Waller: Inspiration of Scripture
Ryan Waller (email)
In yesterday’s sermon, I used the image of Jacob and God wrestling through the night as a way to see our own engagement with scripture. In the struggle Jacob learned truth not only about God but also himself, in that God gave him a new name. I believe that today, when we approach scripture, we too can expect God to enlighten us if we read Scripture with faith and humility. But this result must be paired with an expectation that God didn’t just breath out scripture once, but that he never stopped breathing, never stopped inspiring.
There’s a great story about the novelist Walker Percy and his response to a journalist who asked how he could maintain his Christian faith in the modern world. Percy answered, “Well, what else is there?”
The interviewer rattled off the myriad of options: Humanism. Atheism. Marxism. Behaviorism.
To which Percy replied, “That’s what I mean. This life is too much trouble to arrive at the end and then be asked what you make of it and have to answer, ‘Scientific Humanism.’ That won’t do. Life is a mystery, love is a delight. Therefore I take it as axiomatic that one should settle for nothing less than the infinite mystery and the infinite delight, i.e., God. In fact I demand it.” Percy added, “I don’t see why anyone should settle for less than Jacob, who actually grabbed aholt of God and would not let go until God identified himself and blessed him.”
I couldn’t agree more. The Bible isn’t some inspired piece of art we should gawk at in a museum. It’s nothing less than the Living Word of God we can delve into, wrestle with, and find truth. May we today be as bold as Jacob long ago.