Monday, October 04, 2004

Some thoughts on Inspiriation I'm having and how it relates to my thinking on God and Scripture. This is Part One, because that's as far as I've written. I know that I still have to post on Mere Discipleship, plus I was at the Zoe Conference this weekend and heard Brian McLaren speak.

Anyway, here are the thoughts on Inspiration.


I've been pondering what it means for something to be inspired recently. Generally, this word, at least in Christian circles, describes Scripture. It gives an air of authority to it, as though it has come directly from God.

Nov, I don’t dispute the idea that the Scriptures we have came from God... somehow. I don’t know what that looks like, exactly. I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit came down over Paul or Luke or John and physically controlled their hands or months as they wrote or dictated the words that became our Canon. I don’t believe that any of the authors of Scripture were able to divest themselves of themselves, because God doesn't work that way. He uses us as we are, and where we are.

I think it's obvious from Scripture that the authors didn’t divest themselves of who they were. Paul talked about slavery because that was in the culture in which he existed. He obviously didn’t condone it, as the book of Philemon showed. Gods plan is not for one person to be enslaved by another, but that condition existed in the first century and Paul wrote how to be a Christian in that Situation. However, that is a tangent to explore later.

Back to inspiration. I think that we've really overrated and underrated inspiration.

I think we've overrated it in this aspect: we have come to equate inspiration with authority. The idea has developed over the centuries that simply because the Bible says something that it is authoritative. We talked before about the cultural aspects of Scripture. It doesn’t mean that Scripture isn’t from God. But it also doesn’t mean that because God said it to Paul and John and Luke, that it applies directly to us. Paul was writing to first century Romans and Corinthians, to specific situations that had come up. John had an agenda when he wrote his Gospel. Luke had a specific story to tell in his Gospel and Acts.

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