What Was God Thinking
Two weeks ago I got a call from a good friend of mine with a question. He told me he was having a discussion with someone when he asked him the question, "Why do you think God stopped with what we now call the Bible?" The question intrigued my friend enough to call me and ask me what I thought might have been on God's mind when He inspired the completion of the canon. Usually when someone asks me to hypothesize on God's thought process I start by pointing out the fact that we are on very shaky ground when we begin to pretend to know what might be God's motivation. I mean, I know there is much in scripture which illuminates for us God's thoughts, ideas and motivations but once we move beyond the stuff explicitly explained in His word we really are just taking a shot in the dark. When the Bible says, "God's way are higher than our ways" it is as close to an understatement as anything I have probably ever read. The difference between the reasoning abilities of a 2 year old child and his father is probably not as wide a chasm as the distance between my abilities and that of my heavenly Father's. But the more I thought about it the more it seemed clear to me that the answer was probably quite simple: He gave us all he felt we needed to have.
As I think about it, this is especially true when we realize that the church now exists in a time when the Holy Spirit has been given to teach and guide us into God's truth. You see God is still inspiring and speaking to His people in the same way He inspired and spoke to the authors of His word and the voice of the Spirit is not anymore or less true then the voice of the Spirit that spoke the words that we find in the canon of scripture. I know this on the surface may make some people uncomfortable but let me clarify by stating clearly that any word spoken by the Spirit to us today must fall in accordance with His words revealed by the Bible. But I wouldn't say one is necessarily more authoritative, the Spirit's truth is the Spirit's truth in any form, it is just important that we realize that the Spirit will never contradict Himself. Since we are convinced of the truth of God's word, as revealed in scripture, it then becomes the measuring stick by which any modern revelation must be judged.
This really to me has been one of the encouraging messages that I have been getting from our study in the book of Acts; God, by sending His Holy Spirit has endeavored to maintain a continuing dialogue with us, His church. To me, that's good stuff.