Monday, July 19, 2010

Form: The Sufficiency of Scripture

Content   =   Sola Scriptura
Form       =   The Sufficiency of Scripture


Allan Smith said...

The ultimate question is whether the doctrine of the goodness of God or that of the inerrancy of Scripture is to prevail when they conflict. I think the doctrine of the goodness of God is the more certain of the two. Indeed, only that doctrine renders this worship of Him obligatory or even permissible.


Gordon Cheng said...

Luke why *more* powerful? Why *more* important? If God spoke the words, it is hard to see how this is true.

Luke said...

Hi Allan,

The question of inerrancy is a separate one, I'm not sure what Lewis means here but I wonder if he creates an unnecessary conflict between one of God's attributes and God's communication.

Hi Gordon,

Great to have you post.

In short: It's amazing God made one cockroach but it's *more* amazing God made the whole world.

Longer answer: I often wondered what role extra-biblical information played in hermeneutics. Andrew Reid suggested the best way to understand the sufficiency of Scripture is by using the metaphor of gravity within the solar system. For example the fact that the Romans sometimes used public baths might change your interpretation of an individual word or concept but if the overall 'gravity' of Scripture goes against that fact then you go with the whole over the part.

Allan Smith said...

I keep coming back to those optical illusion thingys. Is this an ugly hag, or a beautiful girl? Is this silhouette spinning clockwise or anticlockwise?

Mother Theresa and Torquemada both read and drew their inspiration from the very same Bible. One was a saint, the other a devil. In what sense was the Bible sufficient for them?

Furthering Lewis's thought, if God isn't good, why should I believe a word he says? So belief in the goodness of God must come first, and can't be grounded in the Bible. Our confidence in the Bible comes second, inasmuch as it confirms the goodness of God.

Luke said...

But it's out of the frying pan and into the fire!

What advantage is there in relativism, if the medium is corrupted I can't understand the message? To make love meaningful it needs specificity rather than being a warm fuzzy force, however specificity will require clear communication.

Allan Smith said...

You can also ask, what's the use of an infallible book without an infallible interpretation, and how can a fallible person like me infallibly recognize this infallible interpretation? It all gets pretty fuzzy pretty fast.

Because God is good, he reveals himself to us as he deems best. But it's a conversation, not a lecture. We know God as we welcome him in our lives. As Jesus said, God gives his spirit to those who obey him.