Everyone has a “sense of the Divine” (sensus divinatis)–we all have a natural inclination that God (or at least something beyond us) exists. Our daily Bible reading is a search for that God and a deeper relationship with him. As we enter that search, we find that we have these inclinations about God and God’s nature, our nature, and what God should expect of us and what we should expect from God. These inclinations become presuppositions (the “baggage” or personal convictions we bring to Bible study). Our Bible reading is often in competition with these presuppositions or what we think God should be. These presuppositions influence our reading of the Text and our conclusions from the Text. If our thinking has been shaped by a healthy church life and teaching, then we will be well on our way to better Bible reading and a greater relationship with God. Those parts of our thinking that are shaped by sin, secularism, and our notion of what we think God should be will distort the Text between our eyes and our brains so that we can refuse what God has said.
These presuppositions or inclinations or feelings have to be subjected to God’s Word. Our thoughts about God have to be subjected to Gods Word because we need a revelation from God (the inspired Word-2 Tim. 3:16) if we are going to know anything about God. Furthermore, we must rely on Gods Word to shape our thinking because Scripture comes from God rather than our thinking or reasoning. Our thinking is always shaped by influences from our world, the sin in our world, the sin in us, our community, our church, our lack of church, and our own natural limitations. Eastern mystical religions, religious forms of yoga and meditation, and forms of modern paganism ask their adherents to look inward for religious truth and meaning. Even if ones innermost truest truth is discovered, it will be found to be corrupt in comparison to God’s perfect holiness, unfulfilling compared to the perfect satisfaction only God can offer, and ultimately away from God the source of life. God’s Word is the objective standard because it is that unchanging beacon God has set in a sea of relativity so that we may be confident in Him and His will for us.
When we recognize our need for Scritpure as the only way we can know God and the only objective and unchanging source of knowledge about God, we will be able to appropriately approach Scripture and the God who gave it.