Friday, November 27, 2015

What Does the Bible Primarily Teach?

I love the catechism. I love the wisdom of my forefathers in the faith who knew concepts can be better grasped when reduced to clear statements. I pity modern evangelicals who believe they are too pure to resort to such man-made documents and believe they only need read the Bible and all will be made clear. To them I ask, "What is God?" If they can answer that by using the Bible alone, I will agree that they have no use for the catechism or any of the accumulated wisdom of the elders.

I stumbled onto the catechism quite by accident. One day while attending an event at my local Christian radio station I was given the opportunity to choose a book for myself from a table. The station was giving the books away and listeners who attended the event were given first choice. Upon seeing the title "Training Hearts Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade, I was intrigued. Most of the other books were devotional in nature and did not appeal to me, so this title was my choice, sort of by default. The subtitle of the book is "Family Devotions Based on the Shorter Catechism." At that time, I was under the impression that only the Roman church used a catechism, so I took the book prepared to be critical.

Let's just say that after reading the first question and answer, I was curious.  I had heard my pastor recite this question and answer during a sermon, but I had no idea it was from the Westminster Shorter Catechism. By the time I got to question number 4, my mind was, as they say, blown. I won't spoil it for you if you haven't read it yet. It's free on the internet, go read it.

Question number 3 (In modern  English) says this:

What does the Bible primarily teach?
Simple question, right? And the answer is not exactly amazing, except that it sums up what could be a dissertation into one sentence. Here is the answer:
The Bible primarily teaches what man must believe about God and what God requires of man.
After learning this answer, it changed the way I understood the Scripture. Now, while reading, I am continually asking myself if what I am reading is telling something about God, or is it telling me something that God is requiring of me? Life changing, really. 

I thought of this today when I read this quote from Vaughn Olhman at Let Them Marry
But the point of coming to Scripture is to be changed by it   (From the post "Why Aren't you Married?")