A lot of attention is being payed right now (and rightly so) to the Bible as the source for Christian authority, thanks (in part) to Phyllis Tickle's book/conference "The Great Emergence". It's possible, in my mind, that the greatest contribution that Tickle's work will have on current church conversation is her providing a language for and permission to question the reformation insistence on Sola Scriptura, Scriptura Sola (which of course, many people have been doing for a long time).
A very good friend of mine made an offhand comment to me last night that got my mind whirling on this. They said, "it drives me crazy when someone calls themselves a Christian and yet is willing to throw out whole parts of the Bible".
Now, I actually agree with this friend, that sorta bugs me too. I am no biblical inherentest (sp?), but I do believe that the whole Bible is Canon, and that the whole Bible is the cherished book of the community and that the whole Bible is "inspired" -- though what that means is, I think, somewhat up for grabs. And that therefore the whole Bible needs to be read seriously and with attention to what it is trying to say to us.
However, the thing that struck me as odd, though not surprising, is that my friend equates a belief in scripture with being a Christian. And don't we all. But isn't that kinda weird? I mean are we Christians because we believe in the Bible? Or are we Christians because we have had an encounter with the living Christ? And is that the question that is really at the heart of the matter? In what do we believe?
I don't believe in Christ because I believe in the Bible.
I love the Bible, but I love the Bible because I believe in Christ. And because I believe in Christ I cherish the accounts of his life, I am fascinated by the stories of his father/God and I want to absorb the wisdom of those that first believed in him.
I do believe in the Bible, but I believe in it as a source (among others) that points me to the thing in which I truly believe, that is Christ.