Posted tagged ‘Scripture’

Centrality of the Word in Church Planting

July 8, 2011

Mike McKinley, author of Church Planting Is for Wimps, answers the question about how God’s Word drives the agenda for church planting.

HT :: Crossway Blog

When the Bible Calls You Stupid

June 8, 2011

This past Sunday, I taught our congregation on the profitability of God’s Word from 2 Timothy 3:16-17. The Apostle Paul brings out four categories where Scripture is profitable for the believer: teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness. The first two categories address Scripture being profitable for our beliefs (orthodoxy), and the latter two address how Scripture is profitable for our behavior (orthopraxy). Furthermore, both our beliefs and behavior are addressed constructively and correctively: teaching (belief) and training (behavior) are constructive, and reproof (belief) and correction (behavior) are corrective. In a way, Paul is saying that Scripture is entirely sufficient to address every aspect of the Christian life.

For most Christians, I would assume are open and receptive to the constructive ways Scripture is profitable to them, namely through the teaching of God’s Word and training by God’s Word.  However, that is only 50% of Scripture’s intended instrumentality for being competent and equipped for every good work.  What about the corrective ways that Scripture is intended to be profitable?  Are Christians just as receptive, open, and welcoming to giving and receiving reproof and correction?  If the answer is no, then we can only conclude that believers find Scripture to be only 50% profitable for their lives while God intends for it to be 100% profitable.  Could this explain, perhaps, the problem of believers not being equipped and competent for a life of good works?


Finney and the Regulative Principle

December 13, 2007

We are down to the final hours of the “Ask Anything” deal, and my question on the Regulative Principle is hanging tough (NKOTB style). I appreciate the interest level and thousands of votes that have come in over the past week.

Many of you know that I have been reading a lot of Finney this semester. I have written about some new “new measures” as well as Finney the controversialist. In this post, I want to share Finney’s view of methodology which is an out and out rejection of the Regulative Principle. Historically speaking, the regulative principle has been understood to mean that nothing must be required as essential to public worship except which is commanded by the word of God.[1] Derek Thomas argues that one of the reasons for holding to the RP is to understand that “what makes worship different is that is cultural ethos is determined by scriptural commands and principles rather than personal or collective tastes and mores.”[2] It is important to note that, historically, the RP was not to bind or impose upon worshipers regarding what they can or cannot do; rather, it was quite the contrary. For Luther, Calvin, and the Westminster Divines, it was about the liberty of conscience and freedom of the Christian.

Charles Finney grew up being taught the Westminster Confession of Faith, eventually publicly consenting to it when ordained in the Presbyterian Church. One would think, then, that Finney would be at least sympathetic towards a Scripture-governed view of the church. However, much like his soteriological departure, his view of the church manifested a clear rejection of the authority and priority of Scripture in worship and practice. For us, it is a lesson that theology indeed does drive methodology.