16 August 2012

What we confess as our sufficient, complete Bible: what's missing?

by Dan Phillips

Oncet upon a time, I wrote a constitution for a church I was attempting to plant, and along with it a Statement of Faith. The latter is available online for the curious and idle and, you know, whoever.

What I'm doing here is what I've long meant to do but never done. I am simply posting that portion of the statement that deals with the Bible, and then I shall ask one question in two ways. Mainly, I just want this post here for future reference.
The sixty-six books of the Protestant canon, in their original writings, comprise the verbally inspired, inerrant Word of God. The thirty-nine books known as the Hebrew Old Testament are God-breathed, products of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, and thus free from error in all that they affirm (cf. Deuteronomy 18:18, 19; Psalms 19:7, 8; 119:89, 142, 151, 160; Matthew 5:17-19; John 10:35; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21). Similarly, the twenty-seven books known as the Greek New Testament are the eternally abiding words of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:35), and are thus the words of God (John 7:16; 12:49). The Holy Spirit enabled the writers both to recall what the Lord said (John 14:26), and to continue to receive His revelation (John 16: 12-15). As a result, the writings of the New Testament are the commandment of the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:37), are Scripture (2 Peter 3:15, 16), and are God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). For this reason, the sinner finds the way of salvation through Scripture (Romans 10:17; 2 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 2: 1-3). The believer is made fruitful (Psalm 1:2, 3) and successful in the will of God (Joshua 1:8), warned and kept from sin (Psalms 19:11; 119:9,11), made holy (John 17:17), given wisdom (Psalm 9:7) and freeing knowledge of the truth (John 8: 31, 32), taught the fear of God (Psalm 119:38), counseled (Psalm 119:24), taught, reproved, corrected, and disciplined in the way righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16) by Scripture. Scripture is, in short, the fully adequate revelation of the person, ways, and will of God.
Now here's the question: all that being the case — being what God the Holy Spirit says about the nature, use, function and work of Scripture — what essential truth did God leave out? That is, what vitally-necessary truth-that-we-need-to-live-the-Christian-life-to-God's-glory did God leave to be supplemented by the additional misty, non-inerrant, vaporous, errant, semi-revelation that is so essential and vital to so many?

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94 comments:

The Blainemonster said...

Oncet - nice. And naught, I believe, is the answer to the question.

DJP said...

(c:

Jules said...

He left out nothing. It is complete.

Kerry James Allen said...

Nada, according to the only verses that aren't listed in this fine list, 2 Peter 1:3-4.

DJP said...

At the risk of derailing my own meta, Kerry: I hear those verse cited often in this connection. What I don't see is how to get exegetically from them to Scripture. How do we? I read them as speaking of God's spiritual provision for every believer, a la Eph. 1:3ff.

But truly, I am always happy to find more evidence for the sufficiency of Scripture, and I am eagerly wide-open to exegetical argument.

Nash Equilibrium said...

A trick question, perhaps?

Great post, Phil


-lips

General Soren said...

The only point of possible contention I have with this post is that the Bible doesn't tell anyone what, specifically, to do with their lives. Yes, we all know to be holy, but it doesn't say "Soren, go fix airplanes for missionaries" or "DJP, write a blog", or "X, go do Y for Jesus."

Somewhere, somehow, God leads each of us to do something special and unique for Him with our lives, and that something is the only thing not found in the Bible. It can't contradict anything in the Bible, and should be easily verified that it's Bible-based, true, but my name still isn't in the Book.

My $.02.

Kerry James Allen said...

I guess I see "through the knowledge of Him" as referring to the Scriptures where we gain the knowledge of Him, but hey, tomato, tomahto. Even if these passages don't refer to Scripture there are certainly enough others that teach that nothing is lacking.

Tom Chantry said...

What questions?! How can you even ask that!?!?! Are you suggesting that it is not "vitally-necessary truth-that-I-need-to-live-the-Christian-life-to-God's-glory" for me to know which woman to marry, which job to take, which shirt to put on in the morning, or which size fries I should get with my next Whopper? How in the world am I supposed to make any of those decisions in your theology?

DJP said...

This is precious.

Someone one-starred a post that is a simple re-wording of what the Bible says about itself, and a question as to whether it means something.

DJP said...

Betwixt Soren and Tom I think we have the modern crux:

Person A: the Bible doesn't tell me everything I want to know about X, so I must find some other way to get that out of God to some degree.

Person B: the Bible doesn't tell me everything I want to know about X, so He means me to use my brains and make responsible choices (Prov. 16:1, 9, etc. ad inf.).

Like Adam. Which fruit? Whichever you want. Just not that one.

See, to me, that shows whether or not your REALLY BELIEVE in the sufficiency of Scripture to do what it says it does.

