The Word of Life

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us..that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you…” (1 John 1:1-3 ESV)

In a world full of competing world views, philosophies, and religions, Christianity is sometimes lumped together as just one more point of view set forth in a world full of ideas. Even Christians sometimes fall into this trap. We walk around touting the superiority of our religion like we’re sports fans who follow the winning team. I think we sometimes forget though, the Bible isn’t simply a book touting a particular way in which to see the world…though I suppose this is part of it. The Bible isn’t simply a book that poses one more theory of how the world works best…though this too is part of it.

The Bible isn’t simply a book of ideas about the world around us…The Bible is a book about a person. The Apostle John makes that clear in the first 3 verses his first epistle. The Apostle John goes out of his way to explain that he saw Jesus with his eyes, he heard Jesus with his ears, he touched Jesus with his hands.

John wasn’t just putting forth ideas and philosophies…John was talking about a real person at a real place and time who accomplished a real salvation for a really sinful people. John wasn’t arguing logic…John was talking about life. Life made manifest amongst us in the person of Jesus Christ. God who took on human flesh, who lived and walked amongst us…

The Bible isn’t some abstract book of principles. The Bible is a a history book about a historical person. The Bible is a book about Jesus. The Bible is a book about life.

Those of us today who find ourselves talking about the Bible, and proclaiming the beauties of Christ can’t say as John did that we’ve physically seen Christ or touched Him. But we can testify to the very real life that he’s given us. We mustn’t fall into the trap of simply arguing ideas and logic. We’ve never beheld the incarnation of Christ with our eyes, but through the testimony of the Scriptures and the miraculous work of the Spirit, the life of Jesus is manifested in us…and in a very real way Jesus is incarnated in our lives. Through us, the body of Christ, the life of Jesus is given flesh and blood to do his work and proclaim his Gospel…

To be continued…

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4 comments

  1. Hi Chris,

    I’ve decided to finally engage you in some dialog on your religious thoughts. Please don’t take what follows as trolling or as belligerent in any way. It is not meant to be. It’s just that you pepper my Facebook feed daily with Bible verses and religious thoughts, so I thought it was time for some fair pushback 😉

    As I think you know, a few years ago I realized I was no longer a theistic believer. It’s a long story, of course, but basically the cognitive dissonance caused by claims such as those made in this post became too much, and I found that I could no longer live as an honest person and maintain my religious beliefs.

    At the conclusion of this post you make an attempt to do an end run around “ideas and logic,” proclaiming them to be a trap. Woah, hold on there. With no disrespect intended, I have to bluntly challenge you on your right to just willy-nilly dismiss that which enables and justifies virtually everything you depend upon to exist on a daily basis.

    So you admit that you must put your religious belief in some category that is supposedly beyond “ideas and logic.” Fine. I’m glad you at least admit that. But then on what possible basis do you proclaim it as a system that I ought to consider and adopt? What more justification do you provide for me to drag my sorry ass back into your religion than does the person who tells me I ought to believe that he communicates with aliens, just because in his heart he knows it’s true?

    1. Hi Mark, thanks for the comment. I have no desire to get involved in a lengthy debate here on the blog. I do want to clarify something though. I never said that religious beliefs ought to be devoid of ‘logic’ nor that the bible does not contain both ideas and logic. Every thing mentioned in this post, the bible contains. The point of this post was to get people to see they can’t simplify the bible to be ONLY about these things. I think most of us, Christians included, even myself at times fall into a trap of taking to narrow a view of scripture, which leads to too narrow a view of Jesus.

      So, I wish you would bring your sorry ass back to Christianity not because it is the best idea, worldview, way to do life…but because you see your need for Jesus and get a glimpse of how beautiful HE is. So, in essence, the thing that brought my sorry ass to faith, is what I would hope would bring your sorry ass back.

      1. I could reply, but your first response was “I have no desire to get involved in a lengthy debate.” So it seems pointless. Why have comments enabled then? Just for people to say they agree with you?

        The inability and unwillingness of most Christians to engage honestly at an intellectual level about the basis of their faith was one of many things that caused the cognitive dissonance that led to my leaving the faith.

        I can’t glimpse “how beautiful” someone is who most likely does not exist. You have no desire to share with me anything beyond a testimony of personal, subjective experience, so I guess there is nothing more to be said here. Sorry to have wasted your time.

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