Yesterday I reported a radical view of [re]interpreting the Bible – today we shall see there is a more traditional view.
When listening to Bob Gordon speak about the Bible one phrase was certain to appear,
“We all agree it is the Word of God, the only problem is, what does it mean?”
Of course if we had certainty on that then life would be more straightforward, though not necessarily easier.
One good piece of news is that “on behalf of (very) Conservative Christianity, John MacArthur knows the answer and is having a conference to tell us about it. After his Strange Fire conference you might detect a note of sarcasm in that last comment.
However I do admire people who have such clarity and certainty in these matters, I struggle at times to make sure I am really doing justice to God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, as I read and try to interpret. Maybe that means I haven’t read the right book to help me use the correct hermeneutical procedure, (or at least the one that is in favour at this point in time.) And then I might also struggle with the way Jesus used scripture at times, which was in direct contradiction to many of the principles and procedures suggested in those books.
Sometimes I think that idea of the Bible and the Holy Spirit might not be such a bad idea – at least until I hear some “Pentecostal” preaching!
Charisma news reported some of MacArthurs comments about the forthcoming conference,
“…experience and subjectivity are not authoritative, then the Bible—the source of all authority—is the only thing of consequence. Scripture is the revelation of divine truth. The truth is always experienced in the Christian life, but experience itself can never be allowed to define the truth.”
When asked what are the biggest problems facing today’s churches, MacArthur said it is related to Scripture.
“There are those who deny its absolute authority and inerrancy with severe consequences,” he explained. “There are those who misinterpret it and use it to teach error. There are those who understand its truth but fail to apply and proclaim it.”
“Errors regarding Scripture lead to a lack of discernment in the church, which is like spiritual AIDS. The church has a deficient immune system and then becomes sick with a thousand heresies,” MacArthur concluded.
The summit will feature Al Mohler, Ligon Duncan, Sinclair Ferguson, Carl Trueman, Iain Murray, Ian Hamilton, Derek Thomas, Miguel Nunez, Steve Lawson, R.C. Sproul, Mark Dever, Paige Patterson, Stephen Nichols and Kevin DeYoung.
“These are leaders who are willing to stand up for the integrity of Scripture without compromise,” MacArthur noted.
He said the summit “is intentionally designed to bring together men of conviction and influence to make a clear statement on this issue for our generation. It’s our prayer that the statements, articles and books that come out of this summit will honor our God who has spoken in His Word.”
So I end up firmly agreeing with Bob, I love the Bible, I treasure it and read it (almost) every day, it is the Word of God – but what does it mean?