Dear friends,

Last week I looked at part of Galatians 3 to show what the Bible says about itself. What we see in those 25 verses is what we see from cover to cover in the Bible. Simply put, the Bible claims to be God’s word written. There are human authors of the Bible but, ultimately, God worked through these authors so that what was written was what He wanted written. So, in a very real sense, to hear the Bible is to hear God speaking.

I know this is a big claim! I know that, “just because the Bible says it does not make it true.” In other words, we Christians need to give an account for why the Bible is the true and trustworthy word from God. But first, let’s think about what Christians are and are not claiming.

To undermine Christian claims, people will often tell me the analogy of the blind men and the elephant. The blind men are religions and their scriptures. The elephant is God. One blind man holds on to the elephant’s leg and says God is like a strong tree that goes high. Another blind man holds on to the elephant’s trunk and says God is supple and responsive. I could go on, but you know the rest. The point made is that we are blind and only touching one part of a very big elephant.

Ironically, this analogy reveals the opposite of what the person telling it hoped. You see, the speaker is actually (and usually to their horror and disbelief when pointed out) making a hugely arrogant claim. They are claiming that they are not blind but see; that they know the whole elephant while all religions are blind and only know part of the elephant. But, how can they possibly validate such a momentous claim, that they and their like-minded friends alone know the whole elephant?

Now, you might say that Christians are also making an arrogant claim, but this is to misunderstand the Christian belief. We, that is orthodox Christians, do not believe that our ideas and our words are so great that they can get outside of creation to accurately know the Creator God. We are not claiming that mere finite believers are able to encompass the infinite God and then speak truly about God with their words. We are not claiming our symbols have reached the heavens to make God known.

Orthodox Christians believe that God has spoken We believe God has come from “outside” to “inside” the created order to speak to us and to save us! He knows Himself, and He speaks truly about Himself in our language. He tells us true truth and sufficient truth but not exhaustive truth. An orthodox Christian, then, is making a humble claim; that the Bible is all God’s work, not ours, and that God is speaking. All we are doing is listening. We are beggars telling other beggars where to go to hear God speak and save.

George +