The Bible and Our Life – No. 1: Holy Scripture, A Lamp Unto Our Feet


Psalm 119:97–112 2 Peter 1:16–21


The material for this series of discussion outlines is taken from a collection of essays prepared by a student club at Calvin College, and published under the title, The Bible and the Life of the Christian. (Copies are available at the Calvin College bookstore. ) The intent of this publication is to show that the Christian must work constantly to apply the teachings of Scripture to his daily efforts as a God-ordained prophet, priest and king (for this is what it means to be a Christian, Heidelberg Catechism. q. 32).

In these outlines we shall offer brief summaries or typical statements which are designed to provoke discussion. For the complete treatment of the subject please read the designated chapters in the book. (Perhaps your leader at least ought to have read this material before your society or discussion group meets.)



1– Interpreting the Bible

The Bible demands of us that we “adapt ourselves prophetically to the demands of life and let the Word of God lead us.” Sometimes we call this exegesis or exposition. This is an integral part of our Christian calling: Isaiah 8:20; 1 John 4:1; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Psalm 119:105. We are not to give Scripture an arbitrary interpretation, and we must believe that God’s Spirit qualifies us to read and interpret the Word, thus fulfilling the command of Christ, “Search the Scripture…” (John 5:39).

Discuss the matter of Bible study: How ought it to be done personally? How in association with others? With what attitude should this task be undertaken? What does it mean that Bible study is a calling rather than merely a devotional exercise? Isn’t Bible interpretation a matter for experts alone?

2 – The Bible and Church Creeds

Evaluate this statement: “…we must not allow ourselves to become enslaved under the yoke of a worldly science, nor of any science whatsoever, not even of theology, whether that be Reformed, Barthian or Liberal (Modernistic) .”

Church creeds spring from particular historical circumstances and are designed to serve the church as institute in a particular way, namely, to determine on which confession one may be admitted to the sacraments and to the offices of the church. Creeds do not make private study and application of Scripture unnecessary. And creeds do not have authority over the Word.

Discuss: Maya church prescribe a certain political platform for its members? May a church engage in science (not: may church members do so, but may the church as such busy herself with strictly scientific endeavor?).

3 – Bible Study and the Building of a World-and Life-View

“Guided by Holy Scripture, the life of faith finds in tho world of science and in that of practical affairs, in experiences in all the relationships of life and every kind of historical situation, the building materials for a world· and life-view that is truly rooted in the deepest religious ground of the heart, that is, a prophetic view of the task and place of believers in the cosmos, here and now.”

Many Christians today seem to be unaware of the need for and availability of a Christian vision and perspective in life. In short, they have no idea as to their identity and significance under God. As a result, they arc never confident with respect to the patterns and policies which they follow in life. Ask yourself: Do I really know what life ought to be and to mean for God’s child in His world?