The whole first night of the conference was going through things you must know about the Sufficiency of Scripture and the battle over the Sufficiency of Scripture.
The conference started off with Mr. Brown’s message “Do Not Learn the Way of the Gentiles.”
He started with a charge: The Church has set aside the Sufficiency of scripture – will we pick it up? Often we say no and make God small and our problems big. This causes more problems.
The sufficiency of scripture is a message of urgency – not adjustments – that calls for reformation and rebuilding. We must be saved from the Babylonian captivity of worldliness that the Church is in. The Church is going to the world’s philosophers, not scripture, for guidance.
This calls for change. But as Luther said, “Timidity is no help in an emergency.”
So Mr. Brown gave us eight things we must know about the sufficiency of scripture.
1. The Sufficiency of Scripture is the Sufficiency of God
One doctrine, but so serious because Scripture’s supremacy is no less than that of Christ.
The seriousness of SoS – the word is God-breathed, thus the authority of scripture cannot be separated from the authority of God.
2. The War against the Sufficiency of Scripture is the consistent theme of scripture
It is the war against the holiness of God as communicated in scripture.
It began in Eden – “Did God really say?”
3. The Sufficiency of Scripture MUST BE defined
a. inerrancy – Psalm 9:1, 7-11. The Bible has no error, written under True inspiration. if God is Truth, then He cannot inspire lie.
b. sufficiency – 2 Timothy 3:16ff – Scripture can govern all scripture of life, and is not superintended by other instruction or circumstance.
c. Regulative principle of worship – scripture has everything required for worship.
d. Normatic principle – the Church is permitted to do whatever is not prohibited. But the Church is not man’s playground.
5 assumptions contradictory to this are that the red letters are the most important part of of the Bible; if something isn’t mentioned in the Bible it’s authorized; if there’s no command, then it’s not required; if it’s not condemned, it’s authorized; Old testament statements are void unless mentioned in the New Testament.
We want to believe the Bible is inspired but don’t let it change us.
4. Scripture is a whole and you cannot detach a single section or genre.
If scripture makes us uncomfortable, it’s our problem, not God’s.
5. We cannot add or subtract to Scripture, it is complete.
Deuteronomy 4, Proverbs 30:5-6, Revelation 22:18.
Ignorance of scripture is the mother of error – Thomas Watson.
6. You can cast yourself on every single word.
7. It forces a battle and you will have scars if you fight it.
Some will be killed for the word of God.
The world hates what the Bible tells women.
Stop being afraid of the battle – prepare for it! There WILL be blood when we wield the sword of the Spirit.
8. Sufficiency of scripture brings provision of hope and happiness
The Word mixed with faith in the soul brings a vision of joy.
Mr. Phillips then took the battle that Mr. Brown mentioned and talked about the defining battles in the war against the sufficiency of scripture. He talked about the influence of Fathers (Darwin – look it up), and then mentioned major battles:
– The battle against satanic deception – Eden onwards.
– The battle against Greek rationalism – flee vain philosophies!
– The battle against Roman syncretism (hybrid faith – paganism and Christ. NO!)
– The battle against neo-evangelical revivalism (Finney, etc.)
– The battle against evolutionary hegemony
We the Church believes the sufficiency of scripture academically (orthodoxy) but not practically (orthopraxy).
All battles converge at the question asked in Eden – “Has God really said?”
We take worship and do it not as God said, but what makes us feel good. We need to go to scripture, not what feels good or sounds good.
Where good is not revealed outright, go to principle.
God’s written revelation has no higher authority to set it against – we must go to it! Sola scriptura!
The rationalist-autonomous mind says man is sufficient. This is radical humanism. Semi-rationalism says the mind is sufficient in some things, the Church in others. The revelationist says that God is sovereign and sufficient in orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
So it is our choice – by what standard to I decide all things? What am I, a radical humanist, semi-rationalist, or a revelationist? What does God want me to be? Will I allow Him to make me so?
Then Mr. Ham deepened these battles even more, and summed them all up again with the Genesis 3 attack.
He read 1 Chronicles 12:32, Judges 21:24, and 2 Corinthians 11:3.
We need to understand the times. Our times are hard, physical and spiritual. There are atheistic campaigns. Europe is spiritually dead. America is becoming less Christian as atheists are more forward.
So what do we do? The nation is trouble. Teens are leaving the Church because they’re not taught – you guessed it – the sufficiency of scripture.
Why is abortion wrong? Because the Bible says so and Scripture is sufficient. We teach stories to children, not Sos and defending the faith. Psalm 11:3 – the sufficiency of scripture is the foundation!
The attack of “Did God really say?” doesn’t change, but its manifestation DOES. Mr. Ham calls this the Genesis 3 attack, and other speakers extended it further to the Genesis attack – because in Genesis is the foundation for family, the gospel, and many other things. (Matthew 19:4-5).
(Side note – we cannot have theistic evolution because it means that there was death before sin!)
We listen to the world, not sos, so we allow the Bible to be interpreted by secular science. This may not affect our own salvation, but it will affect the next generation.
The things we question we don’t always understand. But Luther has wisdom here – “If you cannot understand it, grant the Holy Spirit the honor of being more learned than you are.”
Schools teach that school is fact, and Church is morals. Things like abortion are not the problems, but the symptoms of the problems.
The great commission is not “change cultures” but “make disciples.” We need to call God’s people back to the authority of scripture. Sola scriptura!
All that said, Dr. Morecraft spoke the next day, affirming that the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture is biblical. He also quoted Deuteronomy 4, and showed that Deut. 12:34 is the application of chapter 4. He reaffirmed that the Church is weak because it has neglected the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture.
Then he defined inerrency as that what the Bible teaches is true on any subject, whatever the Bible says happened, happened.
Rooted in American individualism is the idea that all we need is the Bible and the Holy Spirit, but we need the Church and the covenant community as well.
“The Bible is divinely authoritative on that which it speaks, and it speaks about everything.”
The Bible speaks to every issue we encounter today and offers the best solution.
The Bible is spirit produced thoughts written down in spirit produced words.
In the New Testament, the writers refer to other New testament books as scripture. Mr. Horn made the point in his sermon on Sunday that when 2 Timothy was written, the New Testament had not been canonized. Thus “all scripture” is the Old Testament.
Psalm 19:8 says that the Word is perfect – the Hebrew literally means ‘complete.’
Other verses: Psalm 119:128, Proverbs 30:5-6, Isaiah 8:19-20.
1 John 2:20ff – two safeguards against error are the Bible and the annointing of the Spirit. We have the author of the Bible as our teacher.
Revelation 22:18-19 implies that the Bible is over now. We have all that we need!
Scripture is sufficient!
Is it biblical?