Kerry James Allen said...

"His Word is so full, so perfect, that for God to make any fresh revelation to you or me is quite needless. To do so would be to put a dishonour upon the perfection of that Word." CHS

Kerry James Allen said...

And Chantry, why would you ask about God's will in relation to a Whopper when a Baconator exists?

Chris Roberts said...

Soren,

God guides all our lives in ways we don't understand in order to work out his will for us, for others, for the cosmos. But from our individual side, I think we make a mistake to go looking for God's Will For Our Lives. His will for us is that we love and serve God, uphold his Word, walk in obedience to his ways. Whatever we find to do within those parameters is fair game - granted that we are praying for wisdom and guidance, praying for God to lead us his way, praying for the Spirit to grant us greater understanding, learning our Bibles, being held accountable in the fellowship of believers - in other words, doing all the things the Bible tells us to do. In that way, we pursue God's will for us.

Bishop55 said...

General Soren,

In the future I would suggest that, before commenting, you

A. Read the entire post, digest it, meditate on it, look up the scripture references (wait, you don't even have to because they pop-up on the screen), and pray and ask God to give you wisdom to understand His word.
B. Search the TeamPyro archives to see if your question has not been answered (10 times over) before.
C. Ask Google to show you the historic Christian teachings about spiritual gifts as well as what is generally called "Providence".

Doing so will prevent you from derailing the comment thread and help you avoid the gentle rebukes from other TeamPyro readers who have taken the time to thoughtfully consider the post and the implications of what was written.

Just a heads-up.

Frank Turk said...

Jesus did not mention me by name, DJP.

That's what the Bible is lacking: Me.

Frank Turk said...

I LOVE THE ONE-STAR HATER!

Frank Turk said...

DJP: I didn't even get to Soren's comment, and there you go: exhibit "A".

thomcole said...

Well, when your post is as obtuse as it is, I guess the answer is, "He left out nothing!"

Seriously, I spent 26 of the last 30 years in church's that practiced "extra-biblical revelation." I look back on it now and see how totally absurd some of the things I heard were. Now, I'll just stick with the Word. It is surely sufficient.

Tom Chantry said...

And Chantry, why would you ask about God's will in relation to a Whopper when a Baconator exists?

I repent in dust and ashes.

As penance, I shall go without bacon for one month. Eh...would you believe one week? No? Three days? OK, how about this, I'll push aside the plate of bacon in front of me now and say ten "Hail Spurgeons" before I finish it. Will that do?

Charlene said...

Well done, DJP. Keep banging that drum. I'm constantly amazed at how much Muzzy Mysticism has seeped into every church and into Christian thinking in general. I think Frank hit the nail on the head: most people believe that God left their personal lives out of the Bible so they have to seek his specific directions on that.

(Kindle says I've read 73% of The World-Tilting Gospel and so far it's excellent. If y'all don't have it, get it. Hope I'm not derailing this thread!)

DJP said...

Thanks, Charlene. I'll keep banging it until everyone agrees with you and me.

And that is very, very funny. "Derailing" by saying a kind word about my book. Grateful to hear it's being a blessing to you.

General Soren said...

Chris Roberts:

Got it. Thanks, man. I guess I'm one of those guys that wants a red, flashing arrow over the One Thing I'm supposed to be doing.

"It's all fair game within the rules" leaves it pretty wide open, and that's not always reassuring. I'd rather know to a metaphysical certainty that I'm meant to go this way or that.

It's not so much about the sufficiency of Scripture as it is about my own insecurity in my knowledge of Scripture. I can read it, I can think I understand it, I can be pretty sure that I'm within the guidelines, but I'd much rather have that visit from an angel that says "Soren, go to Afghanistan", or what have you.

It would remove human foolishness from the equation.

Bishop55:

I stand gently sharpened, but not by you, for you answered nothing at all. Chris Roberts did a much better job, because he provided an answer in a gentle fashion.

Frank:

Did I somehow wrong you with my question? Have I offended you, that I'm not quite comfortable with the lack of "Go here, do this" in the Bible? That I would much rather get a precise message from God, to remove my failings from the equation?

Because if I have, I'm sorry. I'm not here to derail anything, or to troll, or to cause trouble.

This really is something that bothers me, because in a year, I'll be overseas, fixing airplanes for a missionary organization, and I'm rather worried that I'll get there and it'll turn into a disaster, and it'll be a waste of the money other people will donate to get me there.

DJP said...

Soren: "I guess I'm one of those guys that wants a red, flashing arrow over the One Thing I'm supposed to be doing."

Dude, you are not alone. If reality were determined by "want," it'd be there. I want that, too. And I think here, in evanjellybeandom, wish has been mother to the thought.

