Is the Bible the Only Book I Need?
by Caroline Ferdinandsen
If Christianity asks for supreme fidelity to the God-man Jesus Christ, then what loyalty do I also pay to his divine book? With mega-publishers, mainline bloggers, trendy theologians, and my local pastor all begging for a slice of my reading time, where does the Bible fit into my library?
In fact, you’re spending a few of your precious minutes reading some California girl’s opinion on the matter. Shouldn’t you be hunkered down in your prayer closet re-reading Paul’s epistles instead–or even better, reading through the red text in your Bible?
Maybe I’m better off reading nothing but the Holy Scriptures–a modern monk-girl practicing Lectio Divina. But should I also savor the insights and writing talents of God’s children? Can God also speak through the ideas of my contemporaries–or even more shocking, can he speak directly to my spirit? I wish I were the first one to bring this to the table, but I’m one of many who have questioned if the Biblical text is enough. Enough for my intellect. Enough for my spirit. Enough for my faith.
And that’s when I realize that I’m making the wrong comparison, like asking if blood is the only fluid I need. Hey, listen up. I think I’m going to switch it out with Gatorade for awhile! Blood has no other substitutes, no other competitors. The Bible is not merely a book that Christians like to read. Under the sway of the Holy Spirit, it becomes the essential blood running through my faith’s veins, not just the nicest book in my crowded library.
When Lindsell wrote Battle for the Bible in 1978, he was the voice for the modern inerrancy movement, one that eventually pitted the Biblical literalists against the seminarians who questioned its complete accuracy. Of course, it’s the extremists on both sides who always stoke our fires: it’s easier to say the dogmatic literalists are just whack, and the people who think it’s just an avenue to spiritual enlightenment are even wackier…
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