In response to – I believe in the Word of God (Hoosier United Methodist Together) September/October 2014

With all due respect…this is the core issue that is fragmenting our denomination: Is the Bible, in itself the Word of God, or does it only ‘contain’ God’s Word as some maintain?

No, the Bible is the Word of God. Once we claim that it only ‘contains’ the Word, then humans have taken the place of supreme authority – the assumption being that it is up to us to determine what of the Bible is God’s Word and what is not!

How much of the Bible is the Word of God? Every word, “All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). And who is the real author of Scripture behind the human authors? The Holy Spirit!..” but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”(2 Peter 1:21)

Yes, of course, Jesus is the Word made flesh. In other words, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ became a real human being. Jesus is the eternal Word become flesh, but this in no way negates the fact that the Bible is the Word of God.

To believe that the Bible is the Word of God does not make one an idolater or a stiff literalist. The basic rule of interpretation of the Bible as literature is this: A text means what its original author meant.

Questions: Did the original human authors of both the Old and New Testaments, with the Holy Spirit as their Superintendent, get it wrong all these years on the meaning of marriage? Did the eternal Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, misinterpret the Old Testament on the meaning of marriage (Matthew 19:4-5)? Would the Risen Christ contradict Himself? Would the Lord Jesus now go against the clear teaching of the Bible? Would the Risen Savior now contradict the Holy Spirit? I personally do not think so.

David L. Ballinger
Pastor
Christ United Methodist Church
Westfield, Ind.

Please share your letters to the editor via email at editor@inumc.org.