Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Lordship of Scripture

A few years ago two friends met who had not seen one another for about a decade. In college, they had a daily Bible study together. At that time, one was a valiant defender of the inerrancy and authority of Scripture.

When they met again, however, the inerrantist told the other he no longer believed in an inerrant Bible. The man asked him why. “Well,” he said, “I spent a couple of years in a Muslim country as a missionary, and I heard them saying the same things about the Koran. I guess I got a more cosmopolitan perspective.”

“When I got back to the States,” he continued, “I went to Union Seminary and was exposed to higher critical theories and scholarship, and I just had to set aside my mistaken youthful adherence to biblical infallibility.”

The man asked him what he still “was” able to believe, and he said, “I still believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” The man rejoiced to hear him say this. After all, important as the intellectual commitment to the doctrine of inerrancy is, it is faith in Christ that saves us.

But the man asked him this question: “You say you believe in Christ as your Lord. But how does He exercise His lordship? Obviously not through the Bible, because you have set up your own mind as the supreme judge of the Scriptures. So how do you know the Lord’s will?”

He said that he obtained God’s will through the church. “Which church?” I asked. “The Presbyterian church,” he replied. “Which Presbyterian church?” I asked. The man went on to point out to him that whatever church he chose, we both knew it had changed its mind from time to time and reversed itself on various positions.

This is where the rubber meets the road. The Reformers maintained that the Bible was the place where Christ’s Lordship and will were to be heard, because the church was fallible. The voice of the church has weight, but only the voice of the Son is inerrant.

Where in your life do you locate final authority for matters of faith and practice, ethics and decision making? If you claim Christ as Lord, that authority must reside in the unchanging Scriptures. In our day of changing standards, be sure that the decisions you make today are based on the unchanging truth of the Bible.