Monday, June 4, 2007

Challenging words from two giants

...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:20-21

Yesterday I preached on this passage. It teaches us about the process or mode of divine inspiration (how God wrote Scripture). This led me to teach about the related doctrines of biblical inspiration, inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency. In my studies I came across two timely challenges from recent giants of the faith. The first is from Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones (died in 1981), the second is from Dr. J.I. Packer (still alive and ministering). The statements need no further explanation-

We all therefore have to face this ultimate and final question: Do we accept the Bible as the Word of God, as the sole authority in all matters of faith and practice, or do we not? Is the whole of my thinking governed by Scripture, or do I come with my reason and pick and choose out of Scripture and sit in judgment upon it, putting myself and modern knowledge forward as the ultimate standard and authority? The issue is crystal clear. Do I accept Scripture as a revelation from God, or do I trust to speculation, human knowledge, human learning, human understanding and human reasons Or, putting it still more simply, Do I pin my faith to, and subject all my thinking to, what I read in the Bible? Or do I defer to modern knowledge, to modern learning, to what people think today, to what we know at this present time which was not known in the past? It is inevitable that we occupy one or the other of those two positions. – Martin Lloyd Jones

Certainty about the great issues of Christian faith and conduct is lacking all along the line. The outside observer sees us as staggering on from a gimmick to gimmick and stunt to stunt like so many drunks in a fog, not knowing at all where we are or which way we should be going. Preaching is hazy. Heads are muddled, hearts fret, doubts drain strength, uncertainty paralyzes action. Unlike the first-century Christians who in three centuries won the Roman world and those later Christians who pioneered the Reformation and the Puritan awakening and the evangelical revival and the great missionary movement of the last century, we lack certainty - J.I. Packer

1 comment:

Frontier Forest said...

Like many others who have taken a stand for truth over convenience and comfort, leaving a church because the pastors desire is to “tickle ears” instead of standing forth, standing firm in teaching and preaching “inerrancy of Scripture” is never easy…... but always right!
This past Sunday’s commanding sermon was very appropriate titled, “The Pastor’s Power-The Word of God!” What a joyful sound to behold! So many glorious “Amens!” coming from every corner of the congregation! Just after the Lord’s Day service concluded, a dear brother, who has also experienced the pain of standing firm, made this bold proclamation to me, “We should have hundreds of copies of Pastor Tony’s sermon made and send them to our former church.”
I will never forget the first question I proposed to Pastor T, "Pastor Tony, where do you stand on inerrancy of Scripture?" His quick and insistent comment was music to my longing and eager to hear ears! "If I didn't believe in and preach the inerrancy of Scripture, I would never have become a preacher!"
Thank God for a pastor who
“rightly handles the Word of Truth” and will for sure, never compromise! “The Word of God; inspired, inerrant, authoritative, and sufficient!”