Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Study a Book?

Someone recently asked the question, "Why are we studying a book?" They went on to say that they felt we should not study a book, but should only look at the Bible. In the most respectful of ways, I want to address that question here.

First, I'm glad that folks are hawkish about ensuring that PCC remain founded on the Bible. I believe the Bible is God's special revelation to us and is our authority on matters of faith and the practice of faith. There is nothing wrong with someone wanting to be sure we have not moved away from the Bible.

Secondly, from its earliest beginnings, the church has relied on leaders and scholars to help interpret the Bible. I have on my shelf today classics from Thomas Aquinas, Thomas a' Kempis, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Augustine, Irenaeus, and other early church leaders and thinkers. They help us put the Bible in a context closer to the original writings and see how God used scriptures in a different era.

Third, more contemporary thinkers help us apply the truths of Scripture to our setting today. We've applauded Rick Warren's interpretation of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment in his book, "The Purpose Driven Life", which we studied in the fall of 2004. We championed John Ortberg's deeply introspective work, "God is Closer Than You Think" in the fall of 2007. And we worked really hard to understand what the Bible says about doing life together as we worked through "40 Days of Community" in the fall of 2006.

Every one of these books was a deep teaching on the Bible.

Wild Goose Chase is no exception. It is a study on the Holy Spirit, rooted firmly in scripture, which is throughout the book. This book is a study on what the Bible says about how to more fully live under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Nobody objects when a couple buys a book to help them better understand what the Bible says about marriage (like Eggerichs' "Love and Respect" - a very good study on Ephesians 5). We applaud parents who read Biblically based books about how to raise their kids. We run to get books that help us live closer to the Bible's intent as better men, women, teens, employees, etc.

In the same way, that is what we do every fall. It's a fresh way to look at the Bible...but we are still looking at the Bible. I've never spoken a message that was not firmly grounded in scripture, referred to scripture and taught scripture. Never. And that is still the case in this series.

We're helping people in this series. They'll follow the Holy Spirit more closely and better understand God's will AND they will know the Bible better than ever. We'll never go wrong like that!

Hope this clears up some of the confusion.


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