We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded by your direct support for ReKnew and our vision. Please consider supporting this project.

JesusNotBible

The Bible is NOT the Foundation

Many people imagine that the foundation of their faith is the Bible. This is viewed as the ultimate center around which everything they believe revolves. However, the foundation of the Christian faith is actually centered on a person, not a book. Whereas Islam has always presented itself as a “religion of the book,” the kingdom of God has been from the start a movement that is centered on a person.

Jesus Christ is the foundation or the center of our faith, not the Bible. He is the one who perfectly reveals to us the love God eternally is, who perfectly embodies the love God has for us, who perfectly models the love we’re to have toward others, and who is the means by which we enter into a loving, faith-based relationship with God.

The only foundation that can be laid, Paul says, for example, is “the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 3:11). Jesus is, in the words of Peter, the “cornerstone” that “the builders rejected (1 Pet 2:6-7), which means that the entire edifice of the Christian faith is to be built upon him.

The earliest disciples certainly believed the Old Testament was inspired, but they never based their faith in Christ on this. They used it extensively, but only as a means of pointing people to Jesus, whom they already believed in for other reasons. This is the role that I believe the Bible should play in our lives.

I agree that we should affirm Scripture’s divine inspiration, and I believe we should use it to point people to Jesus. But it cannot bear the weight, nor was ever intended by God to bear the weight, of being the foundation for why we believe in Jesus.

Hence, I don’t see beliefs rooted in Scripture as an end in and of themselves. They rather point us to Jesus and help bring us into, and strengthen us in, our relationship with Jesus. The moment we begin to think that scripture, the our beliefs derived from scripture, are ends in and of themselves, we are in danger of making an idol of Scripture and our beliefs.

We do not relate to a book, or a list of doctrines that are rooted in that book. We relate to, and our faith is founded upon, Christ and his love for us. Participating in this love that is centered in Christ is the end to which all beliefs about the Bible point. This relationship is what gives significance to everything else the Bible teaches.

—Adapted from Benefit of the Doubt, pages 163-170

Related Reading

Cross-like Love and Non-Violence

Cosmo Spacely via Compfight Though it seems to have been forgotten by many today, the cross wasn’t simply something God did for us. According to the NT, it was also an example God calls us to follow. Hence, after John defined love by pointing us to Jesus’ death on the cross on our behalf, he…

Podcast: Overflow Episode 1 — Dust, Flashlights, and Heathens

Dan and Brianna tackle some tough questions: —Is it okay for Christians to be cremated? —How can we preach from the OT with authority? —What should a Christian academic know in a secular school? http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0320_overflow_1.mp3

The Cruciform Center Part 3: How Paul’s Epistles Reveal a Cruciform God

As we’ve discussed, the four Gospels point to a cruciform revelation of God (click here and here for a review), but what about the most widely read writer of the New Testament? What did the Apostle Paul have to say about how the cross reveals who God is? Before turning to Paul’s writings, I’d like…

Sermon Clip: Does Romans 9 predestine you to Hell?

Did God predestine you to Hell? Can he even do that? In this short sermon clip, Greg Boyd talks about his own struggles when trying to understand Romans 9 which on the surface seems to imply that God determines who goes to heaven and hell. In the full sermon, Greg takes a deep look at…

Does the Old Testament Justify “Just War”?

Since the time of Augustine, Christians have consistently appealed to the violent strand of the Old Testament to justify waging wars when they believed their cause was “just.” (This is Augustine’s famous “just war” theory.) Two things may be said about this. First, the appeal to the OT to justify Christians fighting in “just” wars…

Podcast: How Does the Story of Achan In Joshua 7 Point to the Cross?

Greg looks at a violent Old Testament story through a Cruciform lens. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0447.mp3