Poping the Bible

Jason Stellman has resigned from the PCA as member and minister, and is going to Rome, because he has found that he cannot trust himself to rightly interpret scripture, and he cannot trust others either – except for an infallible teaching authority called the Pope.

This highlights a scriptural ineptitude among Pastors that I have often commented on.  Most of them do not spend time in the Bible, because they find it so hard and impenetrable.  Instead, they read books written by men they respect, and regurgitate those books in their sermons, using a scripture verse to parachute themselves into their chosen sermon.

The basic problem is that they cannot read the Bible, and the reason is that they have not discovered its simplicity.  They come to the Bible thinking that it needs interpretation, when, in fact, it is interpretation all the way through.  The cannot see what is staring at them from the page.

Jason Stellman is a man who reads many, many, books.  He reads the Reformation names, and their successors.  he studies the Westminster Confession of Faith, and regards it as a final authority in matters of faith and morals.  Until recently he acknowledged that the WCF bows to scripture, but because he in practice uses the confessions as a de facto supreme authority, his formal submission to scripture is empty.

Many other men are just like him.  They know that they cannot handle scripture properly, and have to rely on other men’s hard work instead.

This is not a new problem.  There always have been very few men with the ability to see what is written on the face of the biblical text.  That was a primary reason for making the BCP 1662 mandatory for all Priests in the CoE in the 17th century.  The quality of the ordained ministry was so poor that there was hardly one good preacher in a county.  So the authorities gave them a service book that told them exactly what to say and do.

Today we are in the same predicament.  Most Pastors are very bad at their jobs.

What can be done?  I believe that they need to be taught to read the Bible again.  It takes training, time, and practice, but it can be done.

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3 thoughts on “Poping the Bible

  1. Hi Roger

    There is another aspect to these sorts of cases, where ‘good’ men pervert to Rome, and that is the role of liberalism. Men who themselves think they have no truck with liberal theology nevertheless can find themselves imbibing elements of liberal teaching. Authorship of certain books is denied, thereby relegating them to the status of pious forgeries, The authenticity of words, verses, chapters and whole books is questioned, and as a result some become afraid to refer to them with any authority. Then there is that pernicious aspect which denies inspiration, so that even the acceptable passages are only the thoughts of humans, rather than divinely-directed expressions of eternal truth.

    The overall effect is to remove a person’s confidence in Scripture, with the result that preaching becomes uncertain and weak, and the bedrock of the Christian faith is made to move and tremble.

    The irony is that the Church of Rome, by imposing its own twisted interpretation on Scripture, does almost exactly the same thing. The only difference is that the faithful son of the Church has merely to trust the Pope and his bishops to have got it right, and he takes no responsibility for the consequences!

    Edward

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