I ended my last post by making the point that Scripture is not authoritative on everything but only on matters of salvation and church beliefs and practices. This might give the impression that I am suggesting that Scripture is irrelevant to everyday life and to learning. That is not the case. Just because the Bible is not an authority or a textbook on science, history or other matters, does not mean that it cannot speak or inform those areas at all. An old article by Sidney Greidanus, “The Use of the Bible in Christian Scholarship” (Christian Scholar’s Review 1982, Vol. XI. No. 2) provides some helpful guidelines. In adapting Greidanus’ points, I will use three metaphors to help us see the three visions for how Scripture relates to life.
(This blog is based on a sermon delivered at Rehoboth Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, Toronto on Oct. 30, 2011.)
One of the major themes from the Reformation is “Scripture Alone” or, in its Latin form, sola scriptura. Although this is a popular theme among Protestant Evangelicals especially, I think many have actually misunderstood its meaning, and hence, misapplied it. So, in the spirit of the Reformers, I want to reform – to form again – what I believe are distortions about sola scriptura. My main scholarly source here is Alister McGrath’s Reformation Thought (Blackwell 1993).