Christ is the True Word of God

I hope no one takes offense to this post. I don’t wish to force anything upon you. This post is primarily for those who currently or in the past have called themselves Christians. This is simply something I believe and am passionate about. You can completely disagree with me, and I will just as much as before wish to be your friend.

Have you ever had trouble understanding why in the Bible we read that God killed millions of babies, permitted race-based slavery, allowed forced marriages, commanded the killing infants, but we call him a God of Love? I know that bothered me immensely for many years. Now I feel that I can read the Bible and know that God really is a God of Love despite the contradiction.

C.S. Lewis once said, “It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, which is the true word of God.” That is something I never fully appreciated and certainly not what I was taught in my evangelical world. If I was, it went over my head. Despite recommending C.S. Lewis’s books and writings, those same schools, churches, and myself would likely have on considered it heresy to say, “the Bible is not the true word of God.” Lewis even said, “The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not ‘the Word of God’ in the sense that every passage in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God.”

Have you ever wondered why in Matthew Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law…” but in Ephesians it says “He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances…” Matthew 5:17 and Ephesians 2:15 (NRSVCE). I believe that read in context, we see that Jesus is speaking of God’s unchanging law. One that wasn’t captured by fallible humans when the Torah permitted slavery, revenge, taught that ceremonies could make a person an abomination, or that we must stone adulterers. I believe that God is unchanging and never wanted or gave the okay to stone people, kill babies, have slaves (particularly based on race), or numerous other unchristlike things taught as holy.

I just finished reading the book God Speaks by my good friend Gabriel Gordon. Like C.S. Lewis, Gordon does a fantastic and earnest job in helping people like me see that we must lean upon the revelation of Jesus more than anything else. I believe Gabe’s book and others are helping me build a personal faith, that more so than before, puts Jesus at the center – not the Bible. It isn’t to take the Bible away, but to read it in the light of Jesus, which John 1 calls the Word.

God Speaks showed me things in the Bible I had never seen before and has made it easier for me to fully trust in Jesus when he says, “Whoever has seen Me, has seen the Father.” Like any good reader, I will not wholly agree with everything the author says. The book certainly does not answer all questions either, but I can’t recommend this book enough. It just became available to the public today. If you want to read it but can’t afford it send me a private message.

Below you will find a link to the book and some quotes from C.S. Lewis that further layout some of his views, which I mostly agree with today. If you want to know more about how these topics have changed my beliefs over the last several years you can read about that some here. There are certainly those that disagree with me and C.S. Lewis. This is a website that summarized some of those arguments, if you would like a counter.

-Charlie 6/22/2021

It is Christ Himself, not the Bible, which is the true word of God. The Bible, read in the right spirit and with the guidance of good teachers will bring us to him. When it becomes really necessary (i.e. for our spiritual life, not for curiosity or controversy) to know whether a particular passage is rightly translated or is Myth (but of course Myth specially chosen by God from among countless Myths to carry a spiritual truth) or history, we shall no doubt be guided to the right answer. But we must not use the Bible (our fathers too often did) as a sort of Encyclopedia out of which texts (isolated from their context and read without attention to the whole nature and purport of the books in which they occur) can be taken for use as weapons.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Volume III, p.246

The human qualities of the raw materials show through. Naivety, error, contradiction, even (as in the cursing Psalms) wickedness are not removed. The total result is not “the Word of God” in the sense that every passage in itself, gives impeccable science or history. It carries the Word of God.

Essential C.S. Lewis

Dear Mr. Carnell:

I am myself a little uneasy about the question you raise: there seems to be an almost equal objection to the position taken up in my footnote and to its alternative of attributing the same kind and degree of historicity to all books of the Bible. You see, the question about Jonah and the great fish does not turn simply on intrinsic probability. The point is that the whole Book of Jonah has to me the air of being a moral romance, a quite different kind of thing from, say, the account of King David or the New Testament narratives, not pegged, like them, into any historical situation.

In what sense does the Bible “present” the Jonah story “as historical”? Of course it doesn’t say, “This is fiction,” but then neither does our Lord say that the Unjust Judge, Good Samaritan, or Prodigal Son are fiction (I would put Esther in the same category as Jonah for the same reason). How does a denial, a doubt, of their historicity lead logically to a similar denial of New Testament miracles? Supposing (as I think is the case), that sound critical reading revealed different kinds of narrative in the Bible, surely it would be illogical to suppose that these different kinds should all be read in the same way?

This is not a “rationalistic approach” to miracles. Where I doubt the historicity of an Old Testament narrative I never do so on the ground that the miraculous as such is incredible. Nor does it deny a unique sort of inspiration: allegory, parable, romance, and lyric might be inspired as well as chronicle. I wish I could direct you to a good book on the subject, but I don’t know one.

With all good wishes, yours sincerely,

C. S. Lewis

Letter April 4th, 1953

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