30 October 2011
God's Glory and God's People
Next week The Message of the Word of God is going to be launched. The chance to write in the Bible Speaks Today Biblical Themes series and on this topic was too interesting to turn down, providing as it did the opportunity for some extended thinking about the nature of Scripture and how we interpret it.
Essentially, the series looks at what the Bible says about particular themes or doctrines. This meant that I was being asked to discover what the Bible has to say about the Bible. However, I quickly found out that there was more to this than met the eye.
When I described my project to a senior biblical studies scholar, he expressed surprise that anybody would have the chutzpah (audacity) to try to write something so broad ranging. Early on, I had to confront the dilemma that the Bible does not speak about the Bible per se, because the Bible as we know it – a compilation of 66 books written over more than a millennium – did not exist as the Bible was being written. I did find out, however, that the Bible has a huge amount to say about the fact that God speaks and, in speaking, acts in the world that he has made and with the people who inhabit that world.
It also has much to say about the importance of particular texts, those that we now identify as the Bible, in bearing the voice of God. Supremely of course, God’s voice is heard in the person of Jesus, to whom the Bible points and about whom the Bible is a kind of eyewitness. And the wonder of it all is that this means that we still hear the voice of God in our lives and for the planet on which we live out our faith. In doing so, we meet God’s glory and are called into being as a people who in our turn declare the word of God to others. It has been a fantastic journey of discovery for me, working through all this, and I hope that something of that may be experienced also by those who read the book.
For further see http://www.ivpbooks.com/9781844745517.
The launch of Tim Meadowcroft's new book The Message of the Word of God is on Thursday 10 November at 7.15 pm at the Laidlaw College Auckland campus. If you wish to attend please RSVP by Monday 7 November to events/laidlaw.ac.nz or 09 837 9769. The book will be available to purchase on the night for the special launch price of $25. If you would like to purchase a copy but cannot attend the launch, please contact Tim Meadowcroft on tmeadowcroft/laidlaw.ac.nz.