The Nature And Authority Of Scripture

1637 words - 7 pages

To forsake a God-given gift is not a good idea. God gave his word to the world. From Scripture, his word, comes revelation and understanding of not only who he is, but also who we are in him. Living without the knowledge and wisdom of Scripture would only lead to an unscrupulous and impure life. God gave his word to the world for a reason, and that gift should not be taken lightly. Through it he reveals the desire he has for the lives of his people. Because it is God’s word, Scripture is a guide that his people need to live by.
The nature of Scripture and the authority of Scripture are two characteristics carefully entwined in such a way that creates an impossibility for them to not affect each other. They directly influence each other. Evangelicalism, Liberalism, and Neo-Orthodoxy all have differing views of the nature and authority of Scripture. Evangelicalism takes up the view that the Bible, Scripture, is infallible (Lane, 2006, p. 255). Scripture is God’s word and is therefore fully truth (Lane, 2006, p. 256). People under Evangelicalism equate Scripture with God’s spoken word, and they believe that though God and humans are both authors, the human author was divinely prepared by God to write out His word (Lane, 2006, p. 257). They believe that “the Bible is the supreme authority for faith and practice” (Bingham, 2002, p. 162). Liberalism takes a different view on the Scripture. In Liberalism, religion is “nothing but feeling and experience” (Lane, 2006, p. 238). This reduces the authority and value of Scripture. Scripture is not seen as God’s word or His revelation but as a written record of the experiences of humans, which takes away from its divinity and authority (Lane, 2006, p. 239). Schleiermacher, the father of Liberalism, did not believe in Scripture or creeds as authoritative (Bingham, 2002, p.150). He was swayed heavily by his acceptance of biblical criticism, which paved the way for his lack of support in Scripture’s authority (Kerr, 1990, p. 212). His views carried through to the next influential thinkers of his version of Christianity and were foundational in Liberalism. Neo-Orthodoxy then also came against seeing Scripture as the final authority. Authority is found in Jesus Christ and his life, which happens to be recorded in the Bible (Lane, 2006, p. 270). Instead of authority being found in a book, authority is found in Jesus. The Bible merely contains it, and not all of the Bible is about Jesus. Evangelicalism separates itself completely from Liberalism and Neo-Orthodoxy through its complete and utter support of the final authority of Scripture. Liberalism removes Scripture as an authoritative source of wisdom completely. Since Liberalism allows for biblical criticism in the areas that are disputed, it lets the authority of Scripture slip away (Kerr, 1990, p. 212). The Bible cannot be completely true and authoritative if it is true in one passage and false or inapplicable in another. Neo-Orthodoxy follows Liberalism more...

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