A lamp in a dark place

A scripture on scripture:

And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Because I’ve stopped calling myself an evangelical, I wonder what my proper response to scripture is. The author of 2 Peter locates ‘the prophetic word’ in the “voice of the Majestic Glory” which announced Jesus’s Sonship at his baptism, and in the continuing revelation of true prophecy. He also warns against false prophets, who can be known by their vomitous appeal to sensual pleasures. The author is surely right–God’s pronouncement about Jesus was a key validation of his message, ministry and sonship; the words of scripture continue to shape, direct and inform the church; God continues to talk to the church, but it’s so easy to be mislead by our own desires to interpret our own voice as the voice of God.

I can easily affirm the Mennonite Confession of Faith’s article on scripture, which I’m sure was the product of much discussion and debate. It reminds us that Jesus is the one whom the scriptures call the Word. It says that scripture is “the essential book of the church” and that it contains “what is needed for salvation, for guidance in faith and life, and for devotion to God.”

So, at the end of the day, I do know what my proper response is: look to scripture for insight into how to follow God more fully. As 2 Peter says, pay attention to it “as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts.”

About Will Fitzgerald

I work on recommendation systems and lexical resources for Wordnik.

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