Authority of Scripture-Quotes, Video and Opinion

Warning: this post meanders a bit, as do many of them here.

Michael Horton shares concerns of mine but speaks of them much better and with more authority than me. I know many will disagree of course but I thought I would post these.

An Interview with Dr. Michael Horton (pt. 3)

What’s one of greatest doctrinal threats facing the church today, doctrinally speaking?
I really do believe we are facing the same doctrinal crises that the Reformers faced, only in some respects it’s worse because Rome never questioned the authority of Scripture or the inerrancy of Scripture. Both are widely disputed in Protestantism generally, and increasingly in evangelicalism particularly. If we lose the authority of Scripture and the sufficiency of Scripture, then what’s the point? There would be no point in trying to understand what we believe and why we believe it–no point in even talking about a Gospel because there would be no authority for this Gospel.

Religious pluralism has not only made us more aware of other beliefs, which is good, so that we’re explicit about what we believe and why, it has made us more vulnerable to the belief that religion is really about morality. It’s about being nice. It’s about being good. It’s about loving each other. It’s not really about the intervention of God in human history, assuming our flesh, dying on the cross, and being raised the third day for our justification, His return in judgment, and a real Heaven and a real Hell. To the extent that we’ve already turned religion into morality–something we do rather than something that God has done for us–to that extent, religious pluralism will mean, not only that there are lots of people of different religions we must respect and to whom we have to witness, but rather that there are all of these wonderful people who have their sources of morality just as we do, and we need to realize that there are different paths to God. Increasingly that’s where we’re going with a lot of pastors, telling believers that Jesus is the best way of pursuing community and self-sacrifice, but not the One who was sacrificed for our sins and raised for our justification.

What’s the greatest ecclesiastical threat facing the church today?
No one has to be convinced that evangelicalism has about the lowest ecclesiology since the Quakers. It is an ecclesiology based on the individual’s decision for Christ, rather than God, from eternity past, making a blueprint for the church and executing it in His Son by His Spirit. And so it’s easy if the church is just sort of created by a collection of deciders and choosers, to turn the church into a market, into a shopping mall of consumers.

Another issue I’ve been thinking about that lessens the authority of Scripture is that many people say Scripture doesn’t speak about itself very much. Concerning the Old Testament, what about Joshua 1:8, Psalm 19:7-11, Psalm 119, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 3:16 (possibly even the NT in the latter)? If you have other references for Scripture referring to itself please let me know.

In addition, Jesus, the living Word, talks about what he himself inspired as authoritative many times in the Gospels, and those Scriptures point back to himself. I would think that’s evidence of validity even more than “Scripture talking about itself”. If any of it was errant or was just people writing about what they knew about at the time and wasn’t correct, I wish Jesus would have told us which parts of the Scriptures might be subject.

Matthew 21:42 HCSB Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This came from the Lord and is wonderful in our eyes?

Matthew 22:29 HCSB Jesus answered them, “You are deceived, because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God.

Matthew 26:54 HCSB How, then, would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen this way?”

Matthew 26:56 HCSB But all this has happened so that the prophetic Scriptures would be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted Him and ran away.

Mark 12:24 HCSB Jesus told them, “Are you not deceived because you don’t know the Scriptures or the power of God?

Mark 14:49 HCSB Every day I was among you, teaching in the temple complex, and you didn’t arrest Me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”

Luke 24:27 HCSB Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Luke 24:32 HCSB So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:45 HCSB Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

John 5:39 HCSB You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.

John 7:15 HCSB Then the Jews were amazed and said, “How does He know the Scriptures, since He hasn’t been trained?”

I realize some people have various views on these things that are either semantics or things that are very close, as in the truthfulness of Scripture vs the term of inerrancy. I’ve looked at both or more than one side of all of these things and I’m certain of what I believe but I’m not a good apologist so I can’t say I’m up for debate with my friends and acquaintances here. If there happens to be debate I think I would rather read others than get into it myself. I just want to point out some of the things I believe and post some material I appreciated and hope you are edified by them. Thanks for reading.

I feel a need to say that I don’t idolize the Bible though I hold it in very high esteem. That seems to be brought up on blogs a lot lately. I worship and learn about God through it.

