Friday, December 5, 2008

browsing the book

The Support:

Where does the doctrine of S-of-S come from? Primarily from 2 Timothy 2:15 to 18 and secondarily from Deuteronomy 29:29 and Revelation 22:18-19. Grudem outlines the doctrine formally in his Systematic Theology. However it is also a central feature of evangelical belief about the Bible. For example the Anglican '39 Articles' says "Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation." The Westminster Confession says "The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life." The modern 'Gospel Coalition,' an interdenominational grouping of evangelicals say in their doctrinal statement; "[special revelation is] sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do." From a modern perspective the author of this article; 'Is the Bible Hermeneutically self-sufficient?' argues that given that Scripture is self-attesting about itself, it naturally follows that Scripture is self-sufficient for it's own interpretation. For real complexity and depth go to Word and Supplement: Speech Acts, Biblical Texts and the Sufficiency of Scripture by Timothy Ward, who argues that philosophically, 'biblical texts' are independent, in a sense, from both the authors and readers. The purpose of the author is carried out by the text and the reader creates interpretations but once the text comes into existence neither can altar it.

3 comments:

Mikey Lynch said...

Hmmmm. interesting. You'll need to edit your post to 2 Timothy 3 verses 16 and 17.

I'm very intrigued by this 'independant texts' business. When you say independent from author - you mean human author, right?

I wonder, is it better and easier to establish 'sufficiency of Law (for OT)' and 'sufficiency of Gospel (for NT)'? Does God actually give us more than we need in the canon?

Luke said...

I was trying to be smart and go 2 Tim 3:15 and 17 because verse 16 is always used for inerrancy. But I've amended it to go from 15 to 17 because verse 18 only exists in my imagination!

Ward says independent of their human author and independent from God as well to a certain extent because we don't worship the bible, it's the words of God. (But not morally independent from God of course!)

Do you mean more then we need for faith and godly living or just generally for informing us about the world? This is heading into a discussion of the canon but I reckon there is sufficient for a 'worldview.'

Al Bain said...

Thanks Luke.

I reckon that speech act theory is the biz. God's word acts upon its readers every time it is read/preached in the same way that it did when it came into existence. This is real power.