Monday, November 26, 2007

How Scripture is used

Augustinian Successor shares this:
In Evangelicalism the authority of Scripture is seen not in terms of its efficacy but its status as the divinely-revealed source of truth from which principles and concepts can be abstracted. Thus the Bible becomes the "how to" book for the Christian life. For Luther and the Confessions the Bible is that book which proclaims Christ Jesus, thus delivering the salvation which He has won for us. For Evangelicalism the Bible is the book that tells us what we must do to be saved and lead the Christian life. If we assume that because Confessional Lutherans and conservative Protestants speak a similar language regarding inerrancy they share a common understanding of the function of the Holy Scriptures, we will fail to see the profound differences that exist between the two in such matters as sin, grace, faith, justification, sanctification, the sacraments, the Office of the Holy Ministry, and the doctrine of the church." (Rev. Dr. John T Pless, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana - LCMS)

PRECISELY! The evangelical mentality is that the Bible is revered as words of divine wisdom, but not conveying in reality what it proclaims, namely forgiveness of sins and salvation. But this is why evangelicalism is legalism. It makes salvation conditional, rather than proclaiming the unconditional promise which is received by faith alone.

Very insightful statement from Rev. Dr. Pless!

3 comments:

Steve Newell said...

I find that many "evangelical" Christians are like the Jews of Jesus' day in that they are not understanding the nature and purpose of Holy Scripture. In John 5:39-40 Jesus states "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 4yet you refuse to come to me to have life."

The Bible isn't about how to we are live our lives, it's about how we have life in the first place.

Past Elder said...

Dr Pless hit the nail squarely, didn't he, and fits right in with themes on this blog from "Mile High" on.

Maybe if some of us Lutherans are sounding more "Protestant" these days re sin, grace etc it's because we don't understand the function of Scripture, don't undertand what sola scriptura is all about.

Thanks for posting this!

L P Cruz said...

P-E/Steve,

I am still in contact with my (now few) friends in evangelia (those that at least consider me no different), and they do not have a concept of Law/Gospel, this is strange to them. Also they have no concept of 2nd Use of the Law or 3rd Use of the Law. Really there are so many inconsistencies in their mind but they have been distracted by other things without trying to clear the disconnects in their heads. The most influential aspect are the subjective experiences that are driving their interpretation of scripture. Most of the time the subjective takes a hold. I would like to say something about their understanding of Christian faith - frankly, they think there are no mysteries in the faith anymore, all have been answered.