We must reject as unworthy of our Savior every doctrine which diminishes His true deity. He is not a lower case g God. He is capital G-O-D, God!
Modern men and contemporary theologians find it difficult in their minds to reconcile the classical theism of the Christian tradition and the Scriptures with a God who is relational. The fault is in their minds and logic not in classical theism. Paragraph 2 of Chapter 2 has for its explicit emphasis the relations of God to the world and mankind.
Rather than making God an impersonal thing with whom it is impossible to have a relationship, we saw that His simplicity means that His character and affection toward us His people will never change. This is the theme of the next cluster of attributes mentioned in the Confession.
It seems to me that there are few things of which the Christian church and, indeed, our society, in general, need more than a return to the majestic view of God taught in the Scriptures and confessed in Chapter 2 of the 1689 Baptist Confession.
Although there are myriads of angels of the LORD, there is only one called “The Angel of the LORD”. The OT usually refers to Him when it speaks of a single “Malak” or messenger, especially under the designation “angel of the LORD” or “angel of God”. This is the messenger we want to focus our attention on in this study. As we will see, He is not a human nor an angelic messenger. Instead, He is a messenger in a category all His own!
The first and most basic question answered by the Confession is the question, For what are the Scriptures sufficient? The Confession makes clear that the Scriptures are not sufficient for every conceivable purpose in human life. They are sufficient for “all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life.” The sufficiency of Scripture is vertical in nature. It has to do with our relationship to God. It tells the Christian how to glorify God, what he needs to do to be saved, what He must believe as a matter of Christian doctrine, and how he must live in order to please God. There is nothing that we need about those matters that are not in Scripture. Still, the Scriptures are not a math, biology, or Spanish textbook.
The men of the Early Church would have a hard time understanding the separation that has been made in recent years between the preparation for preaching and the church—in particular the pastoral leadership of the church. What might we be able to learn from the post-apostolic patristic age in this regard? How might a study of the Early Church help us move forward with a mentorship-based understanding of preparing a man to preach?
Why does Scripture have authority with the Christian? The Confession answers that is not because of the testimony of any man or church, but because it is the Word of God. Last time we saw that this means that the Scripture is self-authenticating. It does not need the authentication of a supposedly infallible church, because it is itself the infallible Word of God. Rome’s claim to authenticate the Scripture to the Christian (and thus claim final authority over the Christian) is wrong because it usurps the authority of the Word of God over the Christian.
Why Scripture is Authoritative From one perspective there is nothing novel or surprising about the commitment of the...
Introduction to Chapter 1 I suppose it may be surprising to some of you that the 1689 begins with a chapter on...