Re: Concordist sequence--why be a concordist?

From: Terry M. Gray (
Date: Wed Jun 25 2003 - 12:44:51 EDT

  • Next message: Terry M. Gray: "Re: Concordist sequence"

    Geroge Murphy wrote:

    > The difficulty is not with the 2 books idea itself but with
    >the order in which
    >they are read. The book of scripture needs to be read before the
    >book of nature (in
    >order to do theology - not science). In addition, the "book of
    >scripture" should be
    >understood as witness to God's fundamental revelation, not that
    >revelation itself.

    No problem with the first two sentences, but I do feel obliged to
    comment on the last sentence, since the idea seems to be coming up

    I hope that here we are simply making the distinction between the
    saving work of God (throughout redemptive history and especially in
    Christ) and the divinely inspired commentary on that saving work that
    is found in scripture. I don't think that traditional Christian
    theology of all stripes (until perhaps the last 100-150 years) has
    hesitated to call scripture "revelation". This is in part the
    significance of the first plank of the ASA statement of faith. The
    Bible is divinely inspired (despite whatever humanness is found
    therein) and is infalllible and authoritative as a result. We're not
    speaking here of the musings of a faith community. We're speaking of
    writings that God himself guided with the result being that they can
    be considered His Word with a "thus saith the Lord" attached to their
    reading (and not just the words of the faith community).

    This is no fundamentalist innovation, but can be found in nearly all
    the writings of the ancient church fathers and the confessions of
    nearly all stripes of the Christian church. The Bible has had a
    controlling influence on theology. Creativity in theology is limited
    to that which is consistent with scripture. There's a sense in which
    scripture (and the redemptive history to which they authoritatively
    bear witness) is the data of "theological theorizing". For example,
    the ancient creeds are the Church Fathers' best efforts to understand
    the "data" of scripture--it is not scripture itself. Theological
    aberrations defined by these creeds because the are not faithful to
    all the teaching of scripture.

    To reduce scripture to the fallible reflections of a faith community
    that encountered the saving acts of God is to stop way short of what
    scripture says about itself. I hope that we all recognize that this
    way of speaking of scripture is an innovation of the past century
    that the first plank of the ASA statement of faith is meant to


    Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist
    Chemistry Department, Colorado State University
    Fort Collins, Colorado  80523
    phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801

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