But as I've explained in a dozen or two ways over the years, rather than reasoning "I want that! I need it! I must find a way to make it be in Scripture!" we should do the reverse, and conclude that GOD thinks we don't need it, and wants us to operate otherwise.

Or He'd've given it.

Rhology said...

That's what the Bible is lacking: Me.

FRANK TURK FOR THE WIN.

Rhology said...

Soren,

This is what you need.

I'm not kidding. It is really good.

Jared T. Baergen said...

DJP,

Love your explanation of Biblical inspiration, authority, sufficiency, etc. However, I feel like it needs some "alone"'s added. That's just my opinion, though: no extra-biblical revelations here...

"Scripture [alone] is, in short, the fully adequate revelation of the person, ways, and will of God."

Kerry James Allen said...

Tom, consider yourself absolved. Of course an absolution from me is worth about as much as a sack of Milorganite.

Kerry James Allen said...

OT BibC: "You can't have bacon."
LC2: "That's your truth not my truth."
Oh wait, the was an older post.

Tom Chantry said...

Of course an absolution from me is worth about as much as a sack of Milorganite

Now if we can just get Mr. Ratzinger to admit the same.

Rhology said...

And Mr. Hinn.

Frank Turk said...

Rho: it's what I do.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Odd enough (and true) before Frank posted I almost threw in that the only thing lacking in scripture is that Frank Turk is a menace who must be stopped. Now I see that if only it were in there, both of us would be happy!

Peter said...

Oh, ok. I'll bite.

Here's one thing missing:

"Slavery is wrong."

Seems pretty important to me.

Cathy said...

Soren-
I think one of the primary reasons we want God's specific directions written to us in the sky, is related to what you mentioned about your fear that what you are doing will turn into disaster. I think we want a guarantee. Here's how that plays out:
I get a sense God tells me to do A. So I do A, and it turns into a disaster (depending on your criteria for disaster). Conclusion- that was definitely not God's will.
I get a sense God tells me to do B. So I do B, and it turns out great (depending on your criteria for great). Conclusion: that was definitely God's will.
So you end up determining God's will based on outcome, and your own assessment of that outcome.
Can you see where this will lead? You end up with a very self centered, comfort driven, pragmatic view of God's will. And if you look around evangelicalism - isn't that exactly what you see?!
There is a way better way- keep wrestling through it, brother.

Rhology said...

Peter,

That's not all that well-formed of an objection.

Pastor Zach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donsands said...

"Slavery is wrong." -Peter

No it's not, and yes it is.

Lot more to it Peter.

Perhaps DJP, or Cent will expound on what the Holy Word does say about slavery.
Or, you can go and study up on it yourself.


Daryl said...

I figure "according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Eph 1:11) pretty much covers Soren's objection.

We know what we need to know. We couldn't marry someone other than the one God intended for us, or take the job he didn't want for us even if we tried.

Peter said...

donsands,

Thanks for informing me that i can go study up on it myself. I feel reasonably well informed, as it is.

Clearly the Bible permits certain forms of slavery. So, if you're ok with that, then no problem.

I'm saying what's missing (what it, in fact, should say) is that "Slavery is wrong."

Rhology said...

Peter,

How do you know it should say it?

Peter said...

Rhology,

Well, all of society (indeed, the whole world) believes it to be a fundamental truth about the human experience.

But I guess its ok the Bible doesn't say it. [Although I enjoy reading how others get the Bible to "say" it now! Even though, somehow, their interpretation was missing for a millenium.]

Or maybe it isn't a fundamental truth. You are free to argue that.


[Ugh. I shouldn't have "bit." I have better things to do today...]

Rhology said...

all of society (indeed, the whole world) believes it to be a fundamental truth about the human experience.

Then why is it that slavery is and has been so widespread?
Is the moral justifiability of a given action dependent on whether "all of society" thinks it is justifiable?

I don't think you believe that consistently.

I'm glad you stopped by, b/c this is a bad argument and I pray you'll repent of thinking that you know better than God.

Jared T. Baergen said...

Peter,

If Scripture "should" say it, It would say it. Otherwise Scripture contradicts itself (Ps. 19:7-9); thus, God would be illogical, since Scripture is the collection of His own words (1 Pet. 1:20-21).

If God, who created logic, spoke illogically, then our own logic is unreliable in every way and in every sense; we therefore couldn't know anything.

Scripture shouldn't say anything beyond what is already written, and we mustn't go beyond that (1 Cor. 4:6).

Whether Scripture talks about slavery or not, while I don't agree to slavery, that doesn't mean that something is therefore "missing" from the Bible.

Bill said...

Peter/Rho
The problem is in part how one defines slavery. OT vs 1800 US ain't quite the same.

donsands said...

