they thought, who failed to act when they should have and sometimes didn’t act at all. Yet they were called friends of God. The man who named the people of Israel, Jacob, was a mama’s boy. The one who became brave enough to stand up to his wealthy adopted family and side with the oppressed immigrant workers, Moses, lived with a stubborn insecurity. Rahab, a woman whose circumstances led to her prostituting herself, became the one who helped establish a country for the “pure and holy” people of God. King David, famous for his devotion to God, gave into his voracious sexual appetites and passion. These are the ones God calls friends: people like the great prophet Elijah who struggled with depression, fear and a weird streak of pride that caused him to do an ugly power play over the fate of two little boys. Jonah, the prophet to the ancient city of Nineveh, who didn’t want to go because of his racism. John the Baptist, who would today likely be holed up in Idaho somewhere, living off his produce and writing treatises against the government and church.
Laura Sumner Truax (Undone: When Coming Apart Puts You Back Together)
The depth of your sincerity and openheartedness are the most relevant factors in meditation for spiritual development.
Benjamin W. Decker (Meditations on Christ: A 5-Minute Guided Journal for Christians)
Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic .
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
In both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, narrative and other more-or-less literary forms are dominant, which seems to call for a strategy of reading for understanding similar to what one might use in an encounter with, say, Homer; but these books’ status as sacred text suggests, to many modern readers anyway, that their purpose is to provide information about God and God’s relation to human beings. “Strip-mining” the Psalms, or the Song of Solomon, or even the more elevated discourses of the Gospel of John, “for relevant content” might not seem like a promising strategy, but many generations of pastors have pushed it pretty hard, as though the Bible were no more than an awkwardly coded advice manual.)
Alan Jacobs (The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction)
Yet because the Bible is a human product as well as sacred scripture, the continuing dialogue needs to be a critical conversation. There are parts of the Bible that we will decide need not or should not be honored, either because we discern that they were relevant to ancient times but not to our own, or because we discern that they were never the will of God.13*
Marcus J. Borg (Reading the Bible Again For the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally)