Peter Adam wrote that when it comes to spirituality there is a curious phenomena in Protestant Christianity. In our bookshops we can find much on the subject from Catholic, Celtic and Orthodox sources. But strangely there is often very little that addresses the Bible as a source of spirituality. He notes that for many, a good evangelical grounding in the scriptures is considered a solid first-step in life, but then people must pursue spiritual maturity in a different context – catholic, celtic, orthodox, charismatic or whatever. Surely something isn’t right when people don’t look to the Bible as the resource for spirituality?
God has spoken. We are to have open ears to hear and a heart to obey. We are transformed by trust in His Word. We respond to Him using His Word, we praise Him according to it and we speak it to others. We have life now and hope for forever, all because of His Word. As Jesus said, “Sanctify them in the truth . . . Your Word is truth.” (Jn.17) The Bible is the preeminent tool in the Holy Spirit’s repertoire for our growth in spirituality.
As John Donne once wrote, “The Scriptures are God’s Voyce; The Church is his Echo.” If we as preachers of the Word are not absolutely clear that the Bible is central and critical for spirituality, then how will our listeners pick up on it? Certainly not from the bookshelves in bookstores, either secular or Christian. Let us preach with a clear perspective that the Scriptures must not be ignored in any quest for spirituality.
Peter Adam’s book is Hearing God’s Word: Exploring Biblical Spirituality. IVP, 2004.
Peter has responded to comments on this post.