Written by humans and claimed to be divinely inspired by God, what is the Bible? The creation of the world, rebellion, bloodshed, de-creation, drunkenness, war, capital punishment, judgment, miracles… what are we to expect from a book filled with these things? Can all of these stories truly be “breathed out” by God? Why believe the Bible is God’s word when it is the bible itself that tells us it is God’s word? Shouldn’t we want better reasoning than the circular kind? As Andrew Wilson, Teaching Pastor at King’s Church London, says, “All sets of beliefs have to start somewhere; you trust reason because it’s rational, you trust experience because it fits with your experience, you trust the Bible because it’s biblical, and so on” (11). Why should one trust the Bible? If you trust Jesus, then you should trust the Bible. Wilson says, “If he [Jesus] talks and acts as if the Bible is trustworthy, authoritative, good, helpful and powerful, I will too … even if some of my questions remain unanswered, or my answers remain unpopular” (12).
From there Wilson briefly looks at Scripture’s clarity, coherence, sufficiency, challenges, Jesus as its fulfillment, and more, and he cleverly does it all with a humorous bit o’ wit. Jesus, the Son of God, loved God’s word with all of his mind, heart, and soul. He wholly trusted in it, fought sin with it, debated the Pharisees with the true understanding of it, and believed that it was unbroken. As Wilson points out, when faced with the many biblical difficulties many people decide that Scripture is in fact broken. But instead, what we really ought to do is look at ourselves to see if we are the ones whom are broken.
It is in the Scriptures that’s God’s character, wisdom, and power is seen. And when Jesus was asked a question, he never said, “Yeah, I’m just not sure about that text. That’s a tough one.” As Wilson shows, Jesus often puts the ‘hardness’ of understanding the Scriptures on the ‘hardness’ of the people’s heart. We are arrogant. We are stubborn. Prideful. Naive. Ignorant. Sinful. Thankfully, Jesus was perfect, understanding, wise, and is our Savior. His Spirit is in us to humbly study his word to know him better, not to know a bunch of facts, literary structures, and intertextual allusions. Those things are good, but they are meant to point us to Jesus.
Each chapter here is approximately three pages long. Mounds of books have been written on each chapter, but Wilson cuts through and gives the reader a thoughtful perspective on the one who was truly human, the one who perfectly imaged God in everything he did and said (and didn’t do and didn’t say), and how he viewed Scripture. And, since Jesus perfectly represented God in every way, we should really consider accepting his view of Scripture. If you’ve never read a book on Scripture because you think they’ll all be boring and stodgy, begin here. This one isn’t boring, stodgy, stuck-up, insincere nonsense. It was a pleasure to read, and you should pick up more of Wilson’s books (I review his book on Scripture’s use of Exodus imagery here).
- Author: Andrew Wilson
- Paperback: 80 pages
- Publisher: 10Publishing (October 1, 2014)
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