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April 28, 2022 12:01 am
Jesus unapologetically declared that the Bible is God's Word. Why do some scholars disagree? Today, R.C. Sproul responds to skeptics of Scripture.
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If you convinced me, for example, the Jesus was wrong with respect to his teaching is authoritative teaching of the nature of Scripture. I would not give another five minutes worth of my attention the Jesus of natural I simply wouldn't do it because that would discredit him and his qualifications to be and to do what the New Testament declares him to be and to declare what he has done with groceries. He was convinced that Jesus was not wrong about anything that he thought including the nature of Scripture. Welcome to Renewing Your Mind on the web and if you have ever talked to a nonbeliever about your faith, the trustworthiness of the Bible has probably come up some find it hard to accept that it is the authoritative divinely inspired word of God all week. Doctors goal is been helping us respond to the skeptics at today's going to examine what Jesus had to say about Scripture in our last session we notice the somewhat extraordinary point of tension that modern scholars have agreed that Jesus taught a very high view of Scripture in which he accepted the prevailing theory of the Bible of his day, namely that it had been inspired by God. It was the word of God. The word that was truth that could not be broken. And yet these scholars recognize that even though Jesus taught this view of Scripture. His teaching on the matter was incorrect and they hasten to add, it's perfectly all right that Jesus was incorrect with reference to his speaking about the nature of Scripture because touching his human nature.
There was no way that he possibly could have known the actual reality of who wrote the Pentateuch and other historical questions of that sort, and what is argued here is the Christological case that Jesus in his humanity did not have the attribute of on Missy's and to attribute to the human nature of Christ, the attribute of omniscience would be to violate Christian orthodoxy's view of the relationship of the two natures of Christ. Now this controversy is rooted in an earlier episode with respect to the Church's understanding of Jesus comments in the Gospel of Mark when his disciples asked him about the day of his return and he responds to his disciples by saying that he does not know the day or the hour. The only one who knows the day of the hour is the father not the son, not the angels in heaven, and so on and so in this text. Jesus unambiguously says there is something that he does not know now in responding to that difficulty St. Thomas Aquinas developed a theory that was called the accommodation theory. St. Thomas argued that the relationship between the divine nature of Jesus and the human nature of Jesus were such a perfect unity that Thomas is saying that anything that the divine nature knows the human nature knows as well. And so Jesus had to have known the day and the hour, but for reasons known only to himself he was not free to communicate that knowledge to his disciples and he more or less cut the Gordian knot and just accommodated them in their ignorance and said I don't know. Now the problem with that of course is that now you have Jesus saying that he doesn't know something that in fact he does not which then raises the question of his trustworthiness as a prophet because here he violates the truth and so on. Now Protestantism in response to St. Thomas's view in the Roman Catholic Church's view, which taught the communication of attributes, namely, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the attributes of the divine nature are communicated to the human nature. That's what makes it possible for the doctrine of the mass to affirm that Jesus touching his body and blood, or in more than one place at the same time because normally we think that a human person is limited spatially and so that the body of a human being could not be in Boston and Detroit in San Francisco. At the same time and so in order for that to happen some kind of deification of the human nature would have to Take Pl. in Roman Catholic Church teaches that indeed the divine nature of omnipresence. The divine attribute of on the present is communicated to the human nature of Jesus so they can be more than one place at the same time and in like manner, the omniscience of the divine nature is communicated to the human nature. Now these scholars that I've mentioned who argue that Jesus is wrong with respect to his view of Scripture, and that it's okay build their argument on the basis that classic Christian orthodoxy as found in the fifth century Council of Chalcedon in 451 declared with respect to the two natures that the two natures of Christ are without mixture, confusion, separation or division. Each nature retaining its own attributes, which would seem to speak clearly against any idea of mixing up the human and the divine nature so that the divine nature is communicating deity to the human nature and historically the heresy. One of the heresies that was packed by the church for obscuring the true humanity of Jesus was the ancient heresy of gossip is in its most crass form the early DOS at this were a subgroup of the Gnostics, who, influenced by Greek philosophy did not believe that God in his pure essence could ever take upon himself a physical body because to do so in Greek categories would be to contaminate himself and so they DOS at this argued that the Jesus who appears in the pages of the New Testament did not really have a physical body that he only seemed or appeared as if he had a human body.
The word DOS. The test comes from the Greek word da capo which means to seem to think or to appear and so this early sect believe that Jesus didn't really have a true physical body. This is addressed in the Johannine letters where John says that this is the spirit of the antichrist that denies that Jesus has come in the flesh now that as I said is crass DOS autism that denies that Jesus had a physical body but DOS autism has more than one cloak.
