The Bible Is NOT Authority.

Okay I’m so glad the title got you here.

But before I get lynched for heresy, please allow me to explain myself.

When it comes to discipleship, growing, sanctification, and discovering ultimate Truth – the Bible IS the authority. Hands down.

Let me digress for one moment with an illustration: Imagine a blended family in which a child looks at his new step-dad trying to give guidance and yells, “You’re not my dad!” In this instance, the step-father has authority, but he doesn’t have authority. The new son doesn’t recognize it yet. The father yelling back, “I am too your father now do what I say!” isn’t really going to help anything. The child needs a relationship with the (step)-Father first before he’ll recognize his authority. Okay now back to the Bible thing . . .

What about when we are sharing Christ to someone that doesn’t believe the Bible? It used to be that Billy Graham could preach an evangelistic message and constantly say, “The Bible says …, The Bible says …” and people came in droves to get saved. The Bible held authority to them (they grew up saying it in school, for crying out loud). But that doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. We’re beginning to work with a post-Christian society that doesn’t give a hoot what the Bible says.

If we expect our unsaved friends to accept Jesus we need to speak to them with authority they’ll recognize – our experience. Our experience with God — how God has changed us — that’s authority to our friends that ignore what the Bible says. It’s pretty hard to argue your experience. Share it with someone!

Once you’ve shared your experience and your friends are interested in more, bust out the Bible. 😀 Through the authority of your first-hand experience, they’ll be more willing to accept what you place authority in. And just like a step-father and son, once there is a personal relationship, it will be much easier to rely on the authority of Scripture.

Once again, for the record, I am in no way saying that the Bible is not the authority for Christians. It absolutely is. The title of this blog was intentionally misleading. I feel a little bit bad for that … but not too much because it did get you to read this all the way through. 😉

7 Replies to “The Bible Is NOT Authority.”

  1. Adam, Thank you for your blog. I have been saying this for years. Thanks to this later form of modernism/postmodernism, it has given us our experience and testimony back. We should be ready to speak what the Lord has done in our lives, but at the same time be ready to hear what is gong on in the lives of those we share with.

    I was not misled my your title, I knew better, but I certainly had to see what you were saying.

    Keep up the good work, and keep reading Piper!


  2. As I read this I immediately thought of Bob Smith, guest speaker at New Hope a couple of weeks ago and Director of Fort Wayne School of Urban Ministry. He told a story of helping a man change a tire and the man asked him why he stopped to help. He told the man that he wouldn’t have under normal circumstances, but that his life had been changed by Jesus and that gave him the power to do things he wouldn’t normally do. (paraphrasing here). He could have quoted a scripture or pulled his Bible out, but he didn’t. He went right for the personal connection that the man could never argue with. And I bet that guy will never forget it. I got a copy of that message for that section alone. I’m always searching for the right thing to say in those situations, and I love how he did it. He said that people need Jesus. They need the Word and we can give that to them too, but we have to give Jesus first.

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