On Borrowing Words and the Context of the Bible

Being an advocate of taking the Bible in context, I do understand when someone else’s words describe how you feel or what you have experienced. Take this quote from Dorothy Sayers book The Mind of the Maker:

…he did not mean to express the complicated emotion of impatience, relief, acceptance and forlorn hope which you experienced “at the last gasp of Love’s latest breath.” Nevertheless, he was a true prophet of your emotion, since he did express it, so that you feel the lines to have been written “for you.”

If a certain phrase in the Bible or anything else describes exactly what you want to say, then you can quote it. But that doesn’t mean your situation is part of the context of the quote. (Think about it like this: there are only so many words and certain combinations of them have been used already.) I don’t want to cheapen the Bible to a book of phrases to borrow from, so please don’t think that is what I am doing.

I am really passionate about people taking the Bible in context because I believe it has something very important to say! It tells one big specific story. That story is missed when it becomes subject to whatever a person wants to say. Many preachers I hear today are really motivational speakers that want to have the Bible’s authority sprinkled in their message.

I find it interesting that people who aren’t even followers of Christ still want the Bible to back up what they want to believe. If you don’t believe the Bible, then just don’t believe it. Why try and make it say something it doesn’t to win an argument over someone who does?


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