Lee O’Hare on the Bible

Here’s the brilliant Christian writer and pastor Lee O’Hare, writing about the emphasis of ‘the Bible over Jesus’, which is a prevalent point of view in mainstream Evangelical thought (although most would deny it!):

“The foundational and essential problem with the popular theological system of modern fundamentalist/evangelical Christianity which gives us so many doctrines and passionate beliefs that are so contrary to the message and Person of Jesus (such as penal substitutionary atonement, belief in a “hell” of eternal torture, a perverse emphasis upon the wrath and justice of God over His love and mercy, etc.) is that they have deified and actually worship the Bible as the ultimate standard of all Truth and they bow down before and submit their hearts and minds to a crass literal and flat interpretation believing every word and phrase therein to be the very “Word of God” regardless of how it may directly contradict what Jesus (who is the only true Word of God) taught and revealed about the true character and nature of God.

“In short, they have traded the worship and surrender of their lives to a book rather than to the Lord of Life Himself, Jesus Christ, the true and only Word of God– the very One who alone is the visible image of the invisible God and the “exact representation of His being” (Col. 1:14, Heb. 1:3), the One who said “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 1:14). This is nothing short of idolatry — the worship and deification of a thing, i.e., a book written by men, rather than the true and living God.

“Please do not take this to mean I do not greatly love, appreciate and value the Bible. I do, in fact, believe it to be inspired and it is the primary and essential way we learn about Jesus. But the point is to remember that it is the scriptures that testify of Jesus and not the other way around. HE is the focus and the purpose of all that is in the Bible. And unless we read and interpret it through the interpretive lens of who He is and what He has revealed about the Father we will take away images and portrayals of God that are completely unworthy of Him. As long as I am reading the Bible through the interpretive lens and filter of Jesus Himself it has an awful lot of truth to reveal to me.”

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