Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Word of God?

A recent post on Stand Firm quotes the English Bishop of Leicester, Tim Stephens as saying:
"For Christians ‘the word of God’ is the life of Jesus. The Bible is the product
of those who sought to understand the life of Jesus."

This is a terrible heresy. When I was ordained, I took an oath that I believed the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God.

One thing that occurred to me when reading Validmir Losky's The Mystical Theology of the Easter Church, is that Jesus is the Word of God, incarnate and Holy Scripture is the Word of God, written.

Just as Jesus is fully human and fully divine, so is Holy Scripture. It was written by men and inspired by God. It is not partially human and partially divine.

So, if both are the Word of God, the heresies that apply to one could be applied to the other. The Christological Heresies that apply to the person of Jesus could also apply to the Holy Scriptures.
Just as there are those who see Jesus as more human than divine (if not all human and not divine)- the adoptionists, there are also those who see Holy Scripture as more human than divine (or all human and no divine).

Too many people are willing to split Holy Scripture into divine and human - this command is human; that command is divine. This story is human; that one is of divine nature. I find it odd that the stories and commands that people consider to be of divine origin are the ones they like and the stories and commands of human origin are the ones they don't like.

There is a heresy in the opposite direction too - the docetic heresy. This heresy states that Jesus only seemed to be human. He was divine and not really human. When applied to Holy Scripture, this brings about the wooden literalist translation and application of Holy Scripture. It does not take into account the person writing the book, his reasons for writing it or the culture in which it was written and received. I had one person tell me that Jesus was not making up stories when telling the parables - he was relating actual facts known to him.

All too often, we want to rule over scripture (the adoptionist heresy) or not wrestle with scripture (the docetic one). Holy Scripture is the Written Word of God. It contains all things necessary for salvation and it is our best record of the life and work of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God

Phil Snyder


Anonymous said...

Amen, my brother,
Deacon Melody Crabb+
Dio. Ft. Worth

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen my brother.

Dcn DAle