Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do we really believe in the sufficiency of Scripture?

Several months ago, while reading Francis Chan’s “Forgotten God”, I was struck by a particular theme he set forth: how would we come to understand the Holy Spirit if we just had the Bible as our reference? This idea hit a little harder a month or so later as I read another book which asked the same question in reference to church ministry. But many years before, this was presented to me in regards to evangelism and how many had adopted man-made methods with no biblical principles or examples.

The connecting line between all of these concerned the sufficiency of Scripture. This idea has been running through my mind for some time now and is slowly beginning to manifest. Have we lost our grasp on the sufficiency of Scripture and become more reliant on the world and secular wisdom for how we as a church should operate? I believe the unfortunate answer to this question is a resounding “YES”.

We moan about the “seeker sensitive” movement and “Purpose Driven Life” mentality but are those of us who complain about these things guilty ourselves of the same core problem? Are we willing to really stop and take a good hard look at how we operate as local churches? I think the time has come to ask how we have gotten to this point. In order to do so though, it will mean calling into question some of the more tightly held traditions in our churches today. Some we will be more than willing to let go of while others the Holy Spirit may have to pry out of our white-knuckled hands.

Over the next few blogs I would like to take a different angle at addressing this. I will write from the perspective of those who do not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture or live contrary to such. I don’t just mean the two groups I have previously mentioned, but a cold hard look at ourselves. Much of what I will say may sound a little too straight-forward and I know for certain that those who hold to these particular views would likely never outright say these things as boldly as I have will. But their actions clearly show that this is what they believe and I will speak in this manner to bring to the forefront the thinking behind these actions.

Make no mistake; I believe they are fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not a tirade against them and in no way is meant to question all of their intentions. It is instead meant to provoke us to ask whether we really believe that Scripture is sufficient enough for not only our personal walk with Christ but every aspect of Christian living, especially in relation to our local churches.

I will reiterate at the beginning of each blog that I am writing from the perspective of the opposite camp of thinking and that I myself do not advocate the view(s) that you will read. This opening statement as well as the closing statement for each will be in italics so as to differentiate between it and the rest of the blog. I do not know how many blogs this will take and there will likely be posts from the other contributors of this blog in between.

Hang on tight friends. If my understanding serves me well, this is going to be a bumpy ride but a necessary one. My ultimate prayer in writing these is not to discourage but to encourage you to join me in returning to the stance of Sola Scriptura. May God be glorified in all we do!

-Adam Gray

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