Posted by: alisonwalley | 27 September 2009

Fundamentals

No, not a post about ‘Fundamentalists’. Fundamentals are the basics. With many subjects, you would move on from the basics once you’ve grasped them: If you do maths, you don’t have to revisit counting every time to move to a new subject; if you play the piano, you don’t generally have to remind yourself which key is which note once you’ve mastered that. But with other things, you have to keep reminding yourself of the fundamentals, the basics, the foundation.

My first job straight out of university was with IFES, in their international office. About three weeks after I started they sent me to their General Committee, a four-yearly meeting of representatives from all the constituent student movements. The point of this story is not how amazing it was to meet with other Christians from all over the world or the fantastic setting at a castle in Austria, but one of the papers that was produced for the conference.

What this paper was called I don’t remember, but I do know it was on the importance of the Bible and focused on Paul’s words to Timothy:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, TNIV).

Maybe this is why I’m so convinced about the importance of reading and studying the Bible. That conference is where I realised that the Bible is able to “thoroughly” equip us to do the good works for which God created us in Christ (Ephesians 2:10). We don’t need other books to tell us that. Commentaries and expositions and sermons and Bible-reading notes and the like are great, but in the end it comes down to this: it’s the Bible which is God’s word to us. So, the better we know it, the more we know what God wants, and the more we’re equipped to live as he wants. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Paul says (Romans 12:2), and the way we get our mind transformed is through God’s word.

I originally started this blog about six months ago, but never posted it because other things got in the way. So here it is now to remind myself that we need to keep going back to the basics.

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