lecture 20 - The Meaning of Sola Scriptura The Authority...

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Unformatted text preview: The Meaning of Sola Scriptura The Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture Lecture 20 ! & & ''( Sola Scriptura = "Scripture alone" It was a slogan of the Protestant Reformation. Scripture alone is the final rule and authority for the church. " % #$ The Meaning of Sola Scriptura The Theological Meaning of Sola Scriptura: How Does Scripture Function for Us? It is a standard for us. "The church must have a standard by which to judge all claims to truth. The church must have a standard of truth by which to reform and purify itself..." (W. Robert Godfrey, in Sola Scriptura, 1, 23). NO It does not mean there are no other sources of revelation. For example, Nature can be a source of truth about God. NO It does not mean we are free to ignore the views of past believers. YES Scripture (rightly interpreted) gives the final verdict on all matters of truth. The Theological Meaning of Sola Scriptura: How Does Scripture Function for Us? It is a judge for us. "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, and in whose sentence we are to rest, can be no other but the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scriptures." Westminster Confession of Faith I, x. The Theological Meaning of Sola Scriptura: How Does Scripture Function for Us? It is sustenance for us. "Our dependence upon Scripture is total. Without it we are bereft of revelatory Word from God, from the counsel of God respecting all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life." (John Murray, "The Finality and Sufficiency of Scripture," Collected Works, 1:20) 1 The Problem of Authority "Western civilization is in a severe `authority crisis' which is not confined solely to the realm of religious faith, nor is it uniquely threatening to Bible believers. Parental authority, marital authority, academic authority, and ecclesiastical authority are all being deeply questioned. Not only particular authorities but the concept of authority itself is being vigorously challenged." (Carl F. H. Henry, BEB 1: 296) The Problem of Authority Crush the Infamy! Voltaire The Basis for the Authority of Scripture The Living, Triune God Himself "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Heb. 11:6 The Nature of Biblical Authority The Inspiration of the Scriptures "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." 2 Tim. 3:16 Expert Authority It speaks for the One who is the most reliable source of knowledge. Moral Authority It speaks for the One who is pure, unstained by sin, and utterly holy. Command Authority It speaks for the One who has the right to make demands and expect total obedience. The Inerrancy of the Scriptures "Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth...The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting." Ps. 119: 142, 160 Sources of Authority: Theological Liberalism Refers to a movement from the 1800s up to today which seeks to reinterpret supernatural Christianity in terms of the Enlightenment. Names: Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Harnack, Bultmann Sources of Authority: Neo-Orthodoxy Refers to the theology of recent thinkers who reject liberalism, and accept God's transcendence and man's need for His grace. Authority is grounded in: The Word of God (Christ) An encounter with Him, for which Scripture is a helpful guide Karl Barth (1886-1968) Authority is grounded in: Reason Feelings Experience (ethical change in society) 2 Sources of Authority: Roman Catholicism The Roman Catholic Church is the church which acknowledges the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) as its head. Authority is grounded in: Scripture: is inspired and authoritative Tradition: is equal to Scripture Magisterium: the ongoing teaching office of the bishops can produce infallible truth Sources of Authority: Eastern Orthodoxy The Eastern Orthodox Church is the church which sees itself as the original, mystical body of Christ. Authority is grounded in: Tradition which consists of: Scripture The Great Councils and Creeds Liturgy The Church Fathers Icons Icon of St. Athanasius Conservative Protestantism Conservative evangelical Protestantism arises out of the Reformation, and holds to supernatural Christianity and the primacy of Scripture. Authority is grounded in: The Bible: it is the final norm and judge of all truth. However, respect is given to other sources of truth (nature, reason, historical theology, etc.) Dreams, mystical Pragmatism: when experiences, a "word pastors and theology of knowledge" are replaced by managers and pop In other words: Any form of human autonomy! psychology Other "scriptures" from cult groups Sources of Authority: Challenges to Scripture The Sufficiency of Scripture Salvation and Sanctification 1 Pet. 2:2 Christian Living and Guidance Hebrews 4:12 Worship and Christian Service Ps. 119:175 3 ...
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