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We Need the Bible! Part 2

The church is an established organization founded by Jesus Christ. Once becoming a Christ follower a person then submits to the will of God and to the person/entity Jesus Christ as the leader of the church. If we accept this truth then we must reason that we must be able to explain this truth. “True knowledge of God is indeed available by means other than the Bible…Such sources, however, must be reliable in themselves, and their data must always pass the test of the consistency of biblical data.” (Cottrell, 2002, page 25) This is where both the Bible and our own understanding of theology must be applied. If we apply the Bible then we are stuck with varying interpretations. If we have different views then we must apply tolerance to our understanding of it. One of Jesus’ last prayers was for all people to have unity. (John 17) If we have different views or interpretations then we must exercise tolerance that; one, we could be wrong in our view and two, God may have revealed some truth to someone else that he has chosen not to reveal to us. If there is one thing that I have learned about the Bible it is this – the more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know about God’s word and God himself. We must always ask the question that Cottrell poses: Does it pass the test of consistency of biblical data? So this leaves us with the Bible being our primary source of theology albeit complicated and obscure; and reason, experience and tradition as secondary sources. In a very broad sense, this is systematic theology. More next week…

Creed Branson, Executive Minister

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