It can be more subtle. It can be more refined and so more refined forms of DOS autism indicate any kind of theory of geniuses that subtly in any way denies the real limitations of his human nature. So, Karl Barth, for example, argues that to assume that Jesus was omniscient, even by people who believed they had a real fleshly body is still a rehash of the old heresy of DOS autism because it is failing to see the reality of the human nature.
The course partakes beyond their in a way that we will see.
Hopefully in a few moments now to summarize this historic Protestantism agrees that Jesus in his human nature was not omniscient that the divine attribute of omniscience was not communicated to Jesus. Now this may be difficult for laity because on the one hand you see Jesus manifesting what we would call supernatural knowledge before he meets Nathaniel, he knows all about him. He tells the woman of sidecar her whole life story.
He has prophetic insight where he predicts the future with uncanny accuracy. But again, one does not have to be divine, biblically to display that kind of knowledge because the Old Testament prophets about whom there is no argument of their deity also manifested supernatural knowledge. Now, historically, the church understands that the divine nature or God can communicate information to a human person without making that human person divine, but it's obvious that God and the deity communicated certain information to Jesus that Jesus could not have known in his natural humanity. He couldn't known that the Temple of Jerusalem was going to be destroyed in 70 A.D. and yet he prophesied it with uncanny accuracy, but being a prophet. He receives information from God, without in any way disturbing or destroying the limits of his humanity.
So we summarize this you can have a prophet in the Old Testament or Jesus in the New Testament who displace extraordinary levels of knowledge. Knowledge that only God could have were God can only be the source of his information without at the same time being omniscient, so the critics I believe are right. Theologically, when they say Jesus touching his human nature was not omniscient, but then they go to the next step and say because he's not omniscient.
Therefore, it's okay that he taught error and that's the point I want to challenge that in his human nature in order for Jesus to qualify to be the Lamb of God to be the new Adam and to offer himself as a sacrifice to God.
It was required that in his humanity that he achieve perfection and that he be sinless, and now the simple question is is it a sin to be mistaken. If you have no way of knowing, otherwise only just backup a minute and explain my role as a teacher in his professor and center where I come into a classroom and I don't come into the classroom saying that I'm infallible or anything like that. It's given it's understood by the students that I am of the flesh that I'm earthy and that I am given to mistakes. We know that at the same time we also know that in a very significant way. Students are at the mercy of their professors and we are warned in the New Testament that not many become teachers because with teaching comes the greater judgment and the warning is also given to teachers who through false teaching. Because the little ones to be damaged be better for them that they not been born of the millstone begun around their neck than to do that to mislead or misguide the sheet.
Now I feel responsibility my classroom when I'm answering questions never to fake it. If a student asked me a question I don't know the answer. I believe it's my moral obligation to tell them I don't know the answer and not try to dazzle them with fancy footwork. I also think it's important for me to do this and all the things that I teach in theology obviously I don't have the same level of assurance or conviction of the accuracy of my positions with respect to every view that I hope if you asked me if I'm sure that regeneration precedes faith. I would say yes. I'm sure that as I am the air I breathe you asked me if I have that kind of certainty about eschatology, no I don't and so I think I have to explain to the students of Savino. I believe that this is the right way, but I'm not sure I think that this is a matter that still needs a lot of consideration how I'm saying is I think that that is the moral responsibility of anyone who's given pedagogical authority in a teaching situation.
On the other hand, here's Jesus who comes on the scene of history and he says to his disciples, I say nothing on my own authority, but what the father reveals to me I declare to you, he makes a claim that no human teacher ought ever to make unless it's a true claim.
Not only does he say I bear witness to the truth but he says I am the truth and my mission in this world is to bear witness to the truth and all who are of the truth here my voice you talk about teachers claiming credentials for authority that is as high a claim as any teacher could ever make as to say they are the veritable incarnation of truth itself. Now if you hear somebody come in here and say I only say what God tells me to say Ken, I am the truth, and then you can show that I have made error after error after error about real states of affairs. What does that do to the claim of being truth incarnate, but even more seriously, what does that do to the sinlessness of Jesus who misleads his people misleads his church claiming information. He does not in fact possess claiming things to be true that in fact are not true and he criticized the Pharisees at one point he said you people strain out the Nat and swallow the camel anyone. Also on to say, if you can't believe me concerning earthly things.
How can you possibly believe me concerning heavenly and yet we have a whole generation of professed Christian scholars who study we believe Jesus concerning heavenly things. But what he tells us about earthly things. How the canon came to pass in.
