Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More J.P. Moreland musings

From J.P. Moreland's answer to comments on the CT blog on his ETS paper, "How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What Can Be Done About It":
"Does anyone seriously think that non-Christians who have never seen a Bible have no knowledge of God or the moral law?"

Which moral law?

Knowledge gained from archaeological digs is in now way the same as the knowledge of how to be saved. Archaeology (or whatever hard experimental science) will only give you interesting facts. The framework in which they are put comes from somewhere else. You won't get this framework experimentally. Neither will you get a salvation framework experimentally.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

...he grounds Christian engagement on natural theology and moral law...

Why is this a good thing, J. P.?

In his paper written for the ETS, "How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What can be Done about It," Moreland is opening the door for other ultimate authorities.

You really want to bank on calling extra-biblical hypotheses about angels and demons "knowledge"? What's the basis for such knowledge? Why would you have confidence in it? We're talking scary entities here, and you want to use a different map that what God graciously provided for us. Please stick with Scripture! There's plenty of guidance there (by this I don't mean Words of Knowledge, etc., are out).

Moreland continues: "Yea, verily, and amen! Since the spiritual realm is real, one should be able to learn about it in appropriate ways outside the biblical text." You don't see the gaping hole here? Satan is the great deceiver. He can make anything look good and consistent if you go outside the protection of God's word. What's next--a scientific study of enneagrams and tarot cards? I'm not saying the conclusion is wrong, but you seem to be over eager to get there. Have a care!

I realize I've said contradictory things here, but hey, it's my blog! And I'm working through what he said and refining what I think. Moreland says the problem is an over-commitment to the Scriptures, but if people were really committed to God's Word, they wouldn't park their brains at the door. I believe the problem lies elsewhere. The thing which stunts people's growth is a commitment to someone's interpretation of Scripture. If, for example, MacArthur or Warfield look askance at the miraculous gifts, I go to scripture (to which I am committed) and find that their views on the subject are not in line with Scripture. (I must say that I applaud Moreland's commitment to signs and wonders.)

As a scientist, I look at Science with a grain of salt. And this is with physical realities. Spiritual realities are much harder to pin down empirically, so the grain turns into a large boulder. But regarding the faithfulness of Scripture: Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Faith is Necessary and Sufficient

This is one of the reasons why I subscribe to faith-alone:

Hebrews 11:6 says that faith is necessary: "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
Romans 14:23b says that faith is sufficient: "and everything that does not come from faith is sin."