part two of five
- "You have seriously misunderstood sola Sriptura if you really imagine that it rules out human teachers or eliminates systematic theology. The Reformers (including Calvin) often cited the works of Augustine, Tertullian, Jerome, Cyprian, Ambrose, and others——ranging from the early church fathers through Aquinas. They didn't follow any of them slavishly, of course, but they certainly took them seriously. Not one of the major Reformers would have tolerated the claim that because the Church Fathers were mere men they were therefore irrelevant or incapable of shedding any helpful light on tough theological questions."
- A Few Comments if we didn’t have Theology Books and Commentaries, etc.
- Just think, if we didn't have other teachers to help us in our preaching and teaching and spiritual growth many good men might have to ask for an increase in salary. Some broadcasts (the old Oliver B Greene radio program gave books for an offering) might not have the income without the offer of books for an offering. Our Christian Bookstores stock some great books.
- We would not have the writings of the early fathers. This generation of preachers and teachers would not have the joy of reading the great preachers of the past.
Think of the next generation of preachers who would not have the writings of John MacArthur, or J.I. Packer, or Chuck Swindoll.
Sola Scriptura means that Scripture alone is the final court of appeal in all matters of faith and practice. It is an affirmation that "the whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man's salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from scripture" and that "nothing at any time is to be added [to the Bible], whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men." It recognizes that there is ultimately no higher spiritual authority than God's Word, so "the infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture . . . it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly."
Yes, we should know our Bible, and know how to study the text. How are we going to know "how" without a teacher?" We should be grateful for those who make it easier for us.
But none of that means we're obliged to discard the wisdom of godly men from ages past and require each man to try to discern truth from scratch by reading nothing but Scripture by himself.
Spiritual growth happens when the Holy Spirit quickens our mind and gives us understanding of what we learned from our study of the Scriptures.
Personally I appreciates sound teachers and their energy and writing (and recognize the Spirit inspires teaching in some, as the Bible says), and realizes my debt to them for believing what I do comprehend of doctrine from the Bible, I still have to say that it should come to everybody at some point that they should make the effort to go to the Scriptures unfiltered and discover in them just what it is they are to believe and to do. All the great theologians showed evidence of having done this for themselves at some point. And I do mean actually developing the wheel. Or rediscovering it on your own, for yourself.
Drafted By Charles E. Whisnant 01 22 07 Proof Checked By Charity Whisnant