Tuesday, April 08, 2008

We Can't Be Overcommitted to Scripture: We Usually Hold the Word Too Low

Psa 138:2 ... for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

I came across an excellent article by Stephen Macasil that expresses my own views very clearly. In this article Stephen deals with J.P. Moreland's error. Moreland has recently been offered by Reclaiming The Mind's Converse With A Scholar program (this is a ministry arm of Dallas Theological Seminary & Stonebriar Community Church). Here is part of Stephen Macasil's article:



Too many times we have been passé rather than angry! What if Jesus, when he saw those money changers in the temple, acted passively instead of what John tells us he did? What if he nudged one of the other observers with his elbow and said “wow, check out those dudes, no respect for the temple man,” and went about his day shaking his head in disappointment. He didn’t! He saw it, grabbed some cords and braided a whip. Then he stormed in there with whip swinging, turning over heavy granite tables and kicking people out. His actions provoked the question: “What sign do you show for doing these things?” He answered: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” You all know the story (John 2:14-22).


When a notable philosophy professor at a Christian University speaks to a crowd of conservative Christian leaders and says that Evangelicals are “over-committed to Scripture,” it should make you angry. It should not be simply waved off for what it is: irrational and absurd. It should make us angry to the point that we do something about it. That’s what we will be doing here for at least the next year or ??? If nobody challenges an ideology, it is bound to grow into something bigger. What Moreland has done is create a straw-man (bibliolatry), drawn absurdities from the straw-man, and swooped in with a solution to the very problem he has created with his own hands. What must be challenged is his negative portrayal of the role of Scripture for those who hold a very high view of Scripture. This can be done by demonstrating that the Bible opposes what he teaches and that it can be reasonably believed as the motive for why he has created the fictive bibliolaters in his imagination. Such unbiblical ideas like freewill, natural theology, natural law, man’s Reason, contemplative meditation, pagan philosophy etc., are ideas that are foundational to Moreland’s worldview. Reduce the role of Scripture in theology and practice and these ideas will fly like the eagle! Maintain that the Bible is the final authority and these ideas die!


In his response to his paper’s critics, he mentioned that his intention was to deliver the paper to academics, not laypersons. But as Frank Pastore said, Moreland is a master wordsmith that chooses his words very carefully and knew exactly how he was going to say what he wanted to say. Never did he ever give any examples of who the infamous bibliolaters are. I have waited, searched, waited some more, and he never gave the example of any church, theologian, denomination, movement, etc., that claims that nothing can exist outside of the Bible. Are there even real people out there that believe this? Are there any Christians that really believe cars don’t exist because they’re not in the Bible (except for the accord)?


Thank you Stephen! I'm so tired of professing Christians speaking the lie of Satan, who made the first attack on God's Word with such a low view was Satan himself:Gen 3:1 "Did God actually say...?"


I'm equally tired of professing Christians not getting angry about the attack on God, His authority, and His Word. If that doesn't get us involved in the War on Truth, WHAT WILL? Jude speaks to this very issue--we are to EARNESTLY CONTEND for the faith! Sin, error, deception in HIS name SHOULD anger us. It SHOULD anger us to see His sheep led astray and given a diet of garbage instead of healthy food. Read Jeremiah7, the 11th verse is what Jesus was quoting when clearing out the moneychangers:


Jer 7:8 "Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Jer 7:9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, Jer 7:10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'--only to go on doing all these abominations? Jer 7:11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD.


The deception done in HIS name and in HIS temple was an abomination to God. He was angry. David also conveyed this idea:


Psa 139:19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain! 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 22 I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!


Like Moreland and others, when you have a low view of Scripture, you will also have a low view of God and a very high view of man.


To quote Michael Patton (he's a member of the Evangelical Theological Society as is Moreland, and also director of Reclaiming the Mind (minstry of Chuch Swindoll's church and Dallas Theological Seminary):

The presupposition is this: All writers of Scripture, by virtue ofdivine inspiration and inerrancy, must have recorded everything in a technically precise way. I take issue with this presupposition. I do not believe that inspiration and inerrancy require technical precision."“The Gospel writers were simply telling the story of Christ asenthusiastic reporters of good news who were emotionally committed to the truths upon which they were reporting. This happens every day in ourown news reporting system and we don’t hold their feet to the fire oftechnical precision.”“Did the writers record the very words of Christ or the spirit oftruth that his words represent? I would say any inductive approach to arriving at a hermeneutical method demands the latter.”


