Believe in the Bible or Believe in the Christ?

In his crisp book, Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God, Timothy Ward points out that the suggestion that “Christians are not those who believe in the Bible, but those who believe in Christ” (so saith John Barton) forces “a false dichotomy on us. We do not have to choose between ‘believing in the Bible and ‘believing in Christ. As Christians we are called on to do both” (Ward, Words of Life, 11).

Ward seeks “to articulate, explain and defend what we are really saying when we proclaim, as we must, that the Bible is God’s Word.” He is “attempting to describe the nature of the relationship between God and Scripture” (11), and explains that:

“the kind of doctrine of Scripture this book will outline is one that aims to demonstrate that its every aspect is shaped from the bottom up by the character and actions of God, and is integrally related to God’s being and action, yet without the inert book coming to eclipse the living Saviour” (17).

I had a great time getting to know Tim Ward in the Grand Canyon, and I’m really enjoying hearing his voice in my head as I read his book. I wish I had read it earlier so I could have put it on my hermeneutics syllabus for this fall. I commend it to you.


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