Tuesday, July 5, 2016

MemeHeresy: Christine Caine's nudges & whispers from God; Visual Theology: picture of unified scripture




In our ongoing series #MemeHeresies (originated by Jessica Pickowicz at Beautiful Thing), we have here a tweet from Chirstine Caine. She asserted that we should never ignore a nudge or whisper from God. This might seem Chrisitany-y or even possible and hopefully true. But it's not. First, the canon of the Bible is closed. That means God is not speaking directly to people today. If He was, then every whisper would have to be written down and obeyed, because God had spoken. Secondly, nudges do exist. We are led by the Holy Spirit every day. How or when is not detectable by us however and definitely not when it is happening. It's called Providence.
Providence is the means by which God directs all things — both animate and inanimate, seen and unseen, good and evil — toward a worthy purpose, which means His will must finally prevail. Or as the psalmist said, "his kingdom ruleth over all" (Psalm 103:19). In Ephesians 1:11 Paul tells us that God "worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." (~J. Vernon McGee "Providence is the Hand of God)
Are we aware of when we are being led by the Spirit at the time it is happening? No. Therefore we cannot accept or ignore a "nudge" because we can never tell if the "nudge" is our own conscience, our deceitful heart, gas from lunch, or just a personal desire. Relying on nudges and whispers is dangerous because one can never positively detect from whence it comes.

The only absolute is the Bible. The only sure command comes from the pages of God's word. Therefore, I put on the right side of the meme-busting photo, Sanctify them in the Truth - Your word is truth from John 17:17. God's word clearly written and opened to your mind by the Spirit is so much better then relying on nebulous nudges and wobbly whispers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I love visuals. It's one of the reasons I like the meme-busting photos such as the one above, the scripture photos I create, and visual theology. Here is a fabulous new visual from George H Guthrie.
A few years ago, Lutheran pastor Christoph Römhild emailed Chris Harrison, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, for help on coming up with a visual representation of the over 63,000 cross-references in the Bible. They produced the multi-colored arc diagram in the header of this post. The image, a digital rendering of all the cross-references in the Bible, has a bar graph along the bottom representing books, chapters, and verses. The various colors represent the distance between the verses in a particular cross-reference.


Please go to the link to see what we can learn from this visual!! For example:
First, Scripture is beautifully unified.
The cross-references tell us that the Bible is a beautifully rendered tapestry rather than a chaotic patchwork quilt. Consider the fact that the books of the Bible were written in 3 languages (Hebrew, Greek, and a bit of Aramaic), over a millennium and a half, in a variety of types of literature, by about 40 different people, who lived in sometimes radically different cultures and across a geographical chunk of the world that spans about 2,500 miles...
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a scripture photo I created for today's Facebook posting.


Enjoy the day! High summer is here

You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter. (Psalm 74:17)


2 comments :

  1. Thank you, Elizabeth, for posting this. Your statement about the Holy Spirit's nudgings was the most succinctly put statement I have read on this subject. My church has been sucked into this concept that God speaks to each one of us and we simply need to learn to hear His voice. I can tell you that this teaching causes great confusion to those who are less mature in the faith. Funny how in the Old Testament when God spoke to Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc, they never once had to stop and evaluate if they were hearing from God, the devil, or their flesh. They knew immediately who it was. The problem in the church today is that people use the term, "God told me" for every little thing they feel, imagine, or think. Personally, I get very weary of it all. I was counseling a woman just last week who was telling me of her confusion. I told her that if she definitely wanted to hear God's voice to read her Bible every day. Then there is no doubt.

    God bless you, Elizabeth, and keep up the great work you do through this blog.

    -Tammy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are kindly welcome. Thank you for your great comment about how the Patriarchs knew who it was speaking to them and that today's churchgoer attributes to God every little mind-whisper they think they hear. Good one!

      Delete