The Bible is not Enough

The Bible is not Enough

I remember when I came to the realization that the Bible is not enough. I was the campus director of Campus Crusade for Christ at Northwestern University. I was sitting across from a female student who was sharing with me that she had been repeatedly sexually abused as a child by her brother. I was stunned, shocked and horrified. I did not know what to say and fortunately did not say anything. I simply cried.

For years, I had been a serious student of the Bible, devoting hours each day to the study and application of the Scriptures. At the time, I was of the belief that a thorough knowledge of Bible would equip me to grow and mature in my spiritual life. In the moment following this student’s vulnerable disclosure, I experienced a crisis of faith. All the passages I might have normally referenced seemed trivial and unfitting. I did not know what to say. I was beginning to realize that the Bible alone was not the answer.

I had a sense that this woman was deeply wounded and needed something more than exhortation from the Scriptures. I felt like I was a Boy Scout with a first aid kit trying to help someone who was hemorrhaging from a severed artery. I felt small, ill-equipped, and powerless. I experienced a moment of disillusionment wondering how God could allow something like this to happen and how could I help her.

I reached out to other Christian professionals for help. Like me, many were appalled and uncertain about how to support her. Finally, someone gave me the name of a Christian counselor. At that time, Christian counseling was an oxymoron. Previously I had been of the opinion that counseling was for those who didn’t know Christ or who were ignorant of the Scriptures. If you were a devoted Christian, then you didn’t need counseling.

My eyes were opened. It was like a second spiritual awakening for me. The same passion I had for wanting to get to know God through studying the Bible, I now had for wanting to understand myself and others. How can I better appreciate why we do what we do? I resonated with Paul when he cried out, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15) I was beginning to understand that spiritual transformation involved more than simply attending church, studying the Bible and practicing spiritual disciplines.

I started reading everything I could get my hands on that had to do with psychology and spirituality. The groundbreaking works of Larry Crabb, a pastor and psychologist, were very helpful. Mysteriously, I stumbled upon a book written by Paul Tournier, entitled, Guilt and Grace. Tournier was a Swiss physician and author who integrated Christianity with an understanding of psychology. While reading his book, I suddenly felt, “I make sense.” I was beginning to understand why I struggled with fear, insecurity, and self hate. My eyes were being opened to the possibility of healing in my own hidden areas where I felt irreparably damaged. I was beginning to appreciate that I was in as much need of healing as my student at Northwestern.

I began to understand God and faith from a different point of view. I was seeing how God’s truth was made manifest in all aspects of life, including the both the physical as well as the social sciences. I was learning that the personal and spiritual aspects of life were harmonious. I had hope that I could truly heal from the inside out and I could learn how to help others as well. I was experiencing what it felt like to be in the flow and swimming with the current of God’s love and wisdom. Little did I know that this journey would lead to the formation of the Center for Christian Life Enrichment and the hundreds of lives that have been and are being transformed in a community of grace and truth. We make it our aim to “Live life abundantly.”

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Published: 01.09.2010 / 03:53 AM

Category: Spiritual Growth

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