Vision Team Blog

Thursday, February 09, 2006

We Value the Bible

Since Matt's last post has already moved us into a discussion of our second Value Statement, I thought I'd post it here so all of us could refer to it:

We value the Bible as (part of) God's story.

We value the Bible as an inspired self-revelation from God that tells the story of His work to redeem and restore the world from the ravages of sin. We recognize that the Bible is a complex document written by many human authors over thousands of years and composed of multiple literary genres, thus we believe it is important to understand the historical, cultural and textual context of scripture in order to rightly understand its relevance for our own lives and cultural context. We approach scripture with an attitude of humility, seeking to let it challenge and question our own lives without assuming that we have ever fully tamed or contained it.


  • I just wanted to comment that I really appreciated the point several of you made the other night about how the Bible is God's story, but it's only part of the whole story. God's story extends far beyond the Bible's narrative. Again, while that idea is not explicit in the orginal wording of this value, I think it is implicit in the way we refer in the first sentence to the Bible as "an inspired self-revelation from God". Note that we don't say that it is the only one.

    By Blogger Mike Clawson, at 2:31 PM  

  • We recognize that the Bible is a complex document written by many human authors over thousands of years ...

    authors? editors? translators?

    It wasn't "authored" over so long a period but I know what you intended. I was trying to think of a more accurate word picture.

    By Blogger WarePhreak Wyncoop, at 7:39 PM  

  • Yeah, depending on who you think wrote each book, the space of time for the writing of the Bible is anywhere from 1500 years (conservative scholars) to 700 years (liberal scholars).

    So I guess we should change the wording to "hundreds" rather than "thousands". :)

    By Blogger Mike Clawson, at 9:28 PM  

  • My thoughts on this one revolve around your comment, Mike - "Note that we don't say that it is the only one.

    Rather than singling out the bible as the only one we talk about, why not include the other means by which we become more aware of God's story. Is there a reason not to balance Scripture, experience, tradition and the others (that I can't bring to mind at the moment) while at the same time letting them challenge each other to seek the truth.

    I'm a big dynamic tension sort of person - if you make things to concrete they don't fit the weird shape life bends you into.

    Hmmm, how about instead "we value truth" expecting God's Bible, tradition, experience, etc to bring us closer to the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

    By Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop, at 8:25 PM  

  • Excellent thoughts Char! You're probably right that we should include our value of scripture within the larger category of all the different ways God reveals himself to us.

    Maybe we should just refine that value to "We value God's story" and then talk about the different ways we encounter that story. "We value truth" is good too, except that as a philosopher I hesitate to just throw the "T" word out there unless I have several pages to explain what I mean and don't mean by use of that word. It's been too frequently misused and abused by evangelicals in recent years.

    By Blogger Mike Clawson, at 9:57 PM  

  • Not having encountered philosophy majors enough, I don't know the angles on the truth issue. However, personally, my value of truth leads me closer to God, because I do believe, until I learn differently (as you aptly quoted)"all truth is God's truth." Therefore, I'm not afraid to face hard questions - they will lead me closer to Him, rather than away.

    Thus to me, valuing truth, allows me to be critical of my beliefs without fearing failure of those same beliefs. I guess it gives me confidence - not because I understand what "truth" is, but because I believe God does. And I believe he values it, enough to say Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.


    By Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop, at 9:59 PM  

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