Written by cycleguy on November 10th, 2015

So…I have a question for you to think about.

And I will say right up front this is mostly focused on those who attend church and have a reasonable idea of what they are looking for when they do.

For as long as I can remember, the tradition I grew up in would say things like “We preach the Bible here.” “We are a church which preaches the Bible and nothing else” (as opposed to any creed). “We are a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church.”  (Let’s hope so).

I now wonder if perhaps those are the wrong things to say. Say what?

I wonder if we have put so much emphasis on “Bible-preaching church” that we have almost made an idol of the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. (Go here and read the fourth statement. Those are my words in print). But I can remember from my teen years being told we are not to worship the Bible but the God/Author of the Bible.

So…here’s my question: Which is better to say: “We are a Jesus-centered church or a Bible-centered church?”

What do you think?


17 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    I guess that I have heard churches advertise themselves as “Bible-centered”, but I never really thought that this implied folks actually worshipped a the Bible or treated it as an idol. It just took it to mean that they believe in the truths contained within the book. But, it might be that if you are going to use a catch phrase to describe your church, that putting Jesus front and center is a better way to go.

  2. Jeff says:

    To highlight the son and leave out the father seems like a slight to the father. Given the father’s propensity for extreme masochistic results when he is perturbed, I would just say Bible-centered to be safe.

    • cycleguy says:

      i don’t see it as a slight. While jesus said, “I and the Father are one” and “I do what the Father wants” He also had free will to choose His actions. He was not a puppet. I would also disagree with the extreme masochistic tendencies comment.

  3. I would say we don’t emphasize one over the other. We say Jesus centered and Bible centered. I have seen people place such an emphasis on the Bibke that they have it sit on top of all books in a stack. I think it really depends on the context.

    BTW, can you email me? I seem to have lost all of my contact info for you.

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    We never lose with an emphasis on relationship.

    For we’re all longing for someone to care about who we are and what we bring to the table …

  5. Deb Wolf says:

    I think we’d better saying we are Jesus-followers/Jesus-centered. We need to add that we know Jesus through the Bible and the power of the Spirit, but definitely keep the focus on Jesus.

  6. It is of utmost importance that a church stay grounded in Scripture, and not sugar-coat the message. But we can preach and teach all the Bible verses, and still not show others the love and forgiveness there is to be found in Jesus. Words are empty unless action is there.
    It’s quite the tightrope, Bill.

  7. Ed says:

    I’d rather have Bible-Centered church than a Jesus-Centered Church.
    Because truthfully, too many people still look to Jesus as
    All love, all the time
    All forgiving, all of the time
    All accepting, all of the time
    All gracious, all of the time
    What’s the problem? Simple:
    Time is NOT infinite.
    Time eventually runs out.
    If we are caught in a very sinful act at the end of time…Jesus won’t be so forgiving, accepting, nor gracious especially if we knew we should have been ready, obedient, and watchful.
    Hell is mentioned throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.
    But Jesus has been made out to be a Hippie, which is not true.
    As Jeff said…you cannot separate the Father and the Son.

    • cycleguy says:

      The other side of the issue is people look at the Bible as nothing but myths and fairy tales. That leaves no moorings. I would question some of what you said, but I also don’t agree with Jeff. While Jesus said “I and the Father are one” He also had the free will to act on His own.

  8. SusanP says:

    How can you not have them both?

  9. Rodney Olsen says:

    I see the dilemma. Highlighting Bible centredness may lead some to think you’re just following the Bible as some kind of rule book. (Which I kn ow is not the case.) Highlighting Jesus centredness may lead some to say, and we’ve all heard it, “It think Jesus would …..”.

    How do we communicate that we are centred on relationship with Jesus as informed through the Bible?