I have been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be a ‘Bible believing Christian’. This is an anecdote that I have sought to live by, really, ever since (especially) in and around 1995. All through Bible College and Seminary this was my canon for measuring whether this or that theologian, biblical exegete, or professor of mine was telling me the truth, or something less truthful or heterodox. But I have been getting convicted lately that I have subtly moved away from this maxim. That I have become less rigorous in checking whether what this or that Christian teacher is teaching is so. My conviction has been that I have let familiar voices dictate to me what scripture says rather than actually checking to see if this is indeed what scripture says (whatever that is). Now of course these kinds of familiar voices have become familiar to me because in the first instance I believed that these said voices have great and proximate resonance with what I think scripture does indeed communicate about a variety of things. In the process, though, of familiarity I feel like I have let my guard down, and that scripture has become somewhat annexed to a particular mood of theological endeavor; namely, Evangelical Calvinism. I am strongly convicted about the themes that Myk and I have put forward in regard to what Evangelical Calvinism entails (for him and I), but I want, at the same time, to rigorously and critically challenge these themes and their material implicates by scripture.
I think what I am getting at is that I still believe that scripture has its own unique and particular and understandable voice; indeed, broadly framed this voice finds its reality only as it brings us into encounter and conversation (prayer) with its purpose in Jesus Christ. But God in His providence has chosen to communicate this reality to us through human words which are enculturated in certain periods of history, culture, location, and grammar; he has chosen to speak to us (and He does so ever afresh by the Spirit through Scripture’s reality) through the various types, genres, and forms that the literature of Scripture is shaped by. I want to continue to pay close attention to all of this as I continue on as an Evangelical Calvinist. For me, Scripture takes pride of place as the norming norm of all else; all else is subordinate to its reality, Jesus Christ.
All I am trying to say is that I am still a Bible man.