A Copernican Revolution of the Word
Wikipedia describes the Copernican Revolution:
The Copernican Revolution refers to the paradigm shift away from the Ptolemaic model of the heavens, which postulated the Earth at the center of the galaxy, towards the heliocentric model with the Sun at the center of our Solar System. It was one of the starting points of the Scientific Revolution of the 16th century.
We no longer see the earth as the center of the galaxy. It’s time to move away from us seeing our lives at the center of things as well. It’s time for a Copernican Revolution of the Word.
I remember at one time thinking that we need to make the Bible relevant to our lives. I can see how one might think this. The Bible was written a long time ago and far away, and its relevance to our lives isn’t always evident at first.
The danger in this way of thinking, though, is that it demands that the Bible spin in orbit around our lives. This view puts us at the center. It’s far better to put God and His Word at the center, and to demand that our lives spin in orbit around Him.
Try reading Job 38 or Isaiah 40 and ask yourself whether God needs to become relevant to us, or whether we have things completely backwards.
The Bible is already relevant. We demonstrate its relevance, but we don’t make it relevant. If anything needs to be made relevant, it’s our lives.
Kim Fabricius writes:
For many people, God is a god who answers my questions, satisfies my desires and supports my interests. A user-friendly god you can access and download at the push of a prayer-key, a god you can file and recall when you need him (which gives “Save As” a whole new meaning!). A utility deity for a can-do culture. Evangelism becomes a form of marketing, and the gospel is reduced to a religious commodity.
The real God is altogether different. He is not a useful, get-it, fix-it god. He is not “relevant”, he is the measure of relevance. Indeed best think of God as good for nothing and totally unnecessary, playful rather than practical – and whose game is hide-and-seek: “such a fast / God,” as the poet R. S. Thomas puts it, “always before us and / leaving as we arrive.” The Bible speaks of God as a desert wind, too hot to handle, too quick to catch. A God who is only ever pinned down – on the cross.
I like that. God is not relevant, he is the measure of relevance.
It’s time for a Copernican Revolution of the Word that puts us in our place in orbit around God and His Word in our lives, our churches, and our preaching.