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#45502 - Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:28 PM God's revelation in Scripture.  
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How would you react to the following explanation of God's revelation in Scripture:

Quote:
God's revelation is through individuals but luckily also greater than man. Consider that in His greatness God make himself known in Creation but also through the written word, the Word of God, which, in essence, is stories by men through which God makes himself known but which, in his greatness and through the Holy Spirit, He makes it His own stories. It is not just stories of men. God makes it His stories to man through the authority of the Holy Spirit.


I had to translate from Afrikaans and it is perhaps not the best translation but I think you will get the idea.


Johan

#45503 - Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:47 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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Annie Oakley
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Not well. Where did this quote come from?


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
#45505 - Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:11 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: chestnutmare]  
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From a sermon on November 7 in our church.


Johan



#45506 - Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:17 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: chestnutmare]  
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Chestnutmare, why would you not react positively to that statement? I'm also not very happy with it but would like to hear what others' comments are.

Johan.

#45507 - Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:53 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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I would not respond positively because that is the position held by liberals. It is not the historic, orthodox position held by the Church. We can look to the Belgic Confession and Westminster Larger Catechism which teach that the Holy Scriptures are not just stories given by the will of man and certainly not by "luck" "but that holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit,"

Belgic Confession
Article 2: The Means by Which We Know God
• We know him by two means: First, by the creation, preservation, and government of the universe, since that universe is before our eyes like a beautiful book in which all creatures, great and small, are as letters to make us ponder the invisible things of God: his eternal power and his divinity, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 1:20; All these things are enough to convict men and to leave them without excuse.

Second, he makes himself known to us more openly by his holy and divine Word, as much as we need in this life, for his glory and for the salvation of his own.

Article 3: The Written Word of God
• We confess that this Word of God was not sent nor delivered by the will of men, but that holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit, as Peter says.^1 Afterwards our God—because of the special care he has for us and our salvation—commanded his servants, the prophets and apostles, to commit this revealed Word to writing. He himself wrote with his own finger the two tables of the law.

Therefore we call such writings holy and divine Scriptures. ^1 2 Pet. 1:21

Article 7: The Sufficiency of Scripture
• We believe that this Holy Scripture contains the will of God completely and that everything one must believe to be saved is sufficiently taught in it. For since the entire manner of service which God requires of us is described in it at great length, no one—even an apostle or an angel from heaven, as Paul says--^2 ought to teach other than what the Holy Scriptures have already taught us. For since it is forbidden to add to or subtract from the Word of God,^3 this plainly demonstrates that the teaching is perfect and complete in all respects. Therefore we must not consider human writings-- no matter how holy their authors may have been—equal to the divine writings; nor may we put custom, nor the majority, nor age, nor the passage of time or persons, nor councils, decrees, or official decisions above the truth of God, for truth is above everything else.

For all human beings are liars by nature and more vain than vanity itself.

Therefore we reject with all our hearts everything that does not agree with this infallible rule, as we are taught to do by the apostles when they say, "Test the spirits to see if they are of God," and also, "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house." Gal. 1:8 Deut. 12:32; Rev. 22:18-19 1 John 4:1 2 John 10

Westminster Larger Catechism
Q. 3. What is the Word of God?
A. The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God, [2 Timothy 3:16] the only rule of faith and obedience.[Ephesians 2:20]

Q. 4. How doth it appear that the Scriptures are of the Word of God?
A. The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty[Hosea 8:12] and purity;[Psalm 12:6]by the consent of all the parts,[Acts 10:43] and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; [Romans 3:19, 27] by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation:[Acts 18:28] but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.[John 16:13-14]

Q. 5. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.[2 Timothy 1:13]



Johan, you can find several good articles by following this link.
Doctrine of the Holy Scriptures



The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
#45508 - Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:01 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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I have to agree with Chestnutmare that the statement is not one which is in agreement with the historic Reformed Confessions and/or Catechisms of the Church. The revelation of God in both nature (general revelation) and Scripture (special revelation) if far more than mere 'stories' The writers of Scripture often use such phrases, "Thus saith the Lord..." (Ex 4:22; 5:1; Josh 7:13; 1Sam 2:27; Isa 10:24; 28:16; 30:12,15; Amos 5:3,4; Obediah 1:1. There are c. 400 instances of this phrase used in the OT), and "the Lord spake..." (Ex 6:10ff; 2Sam 23:2; et al), and "The word of the LORD..." usually to an individual who then penned that word. (Hos 1:1; Joel 1:1; Jonah 1:1; Micah 1:1; Zeph 1:1; Haggai 1:1; Zech 1:1;) God spoke through the prophets (Lk 1:70; 2Tim 3:16; 2Pet 1:21). Jesus referred to the OT as God's word and not simply man's word about God (Matt 22:31).

