A little over a week ago, I wrote an article denying that my disability gives me license to cast myself in the role of an oppressed victim. If you read the Comments Section, you’ll notice a little pushback from a reader named Daniel, as well as my response that he overlooked the clause in my Comments Policy asking that disagreements with my positions be substantiated with Scripture.
I’m fallible. I well understand that I’m capable of misinterpreting portions of God’s Word, particularly on secondary matters. When (not if, but when) I’m wrong, I need faithful Christians to open the Bible and, using proper hermeneutics, help me see my errors.
I didn’t approve Daniel’s follow up comment because, as I told him in an email, I preferred to write a separate blog post responding to it. He may be disappointed with the direction I take in my response. He may even accuse me of obfuscation because I’m not going to answer in the context of Social Justice. But he raised an important point about Biblical authority that really deserves attention.
Here is Daniel’s unedited comment:
I am curious as to how one can live one’s life solely on Scripture. There is nothing in Scripture that prescribes a particular economic system or loyalty to a particular country. There is nothing in Scripture that addresses ongoing advances in science. You may be allowing your politics to dictate your interpretation of Scripture. After all, there are so many interpretations and branches of Christianity out there, each of which claims to be the “true” (or truest) one.
As I read this comment, it seemed to me that Daniel questions the authority of Scripture. His closing sentence indicates that he regards the Bible as something to be dismissed merely because people have various interpretations of it.
He’s correct that professing Christians disagree on certain points of Biblical doctrine. Many of those points are secondary, such as infant baptism vs. believers’ baptism. Others, like justification by faith and works vs. justification by faith alone determine a person’s salvation, and therefore makes a correct understanding of Scripture imperative. As a result, dismissing the Bible endangers a person by creating the illusion that individuals can determine truth apart from God’s Word.
The Outspoken TULIP is written with the confidence that God speaks clearly in the pages of Scripture. Yes, a few isolated portions are difficult to understand, and honest Bible scholars won’t hesitate to admit that fact. But for the most part, the Lord speaks with amazing clarity, giving us knowledge of Himself.
The apostle Peter emphasized that this knowledge provides everything Christians need in order to live godly lives.
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. ~~2 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)
Daniel may disagree with how I apply God’s Word to my disability and my gender role. I rather suspect he’d prefer that I not bring Scripture into the conversation at all. If he can cast doubt on the sufficiency of Scripture, he can reject my faith that God uses my disability for His purposes. And he can reject Scripture’s authority over Him.
As for me, I must believe God’s Word.