Tag Archive | Study

Take Your Bible To Christ

Friedrich Tischbein, Bijbellezende herder, 1775 (Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht)

When you are reading a book in a dark room, and find it difficult, you take it to a window to get more light. So take your Bible to Christ.

— Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Source: http://christianquote.com/the-bible-8/


Beginning At The Wrong End


“We must be well-grounded in plain truths and duties, and those must first be well-digested, before we dive into those things that are dark and difficult — many run themselves into confusion by beginning their Bible at the wrong end.”

– Matthew Henry

Source: sermon summary at http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=92707225222

What Is Bibliomancy?

Bible and Key Divination

Question: “What is bibliomancy?”

Answer: Bibliomancy is the practice of divination by means of a book. Generally speaking, bibliomancy involves turning to a random page in a sacred book in order to find the answer to a question posed. In ancient times, the works of Homer and Virgil were used. Now, bibliomancy often refers to fortune-telling by means of the Bible. But, by no means is the Bible the only book sometimes used in bibliomancy. Other books sometimes used are the I Ching, the Mahabharata, and the Qur’an. The process of bibliomancy involves asking a clear question, opening the book to a random page, and trailing a finger in slow circles until “the spirit” says to stop. The verse where the questioner’s finger points supposedly contains the answer.

The story is told of a man who wanted to find out what God had for his future, so he closed his eyes, opened the Bible randomly, and stuck his finger on the page. He opened his eyes and read Matthew 27:5, “Judas . . . went away and hanged himself.” Not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time, his finger landed on Luke 10:37, “Go and do likewise.” Again, not liking that answer, the man tried again. This time his finger landed on John 13:27, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

All joking aside, bibliomancy is not biblical. God’s Word condemns all forms of divination in no uncertain terms (Deuteronomy 18:10; Acts 16:16-19). Occult practices are not made less evil simply because the Bible is being used in the process. Yes, God speaks to us through His Word. Yes, God leads us to specific Bible verses that will speak to us in a time of need. Yes, God sometimes causes us to stumble on a verse at precisely the time we need the message the verse contains. But God’s Word was meant to be studied, understood, and applied. We are to study God’s Word intentionally, not randomly. Ours is a reasonable faith, not one based on esoteric interpretations of random verses. Our wisdom comes from God (James 1:5).

Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/bibliomancy.html

We Become The Final Authority

Lectio Divina pt

David Helms on the danger of Lectio Divina:

“When we stop the hard work of understanding the words that the Spirit has given us and work exclusively in the “mind of the Spirit,” we become the final authority on meaning. We begin to lay down “truths” and “advice” that are biblically untenable or unsupportable. We may do so for good reasons, such as our sense of the moral health of our people or a genuine desire to renew the world we live in. But, nevertheless, we begin operating outside of orthodox doctrine. We confuse “thus sayeth the Lord” with “thus sayeth me.” We ask our congregations to trust us instead of trusting the Word.”

Source and read more: http://www.challies.com/articles/a-danger-of-lectio-divina?utm_content=bufferb9514&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

We Must Observe His Word and Works

Spanish Armada

Thomas Boston, Works, Volume 1, “Of the Providence of God”:

Whosoever would walk with God, must be due observers of the word and providence of God, for by these in a special manner he manifests himself to his people. In the one we see what he says ; in the other what he does. These are the two books that every student of holiness ought to be much conversant in. They are both written with one hand, and they should both be carefully read, by those that would have not only the name of religion, but the thing. They should be studied together, if we would profit by either ; for being taken together, they give light the one to the other ; and as it is our duty to read the word, so it is also our duty to observe the work of God, Psal. xxviii. 5.

Source: https://thepuritans2.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/thomasbostonvolume1.pdf

What Good is Such Learning?

John Knox statue, Haddington“But I did tell those learned men–and learned they are, far beyond my education–What good is such learning? I told them, if it keeps you from learning the truth of God’s Word?  Better to be simple and foolish and correct than to be learned and wise in the eyes of the world, and yet so wrong that ye are consigned to everlasting hell!”

~a fictional John Knox in Crown of Fire by Craig & Janet Parshall, page 141-142

A Conclusion Follows From What Comes Before It

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures:

Study-to-shew-thyself“Every verse beginning with the word “For” requires us to trace the connection: usually it has the force of “because,” supplying proof of a preceding statement. Likewise the expression “For this cause” and words like “wherefore and therefore” call for close attention, so that we may have before us the promise from which the conclusion is drawn. The widespread misunderstanding of 2 Corinthians 5:17, supplies an example of what happens when there is carelessness at this point. Nine times out of ten its opening “Therefore” is not quoted, and through failure to understand its meaning an entirely wrong sense is given to “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” That prefatory “therefore” indicates that this verse is not to he considered as a thing apart, complete in itself, but rather as closely connected with something foregoing. On turning back to the previous verse we find it too begins with the word “wherefore,” which at once shows that this passage is a didactic or doctrinal one, and neither a biographical one which delineates the experience of the soul nor a hortatory one calling unto the performance of some duty.”

HT and Source: https://reformedontheweb.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/how-to-tell-when-biblical-authors-are-drawing-conclusions-to-their-previous-arguments/