Thursday, May 10, 2012

The central pillar in biblical religion


As I slog through the final books and writing assignments left in my doctoral studies...I find myself deep in to Carl F.H. Henry's six-volume masterpiece, "God, Revelation and Authority".  He spends all of the first volume building a case for the necessity of Scripture in order to know God.  Check out how he ends the volume-

Revelation is, in truth, the central pillar of biblical religion.  Around the living God's disclosure of his own reality, purpose, and activity range all the special affirmations of Judeo-Christian theology.  Biblical assertions of the creation of the cosmos, of the future judgment and the future life, of the divine salvation of sinners, of the meaning and worth of human existence in the days of our years, turn ultimately on the self-unveiling of God who confronts his fallen creatures as their Creator, Redeemer and Judge. 


That God is the eternal sovereign Creator to whom mankind is morally accountable is the central content of universal divine revelation addressed to the reason and conscience of every human through nature and history.  The scripturally given special revelation restates the will of God and clarifies it for humans in the sorry state of sin.  Redemptive revelation offers fallen humanity a renewal of the spiritual prerogatives which belonged to man on the basis of creation and the Image of God.  It does not stop there, however.  Redemptive revelation expands the knowledge of God's moral purposes beyond what Adam and Eve knew even before the fall.  Special biblical revelation is restorative and redemptive.  The un-obliterated Image of God has its ineradicable point of connection with the living God who reveals himself objectively and universally in nature and mankind, and also objectively but particularly in Judeo-Christian revelation. Published and written in Scripture, that transcendent revelation heralds good news worldwide to a famished and fainting race.  

3 comments:

Woody Woodward said...

The central theme we heard in every church we visited in Moldova was the same central piller, the very foundation, “God’s Word is Truth and there must be no compromise!”
As many of these brave warriors have personally been “tried in the fires,” “For which I suffer hardship even to imprisonment as a criminal, but the Word of God is not imprisoned! For this reason I endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory.” II Tim 2:9-10

Ed Jennings said...

I saw Carl F.H. Henry, then the editor of "Christianity Today", at a Sunday Service at McIlwaine Pres in Pensacola back in about 1971, although I never met him. He sat in the back and left quietly. Not many recognized him and the discussion in the following week was that he was there to scout our pastor, the late Don Dunkerly perhaps on an article for the magazine. Not everyone was impressed with the publication because some had concerns for the liberal leaning which was by design, according to its originator, Billy Graham.

In the part that you quote, I see the fence sitting plainly. Carl on the one hand argues for Special Revelation, but gives it away when he says "the living God who reveals himself objectively and universally in nature and mankind, and also objectively but particularly in Judeo-Christian revelation."

I agree with the distinction between "objectively and universally" from "objectively but particularly", but I have a problem with his opinion "...and also" with the "...Judeo-Christian revelation". The words "also" and "Judeo" obfuscates the point, in my opinion. No doubt this panders to the arminians and liberals in his circulation.

Ed Jennings said...

I saw Carl F.H. Henry, then the editor of "Christianity Today", at a Sunday Service at McIlwaine Pres in Pensacola back in about 1971, although I never met him. He sat in the back and left quietly. Not many recognized him and the discussion in the following week was that he was there to scout our pastor, the late Don Dunkerly perhaps on an article for the magazine. Not everyone was impressed with the publication because some had concerns for the liberal leaning which was by design, according to its originator, Billy Graham.

In the part that you quote, I see the fence sitting plainly. Carl on the one hand argues for Special Revelation, but gives it away when he says "the living God who reveals himself objectively and universally in nature and mankind, and also objectively but particularly in Judeo-Christian revelation."

I agree with the distinction between "objectively and universally" from "objectively but particularly", but I have a problem with his opinion "...and also" with the "...Judeo-Christian revelation". The words "also" and "Judeo" obfuscates the point, in my opinion. No doubt this panders to the arminians and liberals in his circulation.