Eat This Book
I want to counter this widespread practice of taking personal experience instead of the Bible as the authority for living.
I want to pull the Christian Scriptures back from the margins of the contemporary imagination where they have been so rudely elbowed by their glamorous competitors, and reestablish them at the center as the text for living the Christian life deeply and well.
I want to confront and expose this replacement of the authoritative Bible by the authoritative self.
I want to place personal experience under the authority of the Bible and not over it.
I want to set the Bible before us as the text by which we live our lives, this text that stands in such sturdy contrast to the potpourri of
- religious psychology,
- mystical experimentation, and
devotional dilettantism (a dabbling with the things of God in a superficial way) that has come to characterize so much of what takes cover under the umbrella of “spirituality.”-Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book
In one of our staff development classes, Bishop Juray Mora spoke about how we have the tendency as Christians to make the word of God adjust to our situation rather than we adjusting to the Word of God.
With the influence of self-help thinking and “the world revolves around me” teachings (like the law of attraction, name it and claim it), we have – in some degree treated the Scripture in the same manner.
We have a tendency to let the Word of God adjust to our situation. We want Christ to answer our prayers in our way and our time.
The word of God is sacred. It is with reverence I read and preach it. We have to see Scripture in light of Christ’s love and lordship.
For the Word to have its full effect on me, I need to put the Scripture above my experiences. I have to filter everything, and I mean everything, in light of God’s word and not human philosophies or best-selling authors or contemporary thinkers no matter how eloquent and deep they are.
Authors note: I have been thoroughly enjoying the book of Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book, which I highly recommend every pastor and preacher to read. It is life-changing!