Monthly Archives: February 2015

Total Dependence

“Our dependence upon Scripture is total. . . . Thus when the church or any of its spokesmen fails to accord to Scripture this eminence, and fails to make it the only rule of faith and life, then the kind of affront offered to Father, Son and Holy Spirit is that of substituting the wisdom of man for the wisdom of God, and human invention for divine institution” (John Murray, Collected Works, Vol. 1, 20).

Do Not Read Hearts… Read the “Story”

“It is not possible for us to read hearts (Luke 8:17), and we ought not to act as though we can. . . . But from these important truths many have concluded (erroneously) that it is not possible for us to read the story we are in. But that is a different thing entirely. . . . We must evaluate the spiritual conditions of those around us, and it is essential for pastors to know how to do this properly” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 125).

Boneyard World. Resurrection World.

“But let us never preach the doctrine of total depravity without also declaring there has been a great earthquake, and that an angel of the Lord has rolled away the stone in front of that imposing doctrine. ‘Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more’ (2 Cor. 5:16). This is crazy talk, I know. but it is also biblical talk. This whole world, since the sin of Adam, has been nothing but one, vast, pole-to-pole boneyard. Whatever would Jesus do in a world like that? What could He possible do that could transform a world like that? The gospel reply is that He could come back from the dead in it. . . . The sacramental history of the church has consisted of large numbers of people making the same mistake that the Jews here made [see John 8]. Something is given that is wild and heavenly, and we expend all our energies to make it domesticated and earthly. We take the lion of the tribe of Judah–from the upland savannahs of Heaven–and turn it into a tabby cat to keep the bishop’s chair warm for him” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 110, 113).

“…Scripture is not a dead word but the living and abiding speech of the Holy Spirit.”

“There is one clause in this formulation sometimes misunderstood and mis-applied. It is the clause ‘the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture’. This does not refer to the internal testimony of ‘the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts’. With this the [Westminster] Confession had dealt in section v, which is concerned with the agency by which ‘our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority’, of Scripture are induced. But in section x the Confession is dealing with the Scripture as canon, and uses the expression ‘the Holy Spirit speaking in the Scripture’ to remind us that Scripture is not a dead word but the living and abiding speech of the Holy Spirit” (John Murray, Collected Works, Vol. 1, 16-17).

Uniqueness of Scripture

“Of course, the Scripture is not God and to give Scripture the place of God would be idolatry. Of course, Christ is Christianity and saving relation to him as Lord and Saviour is the only hope of lost men. But the absolute uniqueness of Scripture is not impaired. Scripture is unique, not because it takes the place of God, nor the place of Chrsit, but because of its relationship to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit” (John Murray, Collected Works, Vol. 1, 12).

Corporate and Cosmic Regeneration, and Individual Regeneration

“Our father Adam plunged us into a condition of death. Jesus entered into that Adamic death, and was born again from that death. The apostle Paul quotes the second Psalm (“Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee”) and applies it to the resurrection (Acts 13:33). Because Jesus was born again from the dead, everything else can be born again from the dead. . . . Without the resurrection, without the transformation of the heavens and earth, without the reconstitution of the new Israel, there is no such thing as individual regeneration. We do not say that corporate regeneration makes individual regeneration superfluous, but rather we say that corporate and cosmic regeneration makes individual regeneration both possible and mandatory. The world has been reconciled to God through Christ. Therefore, Paul presses the point. Be therefore reconciled” (Douglas Wilson, Against the Church, 104-105).