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Pastor to Pastor

The Importance of Scripture (1)

It must live in you if it is to live through you.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… Colossians 3.16

The Christian Ministry: Part I, chapter VII
Charles Bridges (1794-1869)
“In the hidden book of Scripture, and no where else, are opened the secrets of the more sacred wisdom. Whatever is not drawn from them – whatever is not built upon them – whatever does not most exactly accord with them – however it may recommend itself by the appearance of the most sublime wisdom, or rest upon ancient tradition, consent of learned men, or the weight of plausible argument – is vain, futile, and in short, a very lie. ‘To the law and to the testimony. If anyone speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.’”

The minister must be, in the first place, a man of God’s Word; and he must strive to conduct all his ministry according to the Word of God. Ideas, examples, programs, positions, and schemes fly at the minister every day, recommending themselves as “the next big thing” or “the reasonable thing to believe.” But if it is not in line with the Word of God, it is, “in short, a very lie.” The temptation is great to give in to a hermeneutic of convenience, in which an idea that seems to make sense, or that is current in the world, becomes the key for interpreting all of Scripture. As Bonhoeffer pointed out (The Cost of Discipleship), even grace can become a false hermeneutical norm when, taking it as our key, we force the Word of God to comply with our ideas of what love requires. Let us not fail to teach all the counsel of God, brothers, and let us not go beyond whatever the Word teaches.

What is your practice in letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly? How do you bring the guidance of God’s Word to your ministry?

T. M. Moore

A Hermeneutic of Convenience
C. S. Lewis wrote, “The right defence against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments.” And the right defense against a false hermeneutic of convenience is, first, to recognize how it operates and, second, to follow sound hermeneutical practices. Our brief study Scripture Twisting exposes the temptation to yield to a hermeneutic of convenience. Write to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll send you a free PDF copy. And our workbook Text to Transformation provides a refresher on the work of Biblical interpretation. Our course Introduction to Biblical Theology will help you to see the overall covenantal framework for a right understanding of Scripture. It’s available free online, to study on your own schedule and at your own pace, by clicking here.

Fan into Flame
As shepherds of the Lord’s flocks, we need to make sure we’re actually doing the work God has appointed to us, especially where the Word of God is concerned. Our handbook, Fan into Flame, provides a concise overview of the shepherd’s ministry of the Word, and includes helpful self-evaluation tools, so you can discover areas of needed improvement. Order your copy by clicking here.

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Your prayers and gifts make this ministry possible. Please seek the Lord in prayer about sharing with us at The Fellowship of Ailbe. You can use the Contribute button at the website, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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