I’ve learned something recently. Do your job and you get paid. Volunteer at your job and you stand a good chance of getting dessert.
We’re getting a Cokesbury bookstore on the Christ Church campus, and instead of paying professionals (people who knew what they were doing) to take up the old brick walkway outside the building where the new store will be housed, the church asked its staff (people who had no idea what they were doing) to get the job done. And so we did, and they thanked us with some Mexican ice cream at this good little place in town.
Piled into the bus on the way there, we passed a church whose marquee read: “The Bible is not antique. It is not modern. It is eternal.”
Later on, when I mentioned this to my friend who is well-read on the Muslim religion, said “That’s Islam.”
He was right. This is no disrespect to Islam, but they hold a view of the Quran that is different from the way Christians think of the Bible. For Christians, to hold such a view of the Bible would be an improper level of devotion to the biblical text itself.
This is seen in the way people mischaracterize Christians as “people of the book.” Though I appreciate the point that it makes, because we do look to the Bible for God’s story, doctrine, stories, etc., Christianity appropriately conceived is adhered to not by people of the book but people of the Person.
Christians are those who are committed to Christ, whether they’ve never encountered a Bible or met Jesus through their reading of a Bible.
Come to think of it, Christianity came before the Bible, and in the new heavens and new earth I’m not sure it’s very important to think of what role the Bible will play.
In this stage of history, it certainly plays an important role. But its role is limited.
The Bible IS antique, and it DOES speak to modern times, but it is not eternal.