"I feel reasonably well informed, as it is."-Peter

Bill makes a good point Peter. Do you agree?

What I was thinking of as well is that there are many things in this corrupt and evil world and age that God allows, and yet, He little by little changes.

God chose Abraham. And made His covenenat with Him, and circumcision is no longer binding.

Just to throw out one aspect of God's word.

I am settled that God's Word is truth, and my thinking is tainted. Dan has expalined the Holy Writ as what it is.
It is what it is.

We need to dig deeper sometimes my friend.

Nash Equilibrium said...

To say that the type of slavery that was practiced in North America (and numerous other places throughout history) is not condemned in scripture seems pretty absurd to me. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" seems to cover it, and of course we could add numerous other scriptures to the list. No one who observed the golden rule could possibly have held slaves in the conditions that they were held in the Colonies, nor forcibly broken up families, and so on.

The trouble was, these slaveholders were doing exactly what Peter is doing: Presuming what the Bible "should" say, or simply ignoring it and coming up with their own moral code. The only difference is he's on one side of the issue, and they were on another.

People coming up with their own moral code is far scarier than people seriously applying scripture, even though they may come out with slightly different interpretations when they do apply it.

Consider that many people in Nazi Germany, through their own moral reasoning, concluded that the Jews should be done away with. They could never have gotten to that position from scriptural reasoning.

People superimposing their own thoughts of what the Bible ought to say is a dangerous thing that leads to disaster no matter how well-intentioned at first.

Linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter said...

For what it's worth, I am not talking about slavery as practiced in North American.

I am saying that you have no biblical basis to condemn slavery as it was practiced at the time of Jesus/Paul.

Indeed, if someone were to advocate for bringing back voluntary slavery due to debt--something that seems particularly relevant in these times--then you have no Biblical basis to condemn that.

To the extent that you would want to condemn it (and you would NOT allow it), you are using a morality that is not Biblical. So I think the Bible left some things out.

Linda said...

There is Nothing left out-2 Timothy 3:16

With that being said, I think the ONLY problem with many Christians is they become laxed and treat God's word as wooden. God gave us the Holy Spirit and God's word is "Living and Active"..I mean when was the last time many a Christian "did eat His word and it became sweet like honey in their mouth?" –Ezekiel 3:3 -

@ Peter ----the Bible DOES say that and I quote---"1) Kidnapping someone for any purpose—but especially for the purpose of slavery—is a capital crime in the Bible. Exodus 21:16 reads, “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” This passage, if treated literally, would have ended the American institution of slavery.
2) Slavery in Old Testament times was fundamentally different than American slavery. It was an institution of mercy, which people entered voluntarily, for the purpose of providing for their families. It was not based on the kidnapping, sale, and ownership of individuals. Slaves were released very six years (Exodus 21:2). There is no concept of perpetual slavery in the Bible.
3) The Bible prohibits returning run-away slaves to their masters. Deuteronomy 23:15-16forbids fugitive slave laws. If a slave runs away, he is given his freedom and is allowed to dwell “wherever it suits him.”
4) In the Roman world, where kidnapping for slavery was more common, the New Testament says that a person who sinned in such a way was not welcome in the church. In 1 Timothy 1:10, Paul writes that “enslavers” have no place in the kingdom of God. The Greek word used for “enslavers” refers to those who took people into slavery against their will.
Much could be said about the horrors of American slavery. But any assessment of the Bible’s teaching leads to the realization that Scripture actually stands in opposition to the American slave trade. Yes, the Bible does say, “slaves, obey your masters” (Eph 6:5). But the kind of slavery described in the Bible is fundamentally different than the kind of slavery that was practiced in the Americas, and any honest historian should know that."-end quote


Rhology said...

You didn't read the link, did you?


if someone were to advocate for bringing back voluntary slavery due to debt--something that seems particularly relevant in these times--then you have no Biblical basis to condemn that.

You mean indentured servitude?
That's probably a better system than we have in America today.


So I think the Bible left some things out.

How do you know that your moral opinion is superior to the Bible's?

Peter said...

Rhology,

I wasn't asserting that "slavery is wrong" simply because the entire world believes it to be true.

Peter said...

Rhology,

I did read the link, and I was not impressed. But I don't have the time to deal with it now (although I feel confident I could).

I have the "time" now to deal with 3 minute blocks of time.

Also, why do you keep wanting to get into an argument about epistemology?

I am simply asserting it, because I believe most people recognize it as something that is true (i.e. Slavery is wrong.)

If you don't believe that it is true, that is fine by me. But if you believe it to be true, why are arguing about how we know it?

Rhology said...

??
You keep asserting the Bible left something out.
I am asking you to substantiate this assertion. Simple as that.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Peter - "voluntary slavery" -that's kind of a contradictory term isn't it? That sounds like an employment contract to me.

