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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

F&WOG--Genuine Authority

Typically, I do a book review after I have read an entire book. However, I do not seem able to restrain myself until after I complete this book. So, rather than the typical review (which may still happen), I've decided to provide excerpts from the book. The book is Fundamentalism and the Word of God by JI Packer.
Others tell us that the final authority for Christians is not Scripture, but Christ, whom we must regard as standing apart from Scripture and above it. He is its Judge; and we, as His disciples, must judge Scripture by Him, receiving only what is in harmony with His life and teaching and rejecting all that is not.
Again, this is a man in 1958, speaking directly to a current trend in the church today. It sounds quite pious, until you look a little further.
But who is this Christ, the Judge of Scripture? Not the Christ of the New Testament and of history. That Christ does not judge Scripture; He obeys it and fulfils it. By word and deed He endorses the authority of the whole of it. Certainly, He is the final authority for Christians; that is precisely why Christians are bound to acknowledge the authority of Scripture. Christ teaches them to do so.
"But this sounds like Bible-worship," some protest. "Wouldn't that be idolatry?"
A Christ who permits His followers to set Him up as the Judge of Scripture, One by whom its authority must be confirmed before it become binding and by whose adverse sentence it is in places annulled, is a Christ of human imagination, made in the theologian's own image, One whose attitude to Scripture is the opposite to that of the Christ of history. If the construction of such a Christ is not a breach of the second commandment, it is hard to see what is. It is sometimes said that to treat the Bible as the infallible word of God is idolatry. If Christ was an idolater, and if following His teaching is idolatry, the accusation may stand; not, however, otherwise. But to worship a Christ who did not receive Scripture as God's unerring word, nor require His followers to do so, would seem to be idolatry in the strictest sense.
Not reason, not logic, not culture, not pragmatism must rule the day. Scripture must sit as the authority alone.


  • At 10:40 AM, Blogger Keith's Blog said…

    Glad you are reading the "old" JI Packer. Hope many more people will follow your lead.


  • At 1:48 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    This is good stuff, Danny. Thanks for passing it along.

  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Charity said…

    I wonder if JI Packer was ever involved in a fantasy bastketball league . . .

  • At 9:26 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    thanks for commenting...i was starting to wonder if i had lulled everyone to sleep.

  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger danny2 said…


    by "old" did you mean the fact that he has been at this for quite some time?

    or did you mean the fact that i'm referring to a book from 1958 as if it were antiquated?

    or is there something in the more recent writings of packer that concerns you...thus making the "older" writings preferred?


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