Post by John MacArthur
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
God does not intend for His Word to be subdivided, excerpted, and wrenched out of context. The Bible speaks with consistent authority and perpetual relevance in all matters. It does not require correction, innovation, or editorial oversight.
The key to the Reformation was biblical preaching, which has been the key to every revival. The church flourishes when biblical doctrine is faithfully preached from Bible texts. At such times, the truth of God’s Word is properly in focus, as the Spirit originally intended.
But there are times that are dominated by excusing the Bible’s supposed irrelevance. People say, “We believe the doctrines of the Bible, but most people just do not identify with its old language and old stories from an agrarian time period.” So they argue that the truths of Scripture must be placed in a contemporary package to better reach people. This, in essence, is to say that we have a more effective way to reach people than the Holy Spirit had in authoring the Scripture.
One current advocate of such proud hubris is Andy Stanley. The pastor of one of the largest congregations in America, he has encouraged believers to “unhitch the Christian faith” from the Old Testament.” He had previously admonished pastors and teachers to never say, “The Bible says.” The result is that biblical doctrine is stripped of its biblical attire and dressed in faddish contemporary fashion. Such meddling is an assault on the power and authority of the Bible. God knew how He wanted His doctrine dressed, and people do not have the liberty to rearrange it to their own preference.
Once such ideas become entrenched, doctrine degrades until it comes to flatly contradict the Bible. This accurately describes the state of many churches today, where the man-centered, therapeutic doctrine they preach flies in the face of the biblical text.
The call for us today is to return to the doctrine of the Bible as God has intended it to be presented. God has set forth His truth in His chosen biblical contexts, proportions, and relations, and in such stories, parables, analogies, and narratives. He knows what suits the soul of man, and under the work of the Spirit of God, no other forms can supersede or improve on the Word of God. It is characterized by objectivity, rationality, veracity, authority, and integrity.
If God’s people desire to fulfill their calling to be salt and light in this sinful world, they must cultivate a high view of His Word. The church must embrace and proclaim Scripture in its fullness, boldly holding it forth as God’s standard for life and godliness.