Vol. 4, No. 2 June 2001 Editor: Bruce Prescott
Oklahoma Pastor Defends "Divinity of the Scriptures"
By Dr. Bruce Prescott
In the April 12th issue of the Baptist Messenger, Alan Day, pastor of First Baptist Church of Edmond, made the idolatrous thrust of the 2000 Baptist Faith & Message explicit. He wrote that the Holy Spirit bears witness to “the divinity of the Scriptures.”
Alan Day writes a weekly column on Baptist doctrine for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s newspaper, the Baptist Messenger. Day serves as Oklahoma’s chief apologist for those who took over the SBC and revised the BF&M.
To call the scriptures “divine” — deifying them and equating them with God — is idolatry. The essence of idolatry is to deify something created and worship it, i.e. placing religious faith in it.
The scriptures were inspired by God, literally “God-breathed,” but they are not “divine.” They are not equal to God.
Orthodox Christians have faith in the personal God who reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The scriptures record God’s self-revelation and have revelatory value, but we don’t use attributes of deity to describe them and we don’t place our faith in them. Believing in the inspiration and authority of scriptures saves no one. Nor are such beliefs proof of salvation. Faith in the Christ alone leads to salvation.
To his credit, Day does concede that “The ultimate revelation of God was in the Person of Jesus Christ.” For Dr. Day, however, the Person of Jesus must have been inadequately revelatory because, for him and the 2000 BF&M, “the revelation of God took the final and authoritative form of writing.”
We must ask, “How can any form of revelation, written or otherwise, supercede the form of revelation God gave us in the Person of Christ?” The Word did not become flesh to prepare the way for a final “divine” revelation in written form. The Word became flesh to reveal the love of a personal God.
Words and propositions can never match the Truth revealed about God and His love that was demonstrated on the cross of Christ. The words and propositions of scripture bear witness to the Truth that God revealed in Jesus, but they cannot exhaust the meaning of that Truth. The final and authoritative form of God’s revelation was, is now, and will forever be the form of the Son who died for our sins and was raised from the grave as the first fruits of the resurrection.
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