Just me, the Bible and the Holy Spirit

You have read the Bible so frequently, so thoughtfully, so earnestly, so prayerfully that it comes to you without direct effort on your part where to locate a passage and you label it instinctively. And when the facts of Scripture are all in your head and heart, you can safely trust the Holy Spirit to interpret those facts, and you need not that any man teach you, and therefore the only thing to seek and to secure is to become familiar with the contents of the Word—thoroughly cognizant of all the facts of Scripture, and read them so often that you see them on the page where they occur, even with closed eyes.

–KEITH L. BROOKS, Complete Summary of the New Testament

Is this what would be called fundamentalism?

What’s very strange about this is that it’s on Biblia.com, which is “Part of a family of services from Logos Bible Software”. Isn’t the document which that quote was taken from all the reason we need not to use Bible software, especially one that has the ability to build a library of books into it?

Then it proceeds to give a summary of the Bible, which we shouldn’t need if we read it over and over with the help of the Holy Spirit and nothing else, as long as we have “seven conditions under which Bible study may be prosecuted with success”.

I’m confused.

Also see:
Spurgeon In Defense of Commentaries

12 Responses to “Just me, the Bible and the Holy Spirit”

  1. 1 Jason

    Smells fundy to me…

  2. 2 steve

    Seriously? You’re wondering if this is fundamentalism? Or are you just saying, “I’ve heard fundamentalists are weird and extreme, I’ve met a few with some strange positions, and this guy makes some weird and extreme statements, so he must be a fundamentalist?” Because there’s a LOT of logic in that line of reasoning….

    Anyone who actually wants to know about the issues surrounding fundamentalism or evangelicalism and the splinter that became New Evangelicalism (as coined at Fuller by Harold Okenga)has a near glut of fact-based historical analysis of the time and issues at hand.

    There’s so much information out there curated and supported by historians (George Marsden and David Beale to name two from two perspectives) that there’s really no excuse for intellectual sloth wrt the true nature and beliefs of fundamentalists.

    I think, especially with a following like you have here, that it’s extremely important that you understand what you’re talking about, or talk about something else.

  3. 3 Nancy

    It IS and it ISn’t…I believe it IS a fundamental of faith to want to know what God wants us to know through the scriptures. To get the whole “story” the whole “effect” of the Living Word working in us and through us we need to know the scriptures well. Paul was sooo effective for this very reason. When the Holy Spirit began working with the word that he already had hidden in his heart…He truly was like a bull dog that has a bone and wouldn’t let go! the Holy Spirit never works on His own, but with the Word of God. Without the knowledge of that Holy Spirit inspired Word…we dim the Father’s voice and many times miss it altogether.

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    Thanks steve. I’ll spend hours and hours researching every bit of information that comes into my little brain so that I won’t lead “all of my followers (I think it’s up to about 21 now) astray. Maybe I should have asked, “Isn’t this partly what fundamentalists adhere to?”

    I agree with you Nancy. I also believe we should make use of what other gifted people in the church can impart to us, but only after we have read and wrestled with things on our own, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to us through them. And like you said, with the backdrop of at least being familiar with all of it, which is why some people use reading plans. 🙂 (Referring to a previous post of yours. Just giving you a hard time in fun I hope.)

  5. 5 George

    I love the touch of irony in it all.

    We can’t settle for letting other people read their take of Scripture to us. But we can’t settle for letting our own minds dictate what Scripture is either. Humility, at the very least, should make us fear our own biases and lack of understanding.

    I’d have to go out on a limb and say that it is the person who has both poured over Scripture and the works of others who have grappled with it who will “know” it and internalize it properly. The one who simply reads and rereads will likely go no further than the assumptions they came to the text with. And that is Fundamentalism, as far as I can tell.

  6. 6 Scripture Zealot

    George, great comment. Thanks. I wouldn’t quite agree with your last sentence as I understand it, because I think the Holy Spirit could help us go further, but I know that I have done just that and have still needed outside help to clear up misconceptions because of what you say.

    But as Nancy said we need to make sure we are doing this under the guidance of the Holy Spirit which is why I read the Bible first on my own with prayer and then the outside sources, which I’m sure you would agree with. Except you’re starting with the Hebrew itself, but that would still come with prior assumptions.

    I like your Psalm 1 haiku.

  7. 7 George

    Jeff, thanks! I’m not much of a poet. But something about me likes poetry, nevertheless.

    You make a valid point. The Holy Spirit is essential to illuminate Scripture as we come to it – whether we read widely or not. Still, I would err on the side of reading widely – and I agree with your previous point about reading for yourself, and grappling with the text, before heading off to find out what the celebrity-theologian-of-the-day says.

  8. 8 Scripture Zealot

    I get inspired to write a poem about once every year or two. I’ve written quite a few Haikus though. I think I have a post around here somewhere called Christian Haiku.

    See the first two posts here:

  9. 9 Mitchell Powell

    If God intended for every sentence of the Bible to be fully comprehensible without any information from outside the text itself, he did a really poor job. What I rather suspect is that he sent us a book the central challenges of which we can generally encounter through naked reading and the counsel of our consciences, but to think that the Bible is a fully self-explanatory bucket of knowledge could lead one all sorts of confused ways.

    And will people (or maybe just steve) please accept the use of “fundamentalism” to describe excessive narrowness and over-confidence in one’s uneducated reading of the text? That’s exactly the sense the word is primarily used in these days, and to answer in a way that does not recognize that use does no one any good.

  10. 10 Scripture Zealot

    Mitchell thanks for your comment, especially the second paragraph. !

    Now as for why Logos would use this, who knows.

  11. 11 Bitsy Griffin

    You know, that quote almost sounds as if we should have no interaction over Scripture.

    I do agree that we need to thoroughly know the Word and depend on the Holy Spirit, but I’m ever so confident that the God can use others to help us understand more, think at a different level, contemplate meaning that was hidden to us.

  12. 12 Scripture Zealot

    Great comments. Best in a long time. Glad to see you here Bitsy.

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