the place of the inscripturated word

As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11

In Christian creeds, Christians don’t say they believe in the word of God, in scripture. That’s a given. The heart of the Christian message is the gospel, the good news in and through Jesus, which brings in the kingdom of God in the new creation, and begins now through faith and baptism, and in the church.

I believe in more of a sacramental understanding than what I was raised with, which I think is clear enough from scripture, and is at least the dominant position of the tradition of the church, of Christianity through the centuries. However I also identify with a strong emphasis on the word, on scripture, and in teaching the word.

It’s interesting at this point in our lives, we pulled up stakes from the new Anglican church plant in our area, regretfully so for myself, but for good reason, I think. Prompted by my sisters, and encouraged by others, we are now taking our oldest granddaughter to an evangelical church not far from where she lives, which has a good program for the kids year round, teaching them the gospel and from scripture week in and week out.

I have to remember to take my earplugs, but at least the songs present a certain liturgy in themselves in pointing us to God in Jesus. And the church excels in teaching from scripture, even if at this point I’m not (yet) entirely convinced their teaching is Christ and gospel-centered enough. It likely is more than what I might think. Churches with traditionally liturgy by that alone keep the worshiper centered in Jesus and the gospel, pointed as well to the Triune God.

So for the foreseeable future, we are embarked in this new way, which, by the way is in sync with where I work, at Our Daily Bread Ministries. And that is rather fitting in that this is where I’ve lived and grown for years even into decades, and where I largely live now. With a bent toward the gospel in everything, and all that means (not that I understand that, but working toward that), in and through the inscripturated word.

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3 comments on “the place of the inscripturated word

  1. Mike says:

    It’s interesting you write, “And the church excels in teaching from scripture, even if at this point I’m not (yet) entirely convinced their teaching is Christ and gospel-centered enough.” Is there any way you can flesh this out? One can deliver a message well enough, but if THE MESSAGE of the Church isn’t Christ-centered, is there any message at all? Do I hear you correctly?

    • I probably am being unfair, and it’s not as if they don’t bring out a Christ-centered, Christian aspect to, say for example, an Old/First Testament text. I may want it to be more overt than necessary, at least mentioning the gospel as in some way related to it each and every time. The church excels at careful good teaching of the text with biblical background, for sure. I am not saying they don’t teach and proclaim the gospel, or that they’re not Christ-centered. But something more like it seems that a given text might fall into too much of a how does it help me approach, rather than what is God’s good news in Jesus, and how do we relate to it, and it to us. Something like that. Thanks, Mike.

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