But if instead you're talking about forced lifetime servitude with no human rights (you know, slavery as practiced under the Romans and also in North America), then in that case I can't understand why you think "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" isn't condemning of that type of slavery? Can you explain that?

michelle said...

Linda - you are my personal favorite in the particular meta...love it!

Peter - there are certain things you can infer from the study of Scripture that it doesn't spell out in simple "Do" and "Don't" lists. That requires diligent, thoughtful, careful study of Scripture. Which requires time and effort to know and meditate on what God actually has said. I think we can apply that principle to the issue of slavery, as Linda has so wonderfully shown (did I mention you are my favorite, Linda?).

LanternBright said...

Actually, Rhology, Peter already has substantiated his assertion--at least in his own eyes.

See, in Peter's world, morality is actually determined not by the sovereign decree of God, but by the vote of the majority.

So if he'd been living in a world where the Nazis had won World War II, he'd be complaining that the Bible had "left something out" because it doesn't tell us we ought to kill Jews.

It's really pretty simple when you look at it.

Tom Chantry said...

To try to return this drifting thread to the discussion of the original post...

...Dan's question was not, "Is there anything true that the Bible leaves out?" We would all agree that there is plenty. I do not believe that the Bible says that Babe Ruth's batting average in 1927 was .356, but it was. Neither was Dan's question, "Is there anything important that the Bible left out?" Again, we would all agree, there's plenty. The Bible doesn't tell you, for instance, that men over age 50 ought to get a PSA test, but that's fairly important.

What Dan said was, "That is, what vitally-necessary truth-that-we-need-to-live-the-Christian-life-to-God's-glory did God leave [out]?"

Apparently, according to Dan (and I agree) I don't need the Bible to say "Slavery is wrong" in order for me to live the Christian life to God's glory.

The Bible does not comment on every political system, nor does it address directly every possible policy. It does speak to how Christians are to live their lives. For instance, the Bible never really comments on the inequity of the Roman government having a system of due process for its own citizens and no due process for its conquered peoples. What it does is address how Christians ought to relate to authorities. Do I take that to mean that it's OK to have a dual system? Not really - it's bad policy, and I know that even though there's no verse of the Bible which tells me so. I couldn't answer every political question out of the Bible if I needed to; it's part of why God gave us intelligence.

What the Bible does say is sufficient for its purpose. More does not require a special revelation from God, and that is, I think, Dan's point.

A lot of people have a problem with what the Bible does say about slavery, mainly because the Bible - especially in the New Testament - is more concerned with telling Christians how to live in the system they had than with condemning the system itself. But expecting the Bible to determine our system of government is unreasonable - that's not its purpose.

The Westminster Shorter Catechism is helpful at this point:

Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.

Dan's question fits that definition. Given what the Scripture is, what has been left out.

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rhology said...

And your substantiation that slavery is wrong?

Peter said...

Rhology,

Do you disagree with me that slavery is wrong?

If you we both believe slavery is wrong, why do I need to substantiate it?

Jared T. Baergen said...

Chantry brings down the hammer! Good redirect.

Peter said...

Tom,

As a whole, I think you make good points.

But I think you are letting the Bible off too easily with regard to slavery. It isn't like "men over 50 should get a PSA test."

It goes to a core aspect of humanity. It seems to me that the Bible should comment on it. And, I would argue, it DOES comment. Slavery (at least certain kinds) is permitted! On what basis can we say it is not permitted now?

Kerry James Allen said...

"Chantry brings down the hammer! Good redirect."

New Nom de Plume for Chantry: Thor, or perhaps Milwaukee Thunder.

Tom Chantry said...

Peter,

My answer would be, slavery is not permitted now because we are not in the circumstances of then.

By that I mean, the Bible never sets out to directly reform political or economic systems. Slavery existed throughout the entire known world during the whole time that the Bible was being written. The Bible never tries to replace that system with another; rather it addresses believers with a series of commands about how to live within the existing system: "Don't physically abuse people. Respect families. Kidnapping is an abomination." And so on.

Now, in actual practice, these and other restrictions did lead to the slow death of slavery as Christianity grew, but abolition was never a direct goal of the Bible; righteous living within a fallen culture was.

How is today different? In the first place, we don't have slavery, so to adopt it would be (as it was in the case of Europeans enslaving Africans) a development away from the status quo toward something else. That's not always wrong, but...

Secondly, an intelligent reading of history tells us that no matter how many high-sounding theories of slavery a person may have, it has always - and I mean always - resulted in vast wickedness. Especially today, as a Christian, I can look back to a time when professing Christians thought they had a good argument for slavery, and what did they wind up doing? They kidnapped, they tortured, they raped, and they murdered defenseless people - all in direct disobedience to God's law.

