Monday, October 30, 2017

II Peter 1: True Story

As a young pastor, I once found myself in hot water with a member of my congregation who objected to my reference from the pulpit to "Bible stories."

"You shouldn't call them that.  They aren't 'stories,'" said my friend angrily.  "They're true!"

I was taken aback because I had never meant to imply that the accounts weren't true.  My use of the word "stories" was merely meant to be descriptive of the narratives that we find in the Bible; it was emphatically not an indictment of them as fictional!

Occasionally we come across this same kind of angst when people confuse the biographical details of Jesus with a mere "story" as opposed to the kind of philosophical "truth" we expect to find in a religion.  In other words, can't we just believe in the truth of Jesus' message (love one another, forgive, be compassionate) without believing all the supernatural things the Bible tells us about Jesus? (i.e., His miracles, His virgin birth, His resurrection, etc.) 

After all, what's really more important - the story, or the truth?

This is a false dichotomy.  The Story is the Truth!  The Incarnation of the Son of God means that Spirit took on Flesh.  What we have in the Person of Jesus Christ is not only the Way, but also the Truth.  (And the Life, for that matter!)

II Peter 1 gives eyewitness testimony supporting this view: "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain" (vs. 16-18).

The Story is the Truth, and the Truth is the Story.

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