Of course, one of the clearest and definitive statements found in the Bible about its origin, i.e., from God through men is Hebrews 1:1,2: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;".

Books have been written on this subject of divine inspiration. We hold to the historic position of "verbal plenary inspiration".

The word plenary means "full" or "complete". Therefore, plenary verbal inspiration asserts that God inspired the complete text(s) of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, including both historical and doctrinal details. The word verbal affirms the idea that inspiration extends to the very words the writers chose. For example, in Acts 1:16 the Apostle Peter says "the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake" (KJV). Paul calls all scripture "God-breathed" in 2 Timothy 3:16 (referring to the Old Testament). Thus, the Holy Spirit guided the writers along (cf. 2 Peter 1:20-21) while allowing their own personalities and freedom to produce the Bible we have today. This view recognizes and asserts both the human and divine element within Scripture.


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#45511 - Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:52 AM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Chestnutmare, Pilgrim,

Thanks for your replies. I agree completely with you.

Usually when something like this is being said in a sermon and you don't expect it, you're not sure whether you heard correctly. Luckily the sermon was recorded and I could download the mp3 and listen to it again.

The reason why I posted the question was for myself to make sure that I don't misinterpret it. I transcripted that part of the sermon and read again and again but simply can't be at peace with it. It seems to me the pastor who preached tried to steer away from divine inspiration but still wanted to give some authority to Scripture.

Yesterday I also gave it to a pastor friend of mine to read and he said that it is right on the edge of liberalism.

I am satisfied that I am not misinterpreting it.

Red lights!!!

Johan

#45515 - Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:43 AM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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Johan,

I think your pastor friend is spot on, "it is right on the edge of Liberalism." In fact, I would think most neo-Orthodox (Barthians) could affirm what your pastor said without any reservation whatsoever.

Red lights, red flags... so many that I would pack my bags!


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#45516 - Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:24 AM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim,

Originally Posted By: Pilgrim
Johan,

In fact, I would think most neo-Orthodox (Barthians) could affirm what your pastor said without any reservation whatsoever.


Can you refer me to some neo-Orthodox literature in this regard?

Regards

Johan

#45517 - Wed Dec 01, 2010 11:42 AM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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Okay, I think I found something on this site. If you have anything else I shall appreciate it.

Regards

Johan

#45518 - Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:17 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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Johan,

Most of what I have online on The Highway would be what I have HERE, although I will search my documents to see if there is something I haven't uploaded yet. grin

PS: If I remember correctly, I believe Berkhof addresses the neo-Orthodox (Barthian) heresy here: What is the Word of God?.

Last edited by Pilgrim; Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:19 PM. Reason: Added link

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#45552 - Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:44 AM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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Can I ask the following related to this topic:

To what extent does this view (as given in my first post) of Scripture affects a preacher's sermons?

Johan

#45560 - Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:23 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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With such an errant or low view of the Scriptures, how can any preacher teach the truth of Christ as he ought? I think that this view would make suspect everything that the preacher taught.


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
#45561 - Tue Dec 07, 2010 2:20 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Johan]  
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Originally Posted By: Johan
To what extent does this view (as given in my first post) of Scripture affects a preacher's sermons?

I guess the "extent" would be determined by how low a view of Scripture he actually holds. Typically, those who look at the Bible as basically a "story book" have little use for propositional statements, direct or implied, about God, salvation, worship, etc. Rather, they end up moralizing passages which they use to help people get through life, e.g., during difficult times. What this particular man does or will do in his preaching isn't something any of us could really know. But I suspect this is something you already know. wink


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#45573 - Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:42 PM Re: God's revelation in Scripture. [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Okay, let's close this topic. Thanks for listening.

Johan


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