Copyright 1992 by Release Magazine, reproduced with permission
The Bible is a very great book. It is the written witness to God's revelation of Himself in His Word: Jesus Christ. And, if you like, you can make a great deal of it.
You can speculate about it: This will make you a philosopher and people will think you are deep and very smart.
You can pontificate on it: This will make you a preacher and people will marvel at your courage and gift for oratory.
You can adulate it: This will make you its number one fan. You can display your very fine collection of its various versions all over your house.
You can attack it: This will make you a skeptic and people will admire your honest, blind determination to live in your grim, faithless little world.
You can adapt it: This will make you a youth pastor or a Christian musician or a feminist theologian or a popular author. You, too, can be the icing on a cake.
You can systematize it: This will make you a theologian and people will quote you and regard those quotes as some sort of authority.
You can criticize it: This will make you a scholar - and those who are not put off by your egg-headedness will confer on you M.A.'s and D.D.'s.
You can theorize about it: This will make you an expert in biblical slants on contemporary issues like political science, psychology, church growth, economics, sex, and marriage.
You can ponder it: This will make you a mystic and people will turn to you for spiritual advice (and from you when then get it).
You can practice it: This will make you a model citizen - a fair, generous, and righteous (if somewhat uptight) person.
Of course, what we make of the Bible will never be as great a thing as what the Bible will - if we let it - make of us. For that which is born of the flesh - our human understanding and handlings - is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit - God's revelation of Himself and the power of that revelation to enliven us - is spirit. The will of man will not ultimately prevail against the will of God. It is the will of God that we should know Him as He has revealed Himself and that will has not only survived the arrogant attacks of scientific and "enlightened" men, it has (even more miraculously) thrived in spite of our best intended, though sadly misguided, at "rightly dividing" that seamless robe of revelation.
So, let us press on with no faith in our own understanding and nothing but faith in the Truth that is too great to be diminished by our feeble minds and too great not to transform us. Salvation comes from God, not from our cleverness. The Bible is a very great book. Let us submit to it so God may do the great work of making us into a great people.