So God has given me a brain, and a knowledge of history, and I know that slavery is bad because it always produces great evil, no matter how many neat-sounding theories people - including Christians - have come up with in the past. I don't need the Bible to say, "Slavery is wrong" to reach that conclusion, although my whole approach is informed by biblical morality.

Dan's point, which I think is being missed here, is that I don't need God to say to me in a vision, "Hey, don't own your neighbor," in order for me to reach that conclusion. The Bible informs my morality, and God gave me a brain to figure it out from there.

Peter said...

Nash,

I like how your "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" can then be used for anything!!

For example, are you against same sex marriage? Do unto others!

At any rate, I think that "do onto others" only meant that you should treat others (in the situation that they are in) how you would like to be treated (if you too were in that situation). So, basically, you should be nice to your slaves.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Tom C: So you're basically saying that just because God didn't specifically mention my pet political issue, that the Bible is still complete?
WAAAAHHHHH!
Yeah i guess that makes sense, at that.

Nash Equilibrium said...

Peter - now you're dealing in non sequiturs. (That's a sign that your logic is wearing thin and you know it): What's known as the Golden Rule cannot be applied to condone something that the Bible says is a sin (in this case, homosexuality).

And actually, because the Bible does specifically identify homosexuality as a sin, the Golden Rule would cry out for me to warn homosexuals that it is a sin even though the majority of people now seem to agree that it isn't a sin. After all, if I were sinning and didn't know it, I would want someone to tell me, right?

Since the Bible tells me to love my neighbor as myself, I don't need it to *also* say that holding him in bondage against his will is sinful. Just as I don't need the Bible to tell me that gay marriage specifically is wrong, since it already addresses the sinfulness of the underlying sin of homosexuality. Therefore I don't need to insist that the Bible "should have said" something about gay marriage.

dac said...

Not sure any charismatic would disagree with you dan...after all, the role of the Holy Spirit in believers lives is presented in the bible, ergo what he does in peoples lives is, ipse facto, completely not contradictory with the Bible

Peter said...

Look, I didn't mean to hijack the comments.

I think Dan's post was supposed to be about Charismatics.

(And Tom, I appreciate your thoughtful reply.)

DJP said...

Every Charismatic without exception and by definition disagrees with the post, DAC, in practice if not in theory.

That you would say such a foolish thing only proves that you have not been paying attention -- which seems to be the perverse subagenda for virtually every one of your comments.

DJP said...

When I saw the volume of comments that erupted while I was AFK, I found myself gravitating back towards simply closing comments on all my posts, or at least controversial ones. But then I saw that Peter was fully answered right away, and then over and over again.

Well done, folks. Remember, just because someone doesn't admit it doesn't mean he hasn't been decisively answered.

donsands said...

"Look, I didn't mean to hijack the comments."-Pete

Hijacking is wrong. Slavery is wrong, and it isn't wrong. But hijacking is wrong.

I enjoyed the interaction myself with the subject of slavery and the Word. Good stuff to take in.

Need to study up on it a bit more, with this pea brain of mine.

O Young said...

It seems to me that those who think that there is something missing are much like the disciples at the Last Supper. Jesus just finished telling them that He was leaving and that they could not follow now but that they would follow later and they knew the way. He had also told them to love one another as He has loved them and yet they jumped over all of that and asked "Where are you going?". Instead of taking in the teachings that were clear, they jumped over it in search of what was "missing" when in fact there was nothing missing.

O Young said...
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Linda said...
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Jeremiah Greenwell said...

Soren, I really don't want to bang on you anymore; I think there's been enough of that. But as a former soldier myself who prefers to simply have my orders handed to me and expect to carry them out, think of it this way: "Remember your training."

God gives you His overarching objective for your life; "Bring Me glory." Does that mean you'll know where this road will lead you or that you'll never be surprised by the enemy or even betrayed by those who are supposed to be your allies? When you're going to clear a home you know what you need to do, but do you have any idea what will be on the other side of the door when you enter?

It's not a matter of studying through everything you've learned right when to perform your duties; "remember your training," as in you have been equipped to handle this. You know well enough what needs to be done by God's word and the manner in which it should be done, it's simply a matter of watching and waiting for the opportunity, praying at all times in the spirit and trusting in God's providing hand.

For instance, you see you need to provide for your family because that is the way that God has designed it to be; find a job and work it. There may be places that are preferable or places you clearly want to avoid, but there no mystery in the fact that you need to provide for your family. The only question is where and how, which will always depend on situations and what is wise and prudent, which the scripture is an all-sufficient guide for.

