Canon: The Blend of Natural and Supernatural

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 29, 2012 0 comments

God loves to blend the natural with the supernatural. Examples of this are all throughout the Bible, human history, and even our present society. Whether to view specific things as natural or supernatural is more of a personal choice than anything else. We are so accustomed to being drawn to the "big" and "obvious" miracles that we often fail to see God's supernatural work in everyday life. In our eyes, the supernatural has become the natural. Every day, meteorologists on TV tell us approximately what the weather conditions will be, what the high and low temperatures will be, and what times the sun will rise and set. We pay attention to these things and admire those who study them, but we rarely think about how it all came to be. Scientists have said that if the earth were any closer to the sun, it would burn up; if it were any farther away, it would freeze. Christians point to this reality as evidence that God supernaturally designed the order of the universe to serve His purposes. However, the fact that science has helped us understand some of the finite details of these events has caused us to view them as "natural". The downside of gaining knowledge about how things works naturally is that it minimizes the fact that the "natural order" of things was set up supernaturally!

As I wrote at the start, God works both within our understanding and beyond it. This is consistent with God's character. Remember, God is love and He certainly wants to involve those He loves (all of creation) in His work. Could God accomplish everything He wants to do without us? Of course! Yet, He chooses to grant us the ability to understand certain things so that we can participate in the supernatural with Him.

At this point, you are likely wondering how this could possibly relate to our word for this week - CANON. I know that some of you listen to the weekly radio show called Do Not Keep Silent which includes Jason DeZurik, Katie Erickson, and myself among others. This past Sunday night, Jason and Katie were discussing how the books of the Bible that we have today were chosen to be part of the "canon", or the most widely accepted collection of writings by the Church. On the show, Katie mentioned that the two main characteristics that the early church fathers were looking for in choosing the books of the Bible were divine inspiration and human authorship. In other words, for a work to be considered for acceptance into the canon, it had to have reference to a human writer and evidence that said writer was guided by the Holy Spirit in his/her writing. Yet another way of putting it would be that the work is a blend of both the natural and the supernatural!

We must understand that God can only reveal so much of Himself to us without us being completely overwhelmed, and possibly even destroyed. For those who wonder why so many things about God must remain a mystery, the reality is that the human finite mind cannot comprehend an infinite God. For those who simply wish God would just DO everything and somehow physically write the words down on paper Himself so that there is no question what came directly from God and what didn't, that simply would not be consistent with God's character. He longs to involve us because He loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. You can't be in relationship with the one you do everything for or the one who does everything for you. Was there possibly human error in the copying down of scripture? Absolutely, it is possible. But that is why we must worship Jesus Christ as "the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14). While Scripture reveals some of the mystery of God, it is the Holy Spirit that "will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit came to us so that we could have "the Word", which is Christ, dwell within us long after he physically left this earth. Jesus Christ was the only PERFECT blend of the natural and the supernatural that there ever was or ever will be. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). This doesn't mean we don't study and pay attention to Scripture. It does mean that whatever we think about Scripture, whether it be the books considered canon or the books that "didn't make the cut", must come under submission to the authority of "the Word that became flesh" - Jesus Christ. While it is possible that human error has tainted Scripture, it is NOT possible that it tainted the true Word, which became flesh, blending the natural and supernatural together perfectly!