The Bible no longer inspires...

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When pastors approach the Bible as if every text in Scripture is simply another opportunity to preach the Gospel, it makes sense for the Bible's detailed history to be relegated to the sidelines. This sort of preaching promoted as "redemptive-historical" or "Christ-centered" provides the perfect justification for the timorous to skip out the back, Jack, and preach John 3:16 every Lords' Day of the year. Then what does it matter if Adam and Eve were the first man and woman or merely the mythological father and mother of an early tribe of hominids? If the sermon text is Scripture's "narrative" of Adam and Eve, Creation, and the Fall, those stories are only there to show...

the origin of evil and thus provide the context for God's grace in Jesus Christ. Why fixate on the history when all the conflicts between God and science can be avoided by using the myths of Genesis as a springboard to John 3:16?

Moving past the Old Testament's history, the second half of the Epistles may be dispensed with, also. Who needs holiness when we're saved by grace? Through faith, of course, but faith is the gift of God! Not by works lest any man should boast. And there you have it! See? It's all of grace. It's all about the Cross. There's only one metanarrative of Scripture—grace—and every micronarrative of Scripture is only there to serve as another springboard to the metanarrative of grace.

Add the denial of the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all creation by those who say Jesus wants us to reserve our discussions of His authority for family devotions and worship services in the privacy of the church-house and home, and the evisceration of Scripture's power for repentance and the life of faith is complete. Whatever the text, it's only for Christians and its details don't matter except as illuminations and pointings-to the metanarrative of grace.

No wonder then that Scripture no longer has power in our culture. We think we've come up with a new idea of using the fine arts to preach the Gospel, but then we find out Scripture no longer inspires the fine arts. Why not?

Because the Church has given up preaching Scripture and busies herself preaching John 3:16 in the privacy of Lord's Day worship and family devotions.


Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!