And if you haven't been thoroughly equipped with a knowledge of scripture there's an easy way to rectify that: learn it. Study it. Get in a church that will encourage you to grow in godliness. Just like no one can ever prepare for the horrors of war you can never be prepared for everything, but don't use that as an excuse to neglect your fundamental knowledge of the things you need to know in order to fight this spiritual war we're in.

Yes, it would be much easier if God would simply take over our every step for us, but that just simply isn't reality, is it?

DebbieLynne said...

This is precious.

Someone one-starred a post that is a simple re-wording of what the Bible says about itself, and a question as to whether it means something.


Funny and sad at the same time. But an honest Charismatic response, actually.

Linda said...

@Jeremiah you said "Yes, it would be much easier if God would simply take over our every step for us, but that just simply isn't reality, is it?"

Forgive me if I've misunderstood your statement but God does direct a man's steps-

Pro 20:24 "A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?"

Pro 16:9 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

"trust in the LORD with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will direct your path"

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."-Romans 12:2.

"Thy WORD is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path"-Psa 119:105


Jeremiah Greenwell said...

"Forgive me if I've misunderstood your statement but God does direct a man's steps."

Ok.

They're still my feet along with my thoughts and will He's using to bring about His purposes.

I didn't deny God's sovereignty, I was simply pointing to the reality of the confusion of this present evil age we live in with this corrupt nature still clinging to us so that we can't always walk perfectly or know the exact right thing to do. Until I can walk in perfect faith I will never absolutely know if that what I am doing is right, and there's only one Man who's ever done that and I don't claim to be Him.

busdriver4jesus said...

What's left out is I Cor 13:10... the verse that tells us when spiritual gifts will cease: at our physical death or the bodily return of Christ. What does it say about a Christian who not only plays, but beats to death, the drum of Scriptural sufficiency, then has to conjure up a doctrine in contradiction to the sufficient testimony of Scripture?

DJP said...

Since that verse can't mean either of those things, the point is moot.

DJP said...

...and, by the way, you did completely ignore every word of the post.

James Kime said...

Dan, one passage you may want to include is 2 Cor 3:4-6

HCSB
We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ. 5 It is not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God. 6 He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life

The New Covenant wasn't a mystery. It was plainly spelled out in the OT. What is it the Spirit does to make us competent ministers? He drives us into the Word which he authored.

Plainly stated, if you do not embrace the sufficiency of God's word, you must believe God failed to finish His job.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Peter: "So, basically, you should be nice to your slaves."

Coincidentally, I found this comment on Denny Burk's comment thread on his post "How Complementarianism is a Gospel Issue":

"Don, while I’ll agree that there are faithful gospel believing egalitarians, the Bible does CLEARLY teach male headship in marriage and the church. I’m sorry if that seems arrogant, but its true. Equally clearly, the Bible teaches that being a slaveholder is acceptable for Christians as long as they treat their slaves justly and fairly. And attacking the validity of the Bible’s teaching on anything, including slavery or complementarianism, is an attack on the authority of Scripture and iindirectly on its primary message, the gospel." (Nathan Stuller)

comeinfromtherain said...

... and yet when I was in danger of getting into an accident and was calling out to Jesus, He said to me, "I heard you." I wasn't requiring an answer from Him, He was under no obligation to answer my call in that manner, but He did.
When I was meditating on my bed, God spoke to me and said, "It's time to go to work". I wondered what that could mean. Several months later I understood.
When I was in my prayer closet praying at that moment for the apartment manager, God spoke to me and said, "Today" later that morning I found out that he had passed away in the night.
And there are more instances like these.
I don't say these things to convince you, I couldn't expect you to change your mind because of some claims by some stranger.
I'm just sayin'. for me it's just not as easy to pretend that it's all cut and dried.
(I do want to be clear that I don't seek "a word" for guidance, the Bible teaches that wisdom is the surest form of guidance).

DJP said...

And these were essential needs not at all supplied by the Bible, without which you would have been unable to know and serve God?

Phil said...

THANK YOU for the closing sentence/question at the end of this post! I've wanted to ask so many Christian exactly that question.

I've been in the in the Christian singles community and around singles ministries for over a decade now and it's scary but true that the #1 gauge of whether or not someone "has a relationship with God" is whether or not the receive direct personal revelation -- "that still small voice." No revelation-in-prayer = no date, no way. It's usually dismissed with some variant of: "I don't want someone who just knows *about* God, but someone actually *knows* Him, and not just the Bible." I can't tell you how many times I've been chided (or worse) because I don't "hear the sweet voice of the Lord" and don't "just sit and wait on His Presence" for special revelation in prayer time. It could just be me, but I would say that for at least 80-90% of practicing Evangelicals this practice has become *the* hallmark of a true "relationship" with God; without it no one will take your walk seriously. My church, too, recently tried incorporating a "time to wait on the voice of the Lord" (i.e., 4 minutes of mid-service silence).

