Sola Scriptura and the role of teachers in our spiritual growth
- 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."
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. As for Calvin, he certainly did "point people to the truth in God's Holy Word"——but one thing he did not do was steer people away from the important theologians of the past. In fact, Calvin's works are filled with references to the Church Fathers——Augustine in particular. Calvin knew it was important to demonstrate that he was proposing nothing wholly novel and that his theology was in the doctrinal lineage of the greatest theologians of the church. He regarded himself as Augustinian, in precisely the same way many today think of themselves as "Calvinists."
If Calvin wrote for this blog and someone responded to one of his posts by refusing to read what Augustine wrote, Calvin would probably write that person off as arrogant and unteachable.
JOHN MACARTHUR, T.D. JAKES, JACKHAYWARD, JOHN HAGEE
What would made me think that I could do a better exegete of the text than T.D. Jakes or Benny Hinn, let alone John MacArthur or Charles Spurgeon?
Why would someone in FBC want to listen to me and believe what I would say and question let us say T.D. Jakes? Or Joel Osteen? After all, 30,000 people heard Joel Osteen preach last Sunday. You might say, "Are you both saying the same things?" I have had members say, that I sound and teach just like Jimmy Swaggart! Or they will say, "What is wrong with Osteen or Hinn or others of like teaching."
On of the questions I have asked: "What do you think of J.D. Jakes?" Christians are searching for someone who can help them grow in their spiritual life.
I have said often, "Why do I believe what I teach?" How do I really know that I know what Ephesians chapter one is teaching for sure? Can I say with certainty that what I preach and teach is what the Lord intended the text to mean? How do I know?
I must be able to say, after diligent study, "This is what I have come to believe the meaning of the text means." Can I reach into my mind and pull out from my mind the understanding of every meaning of the text? Does the mind have the ability to give out information that has not been there previously? Of course I would like to know how the brain works in the first place.
I put into my mind all kinds of data and information, and it’s called, I believe, intelligence. If I have learned my ABC’s and how they are sounded out, I have a good chance of knowing what a group of letters put together will sound like. "WHISNANT" I can ask Charity how to spell any word, and she has the ability to spell the word. How does she have that ability and I don’t? What is in her brain that is not in my brain? Don’t answer that question!
What data we put into our brain, will give the brain the ability to think, and give us understanding.
Footnote: The Brain "in the head" it’s the origin of thought.
- The brain controls a wide variety of functions. It is the site of reason and intelligence, which include such components as cognition, perception, attention, memory, and emotion.
- The brain undergoes transition from wakefulness to sleep (and subtypes of these states). These state transitions are crucially important for proper brain functioning. (For example, it is believed that sleep is important for knowledge consolidation, as the neurons appear to organize the day’s stimuli during deep sleep by randomly firing off the most recently used neuron pathways; additionally without sleep, normal subjects are observed to develop symptoms resembling mental illness, even auditory hallucinations." Every brain state is associated with characteristic brain waves. So I guess we need to get a lot of sleep.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant 01 22 07