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Doctrine of Scripture  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Sufficiency: Within the Scriptures is everything that a Christian needs to know about salvation and godly living. On the negative it means that there is no need for new revelation (DeYoung 44). Also, Augustine said, “In clearly expressed passages of scripture one can find all the things that concern faith and the mortal life” (Augustine 37).
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Confessional Support: “The whole Counsel of God concerning all things pessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” (WCF 1.6a).
Opposing Views: The Roman Catholic view places tradition as equal authority to Scripture (Frame 233). They believe that scriptures need to be supplemented with tradition. This is never stated in the Bible. To the contrary, when pharisees attempt to hold the traditions at equal with the law Jesus rebukes them ().
Clarity: God inspired the Scriptures in such a way that the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is taught plainly, and is able to be understood by anyone one who hears it (DeYoung 44). Dr. John Frame describes Clarity of Scripture in this way, “When [God] intends to communicate with a human being, he is always able to do it successfully” (204).
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Confessional Support: “All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them” (WCF 1.7).
Opposing Views:
The mystic objections states that God is utterly mysterious and readers of Scripture ought be unsure about their interpretations (DeYoung 59-60). If God desires to communicate He will do so successfully (Frame 204). Therefore, to say that God is utterly mysterious is true, but to say that He cannot communicate if he desires is illogical and unbiblical.
The Catholic objection states that there is a necessity for an outside authority to give an “authentic” interpretation (DeYoung 60). God’s Word, however, was given to ordinary people with the expectation that they could read (listen) and obey it ().
The pluralism objection states that due to so many various interpretations that there are not sufficient grounds to know how to distinguish whether or not an interpretation is right or wrong (DeYoung 60). Even the pluralist expects people to understand their arguments implying that they intuitively know that communication can be interpreted accurately.
Authority: God’s word always has final say. In other words there is nothing that should be allowed to rank higher than scripture (DeYoung 44).
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Confessional Support: “The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church; but holy upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore is to be received, because it is the word of God” (WCF 1.4). Also, the Confession says, “The supreme judge by which all controversies of religion are to be determined, and all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, doctrines of men, and private spirits, are to be examined, in whose sentence are we to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture” (WCF 1.10).
Opposing Views:
Peter Kreeft does not believe that the Bible is the final authority but an authority within the Traditions of the Catholic Church (18). Traditions are made by men, while God is the source of Scripture giving it inherent and final authority ().
Liberal theology subverts the Bible’s authority to human reason and experience (1). However, this is counter scriptural. The natural man is unable to understand the things revealed by the Spiritual, furthermore mankind’s nature is so far corrupted that they deny truths plainly presented to them (; ).
Necessity: In order for one to know God’s saving revelation to us in Christ, how we can be saved and how we must live, we need special revelation, which is found only in the Scriptures (DeYoung 44). John Frame claims that, “Without the Lord’s words, there is no covenant authority; indeed there is no covenant” (212).
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Confessional Support: “Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of His will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal Himself, and to declare that His will unto His Church; and afterwards for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the Church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which makes the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing His will unto His people being now ceased” (WCF 1.1).
Works Cited
Augustine. Saint Augustine: On Christian Teaching. Trans. R. P. H. Green. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.
Carson, D. A. The Gagging of God: Christianity Confronts Pluralism. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 2011. Print
DeYoung, Kevin. Taking God at His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014. Print.
Dorrien, Gary J. The Making of American Liberal Theology: Idealism, Realism, and Modernity, 1900-1950. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2003. Print.
Frame, John M. The Doctrine of the Word of God. Vol. 4. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Pub., 2010. Print. A Theology of Lordship.
Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001. Print.
Kreeft, Peter. Catholic Christianity: A Complete Catechism of Catholic Beliefs Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2001. Print.
The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms: As Adopted by the Presbyterian Church in America: With Proof Texts. Lawrenceville, GA: Christian Education & Publications Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America, 2007. Print.
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