Thursday, August 18, 2005

Reason Over Scripture?

When I was a teenaged Christian, I had a lot of animosity for so-called Calvinists. I chimed in with my friends who suggested that Calvinism was just the result of esteeming logic over the Bible.
The fact is, I had not read much of the Bible at that time and what I had read was more in the realm of "favorite texts" as opposed to the "whole counsel of God." It wasn't until I was forced to really study through passage after passage as a teaching pastor that I began to see that "Calvinism" was really just short-form for what the Bible says - especially in the realm of how people are saved. (I understand you can take the term "Calvinism" and attach all kinds of meanings and agendas to it - I am not in love with the term for that reason - but I do love the Truth that the term represents. By that I mean what are commonly called, "the doctrines of grace" or "reformed soteriology." If you don't like the term "Calvinism" that is fine with me! I just want to be clear as to what I am referring to when I use it.)
I am curious though - and this is a totally honest question - how many open theists, emergents, post-moderns and liberals really read their Bibles regularly?
In my naivete, it just seems impossible that anyone who faithfully reads the text of the Word in order to commune with the God of the Word could end up, say, denying the absolute sovereignty of God.
I realize that might sound very offensive if you identify yourself by one of those labels. I am not sure how else to genuinely ask the question though. I am quite prepared to be wrong in my assumption, but I would really like some honest blogger to answer honestly. What place does the Bible take in your actual life? Do you read it systematically, regularly and with a view to meeting your God? Because it appears to me from what I read that most of those writing in defense of the "emerging church" (for example) place far more value on their intuition ("I can't concieve of a god like that") and reason ("I can't say who goes to heaven or not since I cannot perfectly know any person's heart") than they do to the simple revealed Truth of God in His Word.
I know I spent a long time in my life thinking this way - and in my experience it led to confusion, contradiction and no real answers for life's most important questions.
I am also interested to know of others whose story is similar to mine - in love with the Lord but not grasping much of His Word... then a big change in your spritual life when you started to regularly and thoughtfully read the Scripture.