Monday, July 18, 2011

Studying the Bible with Humility

During our vacation last month, my family and I visited Redeemer Community Church, a nondenominational Bible church in Little Rock, Arkansas. I have been listening to their minister Bob Lepine's online sermons and reading his blog for some time now. Although we were unable to meet Mr. Lepine during our visit since he was away on vacation at the same time, we enjoyed our time with the church. Our son Christopher loved it because the guest speaker was an Army chaplain.

A couple of Sundays ago, I was listening to Bob Lepine online as he was preaching through the twenty-first chapter of the Gospel of Luke, a text focusing on the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and the coming of Jesus Christ in power and glory.

In the introduction to his multi-part lesson on this text, the preacher presented the four major views of the end times: historic premillennialism, dispensational premillennialism, postmillennialism, and amillennialism. He explained that your view of the end times will influence the way you interpret Luke 21.

Then the pastor said something that I found extremely interesting. He warned the congregation to hold their views softly, with a large dose of humility, because there is a good chance that you are wrong.

He pointed out that many biblical doctrines are very clear and need to be held firmly. For example, every Christian would affirm that Jesus is the only Way to the Father. "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6). However, some biblical doctrines are less clear and more difficult to understand. Bob Lepine reminded the church that whether they chose to believe the historic premillennial view, the dispensational premillennial view, the postmillennial view, or the amillennial view, they had a 75% chance of being wrong. However, that is not an excuse to ignore difficult passages in the Bible. Mr. Lepine encouraged the assembly to wrestle with such passages, but to do so with humility.

I had not thought of it in such a way before, but I found Bob Lepine's advice to be wise. We should hold on to clear biblical teachings firmly, but hold on to less clear understandings of the Bible softly. We may be wrong, and we need to be open to correction.


Denise J. Hughes said...

"To hold our views softly ... and with humility" - especially in regards to those less-clear passages in the Bible - is such great advice.

Terry Laudett said...

I thought it was great, too. Thanks for your comments, D.J.!

Carole in the UK said...

Terry you are so right,

'We should hold on to clear biblical teachings firmly, but hold on to less clear understandings of the Bible softly.

This has given me food for thought, it is clearly a more Godly way of dealing with some teachings that we hear and with discernment, know it is not quite right.

It is always best to read the Bible with humility and with the expectancy that the Holy Spirit will illuminate and help us, with those passages of scripture which we wrestle with - when we ask in prayer.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Have a blessed and fruitful weekend. <><

Terry Laudett said...

Thank you, Carole!