Wengert is professor of the history of Christianity, the Lutheran Seminary at Philadelphia.
The televangelist intones, "The Bible says.." The two strangers at the door are equally intent, quoting verses about whether to worship on Saturday or Sunday, whether your baptism as an infant was valid, whether only men should be public leaders in the church. The Bible is God's word and is authoritative, but how can a person be sure it applies to them?
One important question to ask, especially when dealing with its rules and regulations, is whether a particular passage applies to us in the present. Some may question whether we have the right to pick-and-choose one Bible passage over another.
And yet, we know from the story of Jesus that people who are deeply immersed in Scripture may follow all the rules â and miss the point.
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