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When Christians speak on the authority of Scripture we generally use two terms infallibility and inerrancy. These terms are not only descriptions of Scripture but testify to the work of God in revealing himself. We confess that God is absolutely trustworthy and powerful therefore when he reveals himself he does it in a way that is without error and since it is the word of God it cannot err.
When Christians are confronted with Scripture there are only two options available. They can either submit to the Scripture or not. When we make a decision not to submit to Scripture we decide also to reject God. Many Christians are not aware of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and they may shy away from any idea of a statement on the matter. Some would say it’s either too limiting or too broad. However the Chicago statement which consists of a Summary Statement, Articles of (more…)
When we take hold of the Bible, it is easy to forget the significance of what is in our hands. When you think about it, Scripture is unlike anything else in our life. There is something about Scripture that makes it distinct from all other literature works in history. We say it’s God’s word. We call it God’s revelation. But what does that mean? What are the implications of calling it that?
Jesus saw the Old Testament text as God’s word. He refers to it as the “Word of God” during his trial by the Satan in the wilderness.
Matt. 4:4 But he answered, “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Even though it was written by men, Jesus said it was God’s words that were written. And the words that they wrote were eternal.
John 10:35 If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—
Is it significant that Christ is preached? Is it important that Scripture is preached from? In Romans 10:17, the Apostle Paul tells us that faith comes through hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. What does it mean that faith comes through hearing? What does it mean that they hear the word of Christ? What results from having faith from hearing the word of Christ?
All of us would agree that faith is necessary for salvation. In some areas of Reformed teaching faith is referred to as the “instrumental means” of justification. Or others have called it the “open hand” by which we receive the benefits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. Both of these and others all highlight something special about faith. Faith isn’t something that we can create, force to arise from our own efforts, or be obtained without God. Faith is not something that is from us by nature. If it is not of us by nature, and given to us. Then what has to happen for it to come about? In a mysterious way, it is given to us, and exercised by us. But from how does this faith arise? Through hearing. (more…)
Part 1 is here
We are completely dependent upon Scripture. This should be most obvious because without it, we are deprived of the revelatory Word from God. Without Scripture we are wanting and lacking counsel from God concerning “all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life.” (Murray, 20) The finality of Scripture demands that those who profess commitment to Christ and the church in its collective capacity “direct all thought, activity, objective by this Word as the revelation to us of God’s mind and will.” (20) (more…)
Part 2 is here
Reading through John Murray and his collected writings I have come across an interesting chapter in volume 1, “The Finality and Sufficiency of Scripture”. I found it a helpful reminder for us in a time when such a position may seem out-dated or irrelevant. We are at a pivotal point in our society. Now, more than ever, we must affirm our position of the finality and sufficiency of Scripture. This doctrine, cannot be taken for granted. It is still worth our time and careful examination. (more…)
It needs to be re-stated first that the Protestant doctrine of sola Scriptura has been built on the basis of Scripture alone. I think it is in some ways engaging and maybe it’s a rhetorical device to say “Can you prove it from Scripture alone?” This has always been the Protestant position and never been a difficulty. Perhaps a better question is “how do we know Jesus and the teachings of his apostles?” We all agree that the apostles were the authoritative spokesman for Jesus. There is no disagreement here. Here is a way to shortly phrase the Protestant Reformed thought:
- Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God
- Scripture is the only “authoritative” way to know of Christ today because (obviously) he is not ministering in the flesh nor are those original spokesman (the apostles). (more…)