This is a topic I return to again and again. Just because something isn’t written in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s false. The Bible is a history of the people of Israel, and it is a guidebook for Jews and Christians alike. It is not all-encompassing.
There are a great many mysteries in the Bible, stories where we have little insight such as those that recount giants or the curse of Ham. We have heard of a leviathan and a dragon, but we haven’t really seen these things. We have likewise heard of airplanes and penicillin, neither of which are contained within those hallowed pages.
I came across a Christian blog last night that expressed frustration with Richard Foster’s warning in regards to Christian mysticism and prayer. In it, she quotes Foster as writing:
“I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on that, there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.” (Prayer: FindingThe Heart’s True Home, 155, 156, 157)
She goes on to quote John Calvin and imply that Foster is outright rejecting scripture. He is not–he is merely observing that there are things in this world and the next that the Bible doesn’t relate much about. We know there are demons–we can at least say with certainty that there are stories of Jesus confronting and casting out demons–yet these are not mentioned in the canonical Hebrew Bible. Do we then declare that they do not exist? Or that Jesus was a false Jew? I do not think so.
I think Foster is right, or at least my own experience aligns with his words in this matter. We need to admit that we don’t know everything, and we need to stop clinging to our holy book as the end-all, be-all of answers and guidance. It is unique, sacred, and brilliant; helpful in ways impossible for an unbeliever to understand or a believer to fully fathom. But there is more betwixt heaven and earth than that book contains.
God is bigger than the Bible.