Who wrote the Pentateuch, and so on. We can't trust them on that. And I say to them if anybody ever strained out the Nat and swallow the camel. There they are. I grant that there are difficulties harmonizing some of the details of the Bible 99.9 of which I believe have been sufficiently harmonized, but there still are some pesky little problems that Florida like gnats flying around my head is one thing to deal with those gnats.
It's another thing to say. From an academic perspective because of those gnats I'm going to give up the view of Scripture that it is the veritable word of God, but still believe in the truth claims of Jesus Christ. This whole generation has strained out the Nat and swallowed the camel if you convinced me, for example, the Jesus was wrong with respect to his teaching is authoritative teaching of the nature of Scripture. I would not give another five minutes worth my attention the Jesus of natural I simply wouldn't do it because that would discredit him and his qualifications to be and to do with the New Testament declares him to be and to declare what he has done so.
I think that is not a question of Jesus omissions. It's a question of his sinlessness and his responsibility not to ever claim more authority or more truth than he actually possesses. And that's the point that was brought up again and again by those scholars assembled in Pennsylvania back in the early 70s now. Also, when we come the idea of the inspiration of the Scripture. Karl Barth says that the doctrine of the divine inspiration of the Bible is what he calls biblical gossip. This and the parallel that is making is this, but just as in ancient heresies, the true nature of Jesus was compromised by over deifying the human nature so the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible in church history is of the same ilk of the same sort because we know we don't know anything else that the Bible was written by human beings. There is no question that there is an aspect of human authorship involved with the Scriptures we have the book of Jeremiah. We have the book of Ezekiel we have the Gospel according to John the Gospel according to Luke the gospel. Korematsu is not like God wrote a book with his finger and then dropped it on a parachute from heaven where there was no human involvement in the production of that book.
Then Barth goes on to say that it is axiomatic in our understanding of human nature that this phrase is common phrase is true that Harare human best to her is human and he says that the doctrine of inspiration is a dissenting view of the human authors because it assumes that the human authors could produce something that is not in error and at that point the humanity of the authors would be negotiated in a spiritual way that we respond to Karl Barth very quickly.
This way, that though it is true that it is customary and basic to humanity to. It does not mean that in order for us to truly be human we muster we see students in school making hundreds on spelling tests they write and in errant spelling tests or I can write in in errant grocery list without compromising the limits of my humanity and of course, orthodoxy is always understood that it is true Harare human and asked that it is the basic proclivity of human base to make mistakes.
That's why the Holy Ghost is involved here in the superintendents of Scripture and why the Scriptures labor the point that those books that were in fact written by the human authors were written not simply in the strength of those human authors humanity but the Holy Ghost came upon them and enabled them and preserve them from the human tendency to error so that in the case of the Scripture.
We have just like we have that he wants to make the parallel with the two natures of Christ we can speak of the dual nature of the Bible the humanity of the human authors which is real but the deity of the supreme author, which is equally real, but the Bible is the word of God again where this ends up with with people in the church today is Barth, for example, would say the Bible is not the words of God.
There the words of men, but under the impact of the Holy Spirit as we read it, it becomes the word of God. It is not the word from deity inherently or objectively, but only when you're reading it, and the Holy Ghost helps you and uses the text, then it becomes what it and of itself.
It isn't these guys still talk about the bells being the word of God, but unfortunately it is the word of God which hurts what you talk about swallowing the camel how anybody sober can believe the document that occurs is in any way the word of God is beyond me. If it is the word of God does in her verse is not the you know, even if we haven't heard someone come out and openly say that the Bible contains mistakes and inaccuracies. Unfortunately, this thinking is subtly crept into many churches. Dr. RC Sproul series defending your faith provides protection against these ideas. As we learned these principles were better able to recognize when we hear error sharing just a few of the messages from Dr. Sproul series this week on the program but he taught 32 lessons in all and we hope you will contact us today to request the 11 DVD set will be happy to send it to you for your donation of getting about to look in your ministries.
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I was reminded recently of a of a letter that Dr. Sproul wrote that I wanted to share just a bit of it with you.
He said if we lived in constant awareness that we were acting before the face of God, our lives would surely be different. This is why we cannot rest upon or be satisfied with mere human levels of accountability and RC concluded by saying to live life Coram Dale is to live all of life in the presence of God under the authority of God and to the glory of God. That's why we are here every day on Renewing Your Mind to remind ourselves that we are living before the face of God, and that's why we're thankful for your financial support that allows us to continue this work. Renewing Your Mind is an outreach of leader ministries. Thank you for joining us today and I hope you make plans to be with us again tomorrow for Renewing Your Mind