Actually no where does Scripture call itself the Word of God. I know some people get freaked out by this, thinking it devalues Scripture somehow, but I don’t think it does. This is something I’ve been growing in as well over the last few years and it has been quite a trip teaching myself not to call Scripture the Word. It is Scripture. The Word of God is the Son of God . It is always the Son and he is living and active in our lives dividing between soul and spirit.
I see Scripture as the words of God, his revelation, a letter from him to clarify who he is and what he is about. But if we only know him through those words, we’ve missed the purpose of the words themselves—to lead us to him. It’s like only reading an author’s book but never having the chance to sit down over a Diet Coke and share life together. This is the book whose author we can always know. I find his words in Scripture and the Word himself to be the most marvelous complement to each other and of great value to this journey.
I like this thought. After I read the article, I wrote the following email to a friend, since he and I have been talking about what part the Bible may play in our lives. My friend believes that the principles of the Bible are essential to proper functioning in the Christian life. I believe…well, read the email below and you’ll see.
During lunch break at work today I ran across this little article. The author explained the gist of my approach in our conversation in a way that I hadn’t considered and find refreshing. If what the author says is true, and followers of Jesus accept this truth, they will find themselves wanting to depend (rely, place emphasis) on the living Word, not on the written word.
That may seem on the edge of heresy, but consider its weight. It would be foolish to give credit or reliance where it is not due. God is a jealous God. He does not appreciate competition. I think it is entirely possible that his people can and do choose to let the Bible take a role that he longs to retain: the shepherd and guide of their lives. I think it is ironic that by doing this, we may place God in a position to “compete” against something he has made.