Theology for the Long Haul

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Great Quote from Carson's Newest

I am reading D.A. Carson's newest book, "Collected Writings on Scripture," and I found this quote...I had to share

“Some of us who would never dream of formally disentagling some parts of the Bible from the rest and declaring them less authoritative than other parts can by exegetical ingenuity get the Scriptures to say just about whatever we want … To our shame we have hungered to be masters of the Word much more than we have hungered to be mastered by it.

The pervasiveness of the problem erupts in the “Christian” merchant whose faith has no bearing on the integrity of his or her dealings, or in the way material possessions are assessed. It is reflected in an accelerated divorce rate in Christian homes and among the clergy themselves – with little sense of shame and no entailment in their “ministries.” It is seen in its most pathetic garb when considerable exegetical skill goes into proving, say, that the Bible condemns promiscuous homosexuality but not homosexuality itself (though careful handling of the evidence overturns the thesis), or that the Bible’s use of “head” in passages dealing with male/female relationships follows allegedly characteristic Greek usage and, therefore, means “source” (when close scrutiny of the primary evidence fails to turn up more than a handful of disputable instances of the meaning “source” in over two thousand occurrences). It finds new lease when popular evangelicals publically abandon any mention of “sin”- allegedly on the ground that the term no longer “communicates” – without recognizing that adjacent truths (e.g. those dealing with the fall, the law of God, the nature of transgression, the wrath of God, and even the gracious atonement itself) undergo telling transformation.

While I fear that evangelicalism is headed for another severe conflict on the doctrine of Scripture, and while it is necessary to face these impending debates with humility and courage, what is far more alarming is the diminishing authority of the Scriptures in the churches. This is taking place not only among those who depreciate the consistent truthfulness of Scripture but also (if for different reasons) among those who most vociferously defend it. To some extent we are all part of the problem; and perhaps we can do most to salvage something of value from the growing fragmentation by pledging ourselves in repentance and faith to learning and obeying God’s most holy Word. Then we shall also be reminded that the challenge to preserve and articulate a fully-consistent and orthodox doctrine of Scripture cannot be met by intellectual powers alone, but only on our knees and by the power of God.”

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