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Sunday, August 12, 2007

McClain on the Beautiful Word

Following up from the last post, In Law and Grace by Alva J McClain, he states:
In this connection I would like to encourage Christians who delight in finding the Lord Jesus Christ upon every page of Scripture. Do not permit yourselves to be frightened by those overcautious souls who cry against what they call "too much typology." Doubtless there are some things which may properly be catalogued as "types" and others not. But whatever you may call it, it is the privilege and highest duty of the Christian to discover and behold the face of the Lord Jesus in Scripture--everywhere! Far better to break a few rules of classical hermeneutics than to miss the vision of His blessed face.

We need only one caution--let us be sure that what we find is always true to the historic revelation of the Son as recorded in the New Testament. With this safeguard, there is no end to what we may find in the inspired record of the infinite and incarnate Son of God. And by finding Him throughout Scripture, we shall be finding the perfect will of God in the wonderful context of His grace. For grace reigns "through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 5:21)--p67-68

highest duty...

deepest joy!


  • At 8:41 PM, Blogger Brad said…

    I hope it's clear by now that I am a very big fan of finding Christ in all of scripture. Nevertheless, this quote makes me just a little bit uncomfortable.

    McClain wisely warns that our visions of Christ must line up with the historic revelation, but I disagree that this is the one caution we need.

    I think we also need to take care that we are receiving Christ's ideas about himself from scripture, and not bringing our own ideas about him to scripture.

    Christ is certainly on every page, but I don't believe he's there willy-nilly, in whatever fashion I can conjure up through my own creativity.

    Perhaps Mr. McClain would have agreed.

  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    i think mcclain absolutely would agree.

    he's not talking willy-nilly approach. i think when he stated what we find is always true to the historic revelation of the Son as recorded in the New Testament, he was stating that it is not up to me to make, but must be clear from Scripture.

    you're right, there's not reason to get silly with it, he's easily seen on every page without some hocus pocus. it all comes from whether we think The Book is about us, or about Him (as Keller stated).

  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger barabbas said…

    If the point of the passage IS the passage (as MacArthur says) then how do I reconcile THAT with THIS? It seems like John is saying that we should let the passage say exactly what it is saying, while McClain is saying that we can break hermaneutical laws in order to see types and shadows of Christ in every passage.....opposite sides of the same coin or opposing positions? If opposing positions, how can you support both?

  • At 7:25 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    i don't think these are contradictory.

    if you read mcclain's exposition of passages, he gets the concept that the point of the passage is the passage.

    but i would remind you the point of the passage is not what, but it is Who. mcclain and keller are both encouraging us to preach the passage and to consider context. yet, not to stop short of reaching the real point....Jesus Christ.

  • At 9:39 AM, Blogger Keith said…

    I'm reminded of a conversation I had with a "liberal" pastor years ago. He accused me of "bibliolatry" saying that my problem was that I worshipped a book, while he worshipped a person.
    I remember my response being, "No, I worship the Person of the Book, and you don't."

    Jesus and the text of Scripture will always go together. We need not reconcile friends.


  • At 12:48 PM, Blogger GpaGlass said…

    Please read McClain carefully. He did not put a period after "the historic revelation." He continued, "...the historic revelation of the Son as recorded in the New Testament." McClain was 'picky' about words. Read him carefully. He would never add just any old 'historic revelation' to the Book.

    McClain would be the first to see and condemn any admixture of Scripture.

    Over the years I have heard men ridicule and make light of McClain and Hoyt. I chafed under their tutelage, but never doubted their faithfulness to the Scripture.

    I questions some of the men we regard as great today. They may have understood the Scripture better had they sat under McClain. I cherish his teaching more today than ever before.

  • At 1:05 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    rev gpa,

    i agree whole heartedly. i don't know why, but while at grace, i never would have read "greatness of the kingdom" nor would i have wanted to hear a chapel about our history or mcclain's theology.

    but as of late, i can't get enough of his stuff. i find myself feeling more and more blessed that our fellowship had the beginning it did.

  • At 2:29 PM, Blogger Darby Livingston said…

    I wonder if it is possible to have a hermaneutic that doesn't begin with Luke 24:44-49 as a conceptual start-point, and come to a proper understanding of any passage of Scripture. I have no right to read about Moses, or David, or Cain and Abel, or Hezekiah, or Daniel, or the writings of Asaph or the sons of Korah and not come away with Christ. Christ has demanded it, and the Acts of the Apostles are full of Peter's and Paul's and Stephen's Christ-centered hermaneutic. I see the individual events of the OT. I just see them through the lens of Jesus Christ, not with the naked eye.


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