I'm was a loss on how to combat this, but then I realized that the burden of proof is not on us, but on those promoting the practice! Your question -- again, thank you -- is the perfect way to demand of them that they explain the justification and application for the practices they're peddling.

Linda said...

Oh Michelle -(salt n light) you're just a sweetheart..

Linda said...

comeinfromtherain, these are all subjective to(you)as real as they may be. So how do you know it was from God? It could have been from you or from Satan..It must be lined up with God's word.

And you know, David Koresh could only offer the (same proof) as well and look where eventually it got him. This is why it's so dangerous. It's subtle and innocent. It's flurtatious and sensual incrementally leading us away from God's WORD.

The word of God is solid truth. Messages and experiences outside of God's word are not solid objective facts -they are subjective ONLY to the individual. In fact even our individual testimonies as real as they are-are subjective. God's word is objective truth that has changed people's lives the (same way) in Christianity for almost 2000 years.

And here's the thing, I am not disputing the fact that God is at work in our lives if we have truly been converted. There is the subjective side in- " Rom 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."-this is the emotional, experiential side of God's love(the HEART) that can lead and DOES lead MANY Christians astray.

The real TEST is to see is if it lines up with God's Word. By testing our experiences, any messages or testimony to discover if we are being deceived or not. We MUST always appeal to God's word

If I were the devil, this is exactly where I'd seduce Christians.. Satan hates God's word and will do ANYTHING to draw us away. God speaks to us through his word and it wells up in us for ex. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart"" and then we get excited and filled with His joy that his word really is living and active". Then Satan comes along and plays upon our(heartstrings) which is the seat of our emotions) to want MORE. He works incrementally to draw us away through seducing us with messages that sound true because they are coming to pass. But if we are not careful we fall for this and lust after the experience or the message MORE than God's word which is supposed to be our JOY and delight.. This is how slick he is. This is what leads many Christians down the path of mysticism.. Before you know it they are compromising God's word.. We MUST not let the subjective emotional, experiential part carry us away from God's WORD… This is extremely vital. This is what's happening to many Christians today. Before you know it they are following satan's voice

"Test everything, hold onto the good; avoid every kind of evil"-1 Thess.5:21

"Test the spirits to see if they are from God"-1 John 4:1

Linda said...

Pro 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

Bill Lonas said...

The Bible didn't declare slavery to be wrong because it's not wrong.

Not only is slavery NOT wrong but we are ALL slaves. Either a slave to sin and death or a slave of Christ.

Given the right Master, slavery is a wonderful thing.

comeinfromtherain said...

DJP, I don't claim that these were, "... essential needs not at all supplied by the Bible, without which you would have been unable to know and serve God?".
I didn't seek them, I saw them merely as gifts of God's grace to me. (What else could I call it when God condescends to speak to me or comfort me?)
Linda, I hear you, but I cannot pretend that they didn't happen, nor would I be comfortable crediting Satan with these thoughtful tokens from God.
I don't expect either (any) of you to try to see it through my eyes, because I agree that theology can't be shaped by the testimony of strangers. So, why did I bother saying anything at all? I don't know, maybe because it makes me uncomfortable to hear something stated as so absolute, when it isn't quite that simple.
I really want to note again, because Linda's post seems somewhat to accuse me of it again. That I absolutely do not, seek words or revelations from God outside of the Scriptures, I don't seek guidance this way, I don't live for experiences. All of these occasions have been unsolicited. Indeed that is the part that has always made them all the more surprising to me.

DJP said...

Thanks, comeetc. I don't mind your sharing them. I'd just make a couple of comments.

The point of the post is that leaky Canoneers insist that extrabiblical semirevelation is essential. I lay out what the Holy Spirit says the Bible does, and my point is that it provides everything we need to know and serve God.

So you tell a story.

Now the focus moves from Christ and the Word to you and your story. What was it? What to make of it? What was really going on there? Do I need that? Will it happen to me? Should I encourage the people under my care to seek, be open to, or expect such things?

You see the effect, though certainly not intended by you?

I'm glad you say you don't seek them and don't run your life by them. I'd also encourage you to ignore them. I wonder how many other hunches and passing thoughts you have had that have come to nothing, or been dead-wrong, that you aren't sharing. (Truly, I am not saying that accusingly; I just think that's the nature of the case, like I don't tend to tell long fishing stories that end up with no trout.)

Folks who relate such stories almost invariably say, "Of course, it has to be tested by Scripture." Well, I say, How about testing the story itself by Scripture? Timothy and Titus tell these pastors how to run churches. Where's the part about being open to nonauthoritative mumbles from on high? Why was that left out?

Because it's not a factor. Or it'd be there.