Recently, Tom Lyon wrote an article for The Banner of Truth magazine entitled “Our Posture Before the Word of God.” As preachers who spend time studying God’s Word, it would be wise to remind ourselves of these principles. Equally, as preachers who preach to people who also may be spending time in the Bible and may also be tempted to twist its teaching for a personal agenda, it would be wise to convey these attitudes in how we handle Scripture before them.
1. If I find something with which I cannot agree, I am wrong.
2. If I find something which I cannot understand, I am wrong to judge it on that account. A quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “You have a very small brain and you have a very poor spirit within you; do not be surprised that you cannot understand.”
3. If I find something which would contradict the clear teaching of Scripture elsewhere, I cannot be right.
4. If I find something which would slander the revealed character of God, I am certainly wrong.
5. If I find something which brings up an apparent contradiction, I am wrong not to face it squarely.
6. If I find something which leads to a summary principle, I am wrong if I do not follow it to its conclusion.
7. If I find something which disturbs my settled convictions, I am wrong to dismiss it on that account.
8. If I find something which calls for decisive action and I remain inert, I am fatally wrong.
9. If I find something which I dare not follow in its practical drift, I am destructively wrong.
10. If I find something which others blush to admit or struggle to avoid, I am unwise to follow them at that point. A quote from Calvin: “The delicacy of those who affect an appearance of greater prudence than the Holy Spirit in removing or resolving difficulties, is quite intolerable.”
11. If I find something upon which popular religion frowns, I may presume I am on the right track. C.H. Spurgeon quote: “Be assured there is nothing new in theology except that which is false.”
12. If I find something which would tend to humble man and glorify God, I am most probably right.
I quote the list as it is, perhaps wanting to add an extra qualifier here and there (such as #11 – not everything old is right, of course). But I’ll leave the list as it is.
One thought on “Our Posture Before the Bible”
Love it! Especially the LLoyd-Jones quote in #2, well worth remembering that when preparing to preach a difficult passage.