Saturday, May 27, 2006

"God told me" and the Sufficiency of Scripture

How does God speak to you? Here are some choice lines from an article by Mark Dever:

"the doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture...was a keystone in the Protestant Reformation. One of the principal disputes between Rome and the Reformers was whether God had promised that He would continue to provide inspired, unerring instruction through Peter and his successors. Rome said that that’s what Jesus taught in Matthew 16. The Reformers denied this, saying that, instead, the Scriptures themselves were sufficient for our instruction, albeit with the Holy Spirit’s illumination of our minds. They taught that the Scriptures would be perspicuous—that is, clear—and sufficient. Matters important to us would be reasonably clear, not obscure. And the Scriptures taken as a whole would suffice for our needs for divine guidance."

"More in our piety than in our written theology, there has grown up the idea that God’s Word written must become God’s Word to us personally by some sort of powerful encounter with it or its meaning. This isn’t conceived of in tomes of divinity, as Neo-Orthodox theologians like Karl Barth developed it, but in simple, regular practice. I think of another friend who attended an evangelical student fellowship, where for two hours the students sang and prayed earnestly and pleadingly that God would speak to them, all the while with their Bibles lying there closed on their seats. This is the problem that “God told me” piety brings for the sufficiency of Scripture. And where we pastors and elders do not understand that Scripture is sufficient, we cannot be surprised if our church members, in sincere search for the truth, wander off to Rome on the one hand, or liberal subjectivism on the other looking for some kind of sufficient authority. Mormons particularly exploit evangelical weakness on this issue of being uninstructed about Scripture’s sufficiency."

For the full article check out: (click on "Articles," and then on "Mark Dever" on the left side of the page; then scroll down to the bottom of the page with the articles in blue and find the article called "'God told me' and the Sufficiency of Scripture"; this long process is needed because of technical difficulties; however, it is worth the effort to read the whole article).

1 comment:

Nick Hill said...

Because of technical difficulties with the 9 Marks website, people will have to find the article the hard way. does not recognize the vertical line (that is not a slash), but it is needed to access the articles.