Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aphorism from Calvin on Divine Scripture

6. By the Holy Scriptures, also, God the Creator is known. We ought to consider what these Scriptures are; that they are true, and have proceeded from the Spirit of God; which is proved by the testimony of the Holy Spirit, by the efficacy and antiquity of the Scriptures, by the certainty of the Prophecies, by the miraculous preservation of the Law, by the calling and writings of the Apostles, by the consent of the Church, and by the steadfastness of the martyrs, whence it is evident that all the principles of piety are overthrown by those fanatics who, laying aside the Scripture, fly to revelations. [Calvin, J. (1997). Institutes of the Christian religion. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]
Imagine a scholar calling Scripture holy or divine! Scripture breaks in upon us and threatens us. In some cases Scripture frightens us. It threatens to rip the idols we have set up in our hearts away from us. For some, these idols are materialism, secular prestige, success in a career, being the perfect wife, husband, father, or mother. For others, it is their academic respectability. We find ways around the Scripture that threatens to change us, threatens to take away some of the things we cherish the most. How do we respond? We invent wicked and evil ways of getting around Scripture. Satan never questions if God was there. He didn't even question if God could speak or if we could hear Him. He was far more clever than that. Satan questioned our understanding of what God said. Today, the wicked one has brought us his gifts of deconstructionism, postmodernism, and a variety of critical tools that he claims will only aid in helping us understand what "God really said." Satan never gives us something for nothing. For example, he gives us certain historical criticism and claims if can help us understand Scripture. And it can. But what he does not tell us is that if we truly follow its rules, while it is helping us understand one thing from the biblical world here, we are sacrificing cardinal Christian doctrine on another matter. The exchange is beautiful from Satan's perspective. But for the scholar, pastor, elder, and community, it can be devastating.

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