Friday, January 1, 2010

Why I Appeal to ‘Historic Christianity’

When I appeal to historic Christianity, I do so in the belief that God is sovereign. That His plans & decrees come to fruition. That the Holy Spirit actually has been guiding the Church even through what appears to be times of corruption (Gnosticism, Arianism, Papalism,Dispensationalism, Emergentism). The gates of Hades will not prevail against the Church. Again, if the community of saints has been being tossed to & fro since day one & it is up to us UNinspired people to grope around & hope we can put the pieces together better than past Christians — then brothers & sisters, get ready to fall into diverse errors.

The Bible is our prime source, but overarching that is the belief that God is Sovereign & has been effectively able to maintain the most basic elements of truth within the community of saints. Failing that, then even the people who claim “Bible Alone” are without hope — because then we could & should apply their notion of God’s incapacity to even the Bible — meaning, if God has not maintained the most basic truth within the Church, then maybe even the Bible we have is corrupted. Why 66 books & no more or no less??? Maybe those “fallible” men somehow withheld or added to the canon we have now. Where does it end?????

I am a presupppositionalist & my presupposed starting point is that God is Sovereign & carries out His plans effectively. Any other starting point, I find always fails. When a person claims their starting point is the Bible — as noble as that sounds, I then must ask them what Bible? How do they know the one we have is accurate? Then how do they know their interpretation is accurate. See how it keeps coming back to God’s Sovereign ability to maintain truth?
History…as in how the Church has existed, is NOT an equal “key-holder”, but rather God’s ability to maintain truth within His community is dominant & we would expect that sovereignty to be displayed in the course of the Church. If this is not the case, then every man reading his Bible in isolation is apt to come up with whatever belief he wants — since NONE of us are unbiased & uninfluenced. For example, a person who has lost a loved one who at least in life seemed to be a godless heathen, may search for things in the Bible that they think justify believing a second-chance for their departed loved ones, or that God will be merciful despite the fact their loved one was probably not Christian. Biases influence us whether we like or admit it.
God working sovereignly through time is one thing man cannot control. We may be able to project/depict “Christianity” one way or another for a short time, but ultimately it will be God’s hand that stays the day. We may be able to even intentionally or unintentionally twist the text of Scripture, but God’s sovereign hand will not be twisted.
So, when hyperpreterists try to claim I am more about “history over Scripture”, they miss the point.  I’m more about God’s Sovereignty over ALL things — even the constitution of those very Scriptures & over the leading of His Church through out the centuries.  Hyperpreterism’s default starting point MUST be that God has either been unwilling & unable to maintain the most basic truthes within His Church.

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