More low views of God's Word by Michael Patton defending his friend and Dallas Theological Cemetary (he's written a book for New Testament Greek classes in cemetaries), Dan Wallace :


We believe that the Bible is a product that involves 100% man’s input and 100% God’s, don’t we? If we don’t, then we might as well take man out of the picture all together and admit we hold to mechanical dictation (that God simply used the human authors’ hands in writing the Scripture, not their head—sometimes called biblical docetism). If mechanical dictation is true, then we should not care who the authors were writing to and we certainly should not care why they are writing since their motives do not influence the interpretation. I take it that this is all Dan is doing when he makes such statements. He is trying to help people understand that in order to discover the divine purpose of Scripture, we must first take into account the human purpose. I do understand that people have taken this type of redaction criticism too far. Some have gone to the point of denying the truthfulness of the event based upon the expediency of the moment. But this is not in any way what Dan is doing. He is just giving the authors liberty to write an accurate account of the events, while not having to be technically precise with the wording or structure. Scholars refer to this distinction as the difference between ipsissima verba (the very words) and ipsissima vox (the very voice). Did the writers record the very words of Christ or the spirit of truth that his words represent? I would say any inductive approach to arriving at a hermeneutical method demands the latter.


The Canon of Scripture isn't closed, Patton says.


Spurgeon deals with those who have such a low view of Scripture:


"Find Jesus where you may, He is the antagonist of those who would lessen the authority of Holy Scripture. “It is written” is His weapon against Satan, His argument against wicked men. The learned of this hour scoff at the Book and accuse of Bibliolatry those of us who reverence the Divine Word; but in this they derive no assistance from the teaching or example of Jesus."—Spurgeon


"Not a word derogatory of Scripture ever fell from the lips of Jesus Christ; but evermore He manifested the most reverent regard for every jot and tittle of the inspired Volume. Since our Savior, not only before His death, but after it, took care to commend the Scriptures to us, let us avoid with all our hearts all teaching in which Holy Scripture is put into the background."--Spurgeon


Greg Koukl of Stand To Reason ministry (also a guest of Reclaiming the Mind's Converse With a Scholar) questions "Is the Bible Sufficient?" which Martin Bobgan of Psycho-heresy Awareness Ministry critiques and says:


One of Koukl’s arguments supporting his insufficiency-of-Scripture position is his view of what he calls "Wisdom from the Heathen." Koukl’s position implies that if the Bible contains wisdom taken from heathens, then Christians can use wisdom from psychology heathens or others. Koukl says:


The Wisdom Literature of the Amenomope is a body of work from the Middle East that pre-dates Proverbs. It’s of interest because it contains a section of material almost identical to Proverbs 22:17-24:22. It’s highly probable that the authors of the latter part of Proverbs borrowed this material from the Amenomope and inserted it into the inspired text.

Scripture says:


Psa 119:89 Forever, O LORD, Your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.

Psa 138:2 I bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word.

Is. 8: 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Mat 4:4 But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Psa 119:104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

2 comments:

TruthinLove said...

Denise,

I can't agree with you and Stephen more.

We must not lay down and just ignore people like J.P.Moreland. We must confront them, his sponsors, friends, etc. What he writes is blantant heresy..

It's the same thing we have heard since the beginning. Satan to Eve..Did God really say that? J.P.Moreland uses alot of words just like writers from the Emergent Church Movement but its still Satan talking through him...Did God really say and mean that..Naw, lets use inductive reasoning ( Another way of interpeting it the way we want not accepting what it truly says )

In induction reasoning there are always many conclusions that can reasonably be related to certain premises. Inductions are open; deductions are closed.. Sounds like Emergent Church thinking....anyway..

Of course here comes the fondness of the RCC and accepting what they believe to be relevant and true. What? Garbage!

Then he disses John Macarthur but doing it oooo so nicely, admitting the John had a "sliver" of truth in this arguement of Scripture being Supreme in the area of Pyschology...

Then he brings the Vineyard Church and Peter Wagner views of revelation..etc in play....

Maybe he is positioning himself as the next Prophet or Apostle with some words from God that we all need and can get .......when we call 1-800-XXXXXX and send them some seed money so our life will be greatly blessed.

And as for Patton and Wallace.. just a couple of more lovely theologians from the school that brought us the Theology of Free
(Cheap) Grace and No Lordship ..heresy..Their comments give make me really see how far the Evangelical Church has fallen.

The more I think about what Patton and Wallace say I simply cringe and want to call them on the phone right now for an explanation.. I will write Swindoll a letter and send it to himn through a friend of his...Every time I read their statements I come unglued...They are saying the words of the bible are not the Words of God...The Bible is God...They are the words of God .... How could Swindoll allow this? Its baloney!

Does no one Fear the Lord and what He thinks and can do?

Luke 12:4-5

4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Oh Denise I would like to say that no one in my church, would say things like Wallace and Patton. Even even though its led by a pastor that graduated from Masters Seminary I still hear and see too much that doesn't square with Gods Word...Pastors and lay people get worried about not having unity with other "believers" so they compromise or make it seem like Gods Word can be taken several different ways thus accomodating others wrong views, all for Unity!

In Christ..

Chuck

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