Another interesting post:
Calvinism, Assurance, and Inerrancy

13 Responses to “Authority of Scripture-Quotes, Video and Opinion”


  1. 1 Dan

    I fear walking into this foray, but I can’t ignore Packer saying Wright is preaching another gospel. This is the greatest aggravation I have with Calvinists. When their line of theology is threatened, and pushed into a corner about it, it seems they are ready to call any variation another gospel. John Calvin is not the gospel.

    Again, far be it from me to be an expert on any of this, either. Yet, this particular point drives me NUTS about hard-line Calvinists.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    That was Horton saying that. I’m not sure if he’s a Calvinist but most likely is. I wouldn’t go as far as him on that. Now that I look at it again, maybe I should have left that part out. I think imputation is important and I found that quote and video. In fact I am going to remove those parts because I think that’s too divisive and it’s another topic anyway.

    As far as I know, imputation was Luther’s idea but I would say that Paul started it (smiley) and is generally a Protestant thing though Calvin built on it. Catholics would hold to infused righteousness as far as I understand it. Take some deep breaths.
    Jeff

  3. 3 T.C. R

    Jeff, I see you hold a very high view of Scripture. Good. But we tend to want to analyze Scripture propositionally, around tight logical – so a denial of inerrancy is cause for concern.

    I admire Packer, but it seems that we years he’s been saying some questionable stuff. Is he ok?

  4. 4 Scripture Zealot

    I edited out the thing that Packer said. We’ve seen some strange stuff from him regarding the ESV. Otherwise I don’t know.
    Jeff

  5. 5 tomgdrums

    I would say that Scripture does speak about itself even if it isn’t a blatant “Hey You Need To Read This”. aha moment every time. The thing is that the more I cross-reference using a concordance or an actual Cross-Referencing source I am finding that Bible speaks of itself quite often. It just isn’t as loud and obvious as everything else in our culture.

  6. 6 Scripture Zealot

    I agree Tom. Certain things seem to be everywhere in the Bible. I will post on sovereignty when I’m done being sick.
    Jeff

  7. 7 tomgdrums

    I am looking forward to reading about that AND even more, I hope you feel better very soon!!

  8. 8 Jonathan Sharman

    I always used to writhe and get frustrated by Jeus’ cryptic words which reveal fools as such, but I’ve since come to see the beautiful poetry in it all. The words of Jesus are to be trusted absolutely – as is his Spirit which ministers its true meaning to us in our very circumstances – and it is only in this way that truth will ever be known or understood in its pure form.
    It teaches us that we can never find perfection with our minds, but only through his Spirit – and Jesus was the first example of this. (Of course, we aren’t sinless, so we’re not PERFECT, but His Spirit is, so that’s the best place to start.)
    I guess what I mean to say is that regardless of whether the scriptures themselves are perfect or not, or their scribes without blame, God is, and I believe that his scriptures are as he meant them to be.
    There’s no easy way out. We need the scriptures, but we also need the Spirit, and one is limited to useless in us without the other.

  9. 9 Scripture Zealot

    I guess what I mean to say is that regardless of whether the scriptures themselves are perfect or not, or their scribes without blame, God is, and I believe that his scriptures are as he meant them to be.

    Yes indeed.
    Jeff

  10. 10 Jonathan Sharman

    Sorry I had to rush that post as my baby started crying and I couldn’t type very well holding him, lol.
    I don’t mean to say that God’s Spirit in us is useless without the scriptures, because obviously that isn’t true, but that our walk with God is massively enhanced by our knowledge of his scriptures, poiniently his Gospel message, and an understanding of who Jesus is and all that he has done for us. (What he has taken from us (our rightful death penalty for sin) and what he has given us (his Holy Spirit relationship.))
    But in the same way, the scripture alone can only get us so far when processing it in the mind – explaining a lot of Jesus’ rebukes of the ‘teachers of the law’ Although the law is perfect, our treatment or understanding of it is necessarily NOT.
    It is the spirit of the law that gives life, but the letter of the law that kills.

  11. 11 Jonathan Sharman

    *poignantly – I was stuck between saying poignantly and pointedly, lol.

  12. 12 Scripture Zealot

    I don’t mean to say that God’s Spirit in us is useless without the scriptures, because obviously that isn’t true, but that our walk with God is massively enhanced by our knowledge of his scriptures

    I wish people knew and cared more about this, including myself until a few years ago.
    Jeff

  13. 13 Jonathan Sharman

    It’s true isn’t it. He can reveal so many new things to us even today through that which he left us so long ago.
    Such is the sovereignty and wisdom of our almighty God.

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