Information without application squelches transformation

… post-Reformation biblical scholarship let its course be determined by the most intensely felt need of the hour: a ground of authority from which to debate with Rome. The scriptures, against their own will, intention, and warning, became the “paper pope,” with the result that the present was sacrificed, immediacy in preaching was lost, and congregations became accustomed to being sacrificed weekly on the altar of “sacred history.”

 

During this period we learned more about the Bible than we had known, thanks to new biblical disciplines: literary, historical, textual, and form criticism. All subsequent Christian scholarship would be, and is, profoundly indebted to this period of scientifically critical biblical investigation. But the sad fact in the midst of it was that all this attention on the bible moved it farther and farther from those with whom it was shared in lesson and sermon. A deep resentment and discontent began to emerge in churches as many sensitive Christians rejected the “Divine economy” that the situation implied: In Bible times the people had God, but we have only the Book. No one can be content bearing the brunt of some cosmic joke that says, “You were born too late to be where God’s action is.”

 

Fred Craddock
As One Without Authority, p.33-34

The Bible is not irrelevant, but some teachers’ and preachers’ way of handling scripture makes it seem so.

The Bible not only reveals how God has worked throughout history, but also how He continues to work in the present.

Preachers and teachers must be intentional in highlighting how scripture applies today and how God is working today. Information without application does not lead to transformation.

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