OK. I borrowed this phrase from Rush. Rush Limbaugh, that is.
It’s a simple phrase that carries profound meaning.
Specifically, that a word holds a precise meaning. And it conveys an idea with boundaries.
A word has limitations of meaning dictated by rules of language, context, and culture.
Unlike feelings that are fuzzy, nebulous and fleeting, a word has weight and form.
Like a stone.
The Popular Words of God
This thought leads us to consider what is possibly the greatest problem facing Evangelicalism, and even Fundamentalism, today.
Which is, that the word of God, as it is popularly accepted, is up for grabs.
The word of God has reached this position, because there is no longer an accepted standard about what IT is.
One of the insane contradictory factors in this situation, is that Christians will still stand upon the belief that the word of God is divinely inspired. And they will even defend this doctrine at great cost to their own reputations.
And, Thank the Lord, that they do!
Just as every one of us should stand upon the inerrancy and accuracy of the word of God. Even while popular Evangelical leaders deny its literal accuracy. Even while denying its accuracy in the very first words of Genesis.
But, what value is it to defend the inerrancy of the words of God, when we also deny the accuracy of the underlying text?
Please, take just a moment to allow this to sink in.
Not on the Same Page
What if someone argued with us over the Bill of Rights. We both speak English. And we can only assume that we are each looking at a faithful, word-for-word, punctuation-by-punctuation-mark copy of the original.
It would be pointless to have a discussion about the meaning of the Bill of Rights unless we are both looking at the same words.
Even in our post-modern world, the political Left and the political Right argue over the meaning of this document. Or over the interpretation of the Constitution.
But imagine the lunacy of having an argument over these documents if we each were looking at different textual copies. Where the words are not the same. Where the punctuation is not the same.
Again, that would be pointless.
Now, consider the confusion when someone from another country wants to have the same discussion. Except he is working from a translation made into his own language. Regardless of how accurately that translation was made, unless both Bill of Rights copies are from the same original English text, we are wasting our time.
It is pointless to stick our necks out in an argument unless we are both on the same page. Literally.
Therefore, why do we defend the translated words of the Bible, while denying the perfect preservation of the underlying words in the Greek and Hebrew?
How is that even possible?
The Foundation Removed
To be more clear, what is more important?
Is the foundation of a house of greater importance than the house?
Because, that is what we are ignoring in Evangelicalism and much of Fundamentalism today.
We will go to great lengths to quote all kinds of translations; as if there is something noble and scholarly in that. As if there is something tolerant and wise about that practice.
As if, every translation is equal.
But that is insane.
A translation (as popular as it may become, as widely as it may be accepted, and if 999 of 1000 scholars say it is good) is of no greater value than the text upon which it is based. Regardless of all the money and time and scholarship that was poured into creating that translation.
If the foundation is corrupt, the translation is also corrupt.
And therefore, worthless.
But, much of modern Christianity does not care. They are too comfortable to search this matter out.
They are too scared to upset the applecart of mainstream Evangelicalism.
And they are unwilling to discover where the true foundation of the word of God was established and preserved.
To Be Continued . . .
Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay