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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Error Labouring to Defend and Secure Itself.

Biblical Creationists grieve when so-called evangelicals declare among themselves and to the world that they put the Word of God above all else but when it comes to the Word of God on Origins these self proclaimed evangelicals employ subtle and numerous devices to escape the conviction of a straight forward reading of the Word of God on the account of Creation.

The fallacy was once again brought to my mind in reading John Flavel's (c. 1628-1691)
"Observations of Error."

Observation 6 for Flavel reads:

"The great patrons of error do above all things labour to gain countenance to their errors from the written word. To this end they manifestly wrest and rack the scriptures to make them subservient to their opinions; not impartially studying the scriptures first, and forming their notions and opinions according to them. But they bring their erroneous opinions to the scriptures, and then, with all imaginable art and sophistry, wire-draw and force the scriptures to countenance and legitimate their opinions."

The great heresies and controversies which, historically, have destabilized the Church bear the same characteristics as to means employed by their proponents to gain acceptance. This is no less the case for Sydney Anglicans (Episcopalians) and their prized theological seminary, Moore College, seeking to separate themselves from Reformed doctrine on Origins for fear of man.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, October 28, 2012

In Whom is Your Trust?

Genesis Ch. 34 describes some tragic events. Jacob and his retinue had arrived and settled near the city of Shechem in Canaan following his departure from his uncle Laban in Paddan Aram.. Jacob's daughter Dinah went out to visit women inhabitants of the land. She encountered Shechem son of Hamor, ruler of the region, and was raped by Shechem. Acting contrary to many rapists, Shechem's heart turned toward Dinah and sought to marry her. He obtained the support of his father who approached Jacob and his sons for permission to marry Dinah. Here, a trap was set by the sons of Jacob whereupon they convinced Shechem and the men of his tribe to undergo circumcision. This they did but while weakened by pain from the circumcision they were attacked and killed by Simeon and Levi, brothers of Dinah. Among those killed were Hamor and Shechem.

It is all an unhappy chapter in the history of Jacob i.e. Israel. It is a double-barreled experience of bitterness for Jacob. What can we learn from it? We have to go back further.

After responding to the call of the LORD, leaving his people and his father's household in Haran, it was in Bethel, in Canaan, where Jacob's grandfather Abram (Abraham) pitched his tent, built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD (Gen 12).

It was further south, in Beersheba ,where Abraham later called again on the LORD the Eternal God after making a treaty with Abimelech (Gen. 21:22ff).

It was in Beersheba where Isaac, son of Abraham, experienced an appearance of the LORD who declared Himself the God of his father Abraham. Isaac pitched his tent there, built an altar and called on the name of the LORD.

After deceitfully receiving the blessing of Isaac originally intended for Esau, Jacob, son of Isaac, fled to Paddan Aram. Setting out from Beersheba for Paddan Aram in Haran, Jacob arrived at Bethel. Alone and his life at a low ebb he settled down for the night. During the night Jacob had a dream in which he saw a stairway reaching from the earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. There, above the stairway, stood the LORD who said "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac." It was here the LORD reaffirmed the promise of blessing given to Abraham. In the morning, Jacob took the stone upon which he had rested his head and set it up as a pillar, poured oil on top of it and made this vow "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God and this stone I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and all that you give me I will give you a tenth." (Gen. 28:10ff)

After arrival in Paddan Aram Jacob spent many years being taken advantage of by his uncle Laban. Jacob's life was again at a low ebb. He was spoken to by the LORD saying "Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you." (Gen 31:3)

Jacob took up his family and all he had acquired and set out for the land of his fathers. But he had yet to encounter his brother Esau who had previously declared an intent to kill him and who he now learned was on the way to meet him accompanied by 400 men. In desperate straits again Jacob prayed "God of my father Abraham, God of Isaac, O LORD" calling on the promise of God to protect him for doing what the LORD had called upon him to do.

That night, alone after having sent his family and all that he had ahead of him, Jacob wrestled with God, sought and received a blessing and was here called Israel (struggles with God). The place of blessing he called Peniel (face of God) (Gen. 32:22ff)

Blessing indeed followed for the next day Esau arrived without acrimony. After courteous exchange the two separated and Jacob continued on his way. However, here is where tragic events unfold. Instead of going on to the land of his fathers, as the LORD had directed, Jacob tarried in the land of Succoth and Shechem, even buying a plot of land to pitch his tent within sight of the city of Shechem. He built an altar there and called the place El Elohe Israel (possibly mighty is the God of Israel) Gen. 33:17ff)

What Jacob had done was to enter partly into the land of promise but not go on to where his fathers Abraham and Isaac had dwelt and here they had called on name of the LORD viz. Bethel and Beersheba. To not go all the way with the LORD exposed Jacob and his family to the ways of people who are not the people of God. The consequences were tragic. Dinah and her brothers took life into their own hands. Their judgment was poor as was Jacob's.

Christians can learn from Jacob. Recall that time when you were, so to speak, prostrate and calling on the name of the LORD for forgiveness and salvation for you were doomed without Him. You promised to give all of yourself to Him and follow Him wherever He was to lead you.

Is that how it is with you now? Is it? Or have you, like Jacob, gone only part way with the LORD? Have you established yourself within sight of the world and its ways? Having, as it were, a foot in two camps? If you have, you will live below your privilege. You will be entangled with the world to the detriment of joy of living and serving the LORD.

There are those who trust not fully in the LORD and His Word. They have held on to the world and its philosophy on Origins and with that go part way with the LORD. This is a corruption which will bring fruit in keeping with its works. It will not place the Church - the house of God - at its promised position to be richly blessed with every spiritual blessing. It will not have the LORD working for it in a clear and unmistakable way. Instead it will be left to employ its own devices with destructive consequences.

Remember, it was the prostrate 'worm Jacob' who had the greater influence with the LORD than 'prince Israel'.

Trust and obey the LORD. It was a lesson learned the hard way by Jacob. Let us learn from Jacob's sorry sojourn near Shechem.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is the Lord's Arm Too Short?

Musing on a couple of passages of Scripture I have come to conclude all the more the appalling sell-out of the Lord's glory that is Theistic Evolution.

Consider for a moment what Gideon sought of God (Judges 6:36-40) before venturing upon a major mission to rescue Israel from the hands of the Midianites and Amalekites. He asked God to show that He would save Israel in the impending battle and the way God was to show His intention was to undertake two activities which could not be mistaken to result from natural cause.

The first activity was that the fleece put out by Gideon overnight was to be covered with dew in the morning while the ground around it was to be dry. The second activity, on the following day, was that the fleece put out by Gideon overnight was to be dry in the morning while the ground around it was to be covered with dew.

Those very results happened and were a demonstration to Gideon that the God who is able to do all things, to Whom all creation is subject, was on the side of Israel in the impending battle. What was impossible for man, what did not happen by natural process, was a small thing for God. God was able order the elements for dew in one small area but the elements be constrained beyond. Then the elements were constrained in that small area while widespread beyond. This does not happen naturally.

The second incident involved the Philistines under plague for taking into their possession the Ark of the Covenant between God and Israel (1 Samuel 6:12).

To know whether the plague was from God, the Philistines devised a plan of placing the Ark of the Covenant on a cart, to which would be hitched two cows, each of which had been nursing calves but were to be separated from the calves. Neither cow was to have ever been yoked before. If the cows walked, without deviation, along the road all the way to Beth Shemesh then it was affirmation that it was God behind the plague and sought the Ark of the Covenant back with Israel.

My friends, the order of this life is such that two cows which had never been yoked i.e. never placed in the controlled environment of pulling a cart, never having worked with another cow in such joint exercise and each leaving behind their nursing calf and traverse a set path to an unfamiliar territory, were never going to go direct to Beth Shemesh. Disorder would have been the order but this was not to be. The cows were aware they were being separated from their calves for they lowed all the way but something, more appropriately Someone, was overruling their actions. Whereas their inclination was to deviate back to their calves these cows steadfastly made their way along the path to Beth Shemesh.

Here was a demonstration of the God who created life and has control over life. It was the God of Creation, the God who chose Israel to be His people. God demonstrates here He is not a God of chance and both Gideon and the Philistines want to know this. They sought to eliminate any chance (randomness) in their contemplation of the God in their presence, Who was either for them or against them.

Note the precision and expediency of God in demonstrating His Will and His bearing testimony to Himself in these two incidents now recalled. This is not the God who would use a process riddled with disease, suffering, biological dead-ends and death to create life nor is He satisfied with confusion of His works with chance (random) processes. No better is He revealed thus but in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.

No, at all times God reveals His glory which all creation is to acknowledge and praise. As the Lord God reveals His arm of strength Theistic Evolutionists withhold their arm of praise.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Clarion Call to the Church.

As has been said here before, the tendency for the Church to absorb into its belief that which is opposed to the direct teaching of the Word of God and that which is nothing more than acquiescing to the world on the subject of Origins is a slow working poison bound to bring destruction.

Those who 'ring alarm bells' within the Church are sidelined and kept as quiet as possible so that calm may prevail. All the while the poison takes its toll.

It would be better for the Church to awaken to the alarm call of those Divinely appointed clarions however unsophisticated they may seem for, though they bring discomfort, they are in step with notables of the past including C. H. Spurgeon who, in 1883 said:

"When a fire is kindled in a city we do not say coldly, ' Yonder is a great fire, I pray God it will do no harm.' In times of public defection we are not to preach tame lectures of contemplative divinity, or fight with ghosts of antiquated errors, but to oppose with all earnestness the growing evils of the world, whatever it may cost us. If men valued truth as they do their goods and their houses they would not regard error with such cool contentment. The cant of the present day is, 'Charity, Charity.' As if it were not the truest charity to grow indignant with that which ruins souls. It is not uncharitable to warn men against poisonous adulterations of their food, or invasions of their rights; and surely it cannot be more uncharitable to put them upon their guard against that which will poison or rob their souls. Lukewarmness of love to truth is the real evil to be deprecated in these times. We have new doctrines among us, full of practical mischief, and against these there is a need to cry out lest they gain so great a head that both church and state should be set on fire. Lord, arouse thy watchmen, and bid them arouse all thy saints, for the times are full of danger! "

Awake Oh Sleeper, you sleep the sleep of death.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Homosexuality and Anglicans

I have previously made reference to A Restless Faith and the erroneous conclusion the writer reaches with respect to the same-sex marriage debate and the matter of homosexuality in general.

I have also remarked that the logic used by that writer to arrive at his conclusion is valid. It is just that his erroneous assumption to distrust the biblical account of the global flood in the time of Noah permits his otherwise correct logical process to lead him to further error on the matter of homosexuality.

A little background checking reveals that writer to have connections with the former Rector of St Saviour's Anglican Church, Redfern, now Bishop of Gippsland, Victoria, who created a furore in Anglican (or Episcopalian) circles in Australia earlier this year in ordaining a man living in a homosexual relationship.

If you care to read the basis of that decision, take a look at his Synod address.

You will note his lifting of two portions of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:18, 20) without considering them in the context of the whole Bible. That is a basic error.

What is interesting in connection with the Keith Mascord blog is that the Bishop of Gippsland compounds his own error in a similar way to Keith Mascord - by misinterpreting Scripture, science and history. I quote the Bishop of Gippsland:

"We all acknowledge that the church can never read the Bible in the same way once it acknowledged that Galileo was right. The world is round, not flat, despite what those who first penned the words of the Bible thought and assumed. It took the church a long time to acknowledge this, and in the name of orthodoxy, it treated Galileo rather shabbily along the way.

Here lies an exegetical parallel for our present purpose. Because of recent new understanding, we now all know that same-sex attracted people are not heterosexual people who have made a perverse choice about how they express their sexuality. They simply are what they are. We might like to argue about whether this is how life should or should not be, but that will not change the way it is. And we have to respond to what is

It amazes me that someone with so little knowledge of the Bible, science and history could be appointed Bishop of Gippsland and I pity the poor parishioners and some clergy for who they have supposedly having pastoral oversight of them. A fair record of events concerning Galileo can be found here and an historically accurate assessment of the disconnection of the Galileo controversy and "flat earth" allegations can be found here.

To those in the Church who say the debate over Origins is not an important issue I want you to see just where an erroneous understanding of Scripture, science and history leads you. And don't go stroking your chest saying you are arguing against people such as John McIntyre, Bishop of Gippsland and Keith Mascord, former lecturer at Moore Theological College on the subject of homosexuality. You assert those two men are being influenced by the thinking of the world on the matter instead of Scripture yet you hypocrites are being influenced by the world on the matter of Origins instead of Scripture.

Those two men are at least consistent in their error. You are inconsistent!

Sam Drucker

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Roots of Compromise

Earlier blogs here have commented on the emergence and affect of Higher Criticism and Liberal Theology on the Church including their inroads into evangelical churches. We have also blogged extensively on how the current world view on Origins has impacted the Reformed Church's interpretation of the Word of God.

While this writer leans to Calvinist doctrine (because of a little more weight for it in the Word of God over other doctrinal positions) I cannot avoid noting some traps Calvinists can fall into by going too far with (or corrupting) Calvinist doctrine. I am aware there are Calvinists and there are Calvinists but one who caught my eye this week was Robert S. Candlish, D.D. (1806-1873) of Scotland who succeeded Thomas Chalmers in the chair of divinity at the New College, Edinburgh in 1841.

In 1842 Dr Candlish published a work on Genesis. I don't have that version but I do have the 1868 version inscribed "New Edition - Carefully Revised". I suspect some alteration from the early edition occurred due to Charles Darwin's work "On the Origin of the Species"etc., having been in circulation about nine years.

I provide a few quotes from Dr Candlish and readers will see the roots of Darwin's influence on the interpretation of the Word of God.

Right at the outset, on page 1, Dr Candlish signals an intent to lift the Word of God out of the reach of science and deal, as much as can be allowed, with the spiritual and moral elements:

"The view taken in this Lecture I hold to be important, not only in its practical and spiritual bearings, on which I chiefly dwell, but also in relation to some of the scientific questions which have been supposed to be here involved. It lifts, as I think, the divine record out of and above these human entanglements, and presents it, apart from all discoveries of successive ages, in the broad and general aspect which it was designed from the first and all along to wear, as unfolding the Creator's mind in the orderly subordination of the several parts of his creation to one another, with special reference to his intended dealings with the race of man. On this account I ask attention to what otherwise might appear to some to be an irrelevant metaphysical conceit."

On page 13, Dr Candlish admits of a form of Calvinism which asserts an odious view of the character of God concerning evil. Not only that, it lays the foundation for Christians to permit a monstrous and demeaning process of Creation ascribed to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:

"And if now, my Christian brother, the God who made all things, evil as well as good, - sickness, pain. poverty, distress, - is your Saviour; if he is ever seen by you. and his voice is heard telling you, even of that which presently afflicts you, that he made it as he made you, - how complete is your confidence."

On page 18, Dr Candlish expresses admission of a serious assault on the credibility of the long held Christian account of Origins:

"This divine record of creation, remarkable for the most perfect simplicity, has been sadly complicated and embarrassed by the human theories and speculations with which it has unhappily become entangled. To clear the way, therefore, at the outset, to get rid of many perplexities, and leave the narrative unencumbered for pious and practical uses, let its limited design be fairly understood, and let certain explanations be frankly made. In the first place, the object of this inspired cosmogony, or account of the world's origin, is not scientific but religious."

As if to acknowledge the Uniformitarian beliefs of his predecessor at New College, Dr Candlish says on page 19:

"What history of ages previous to that era this globe may have engraved in its rocky bosom, revealed or to be revealed by the explosive force of its central fires Scripture does not say. What countless generations of living organisms teemed in the chaotic waters, or brooded over the dark abyss, it is not within the scope of the inspiring Spirit to tell." All that contrary to the narrative of the Creation account in Genesis 1, ably supported by Exodus 20:11.

And later, on page 20, he reaffirms his intent to abandon historical rendering for elements seemingly out of reach of science:

"Our present concern, therefore, is with the moral and spiritual aspect of this sacred narrative."

The irony of all that is that Dr Candlish provides a helpful commentary on later events contained within Genesis, even holding to a global flood which destroyed the world that was, and upholding the long life span of early man.

There was no cause for Dr Candlish to give ground to Darwin's science. His record of dealing with the science of his day, however, provides us today with a helpful background to why the Church is in the sorry state it is today.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unlively and Spirit Quenching Bilgewater

I recall reading somewhere of a person stating on a blogspot that his reason for leaving the Sydney Anglican (Episcopalian) Diocese was the widespread equivocation within the Diocese over just what a Bible passage was saying. In essence, many in the Diocese would assert more than one intention could be derived from a given passage.

That is no help whatsoever to a person wanting to know God and the will of God for those who love Him.

If one was to seek a current day example of the concern expressed by that blogger one need go no further than to take a look here.

What you will find there are two instalments on the subject of literary genre from a current lecturer at Moore Theological College. Each instalment is weighted with the same degree of Spirit quenching content.

Why would a theological lecturer dish up this stuff? What good is it to Christians in their walk with their Lord and Saviour? I firmly assert that it has no positive worth. Instead it is destructive. It is a path not to be taken. Many quoted sources are God haters and offer no help to understand the Word of God.

I urge readers not to give any time to the blogs other than to quickly note the quicksand that it is to a lively faith and for trust in the clear message and will of God in His Word.

Sam Drucker

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Following is the second and final instalment of an address on the subject of Infallibility of Scripture given by the late Professor John Murray (1898-1975), former Professor of Systematic Theology, first at Princeton then Westminster Theological Seminary . The address was given at the Preaching Conference in Leicester on 3 July 1962.

The Witness of Scripture

What is this witness? Certain passages are of particular relevance. Paul says, 'All scripture is God-breathed' (2 Tim. 3: 16) and Peter, 'For prophecy was not brought of old time by the will of man, but as borne by the Holy Spirit men spoke from God' (2 Pet. 1: 21). In both passages it is the divine authorship and the character resulting therefrom that are emphasized. Scripture is in view in both passages. Even in 2 Pet. 1: 21 this is apparent from the preceding verse which defines 'prophecy' as 'prophecy of scripture', or, as we might say. inscripturated prophecy. These two texts have closer relationship to one another than we might be disposed to think. For in the usage of Scripture the Word of God, the breath of God, and the Spirit of God are closely related. And when Paul says 'all scripture is God-breathed', he is saying nothing less than that all Scripture is God's speech, God's voice invested with all the authority and power belonging to His utterance. Peter explains how what is given through the agency of men can be God's speech - 'as borne by the Holy Spirit men spoke
from God'.

We think also of the words of our Lord (Matt. 3: 18; John 10: 35). In both passages it is the inviolability of Scripture that is asserted.

There are not only these express passages. There is a mass of witness derived from appeal to Scripture in ways that imply its finality, its divine authority, and its equivalence to God's word or speech. For our Lord "Scripture says" is equivalent to "God says". And Paul, when referring to the body of Scripture committed to Israel can speak of it as "the oracles of God" (Rom. 3: 2).

Here then we have the verdict of Scripture. To avow any lower estimate is to impugn the witness of our Lord Himself and that is to assail the dependability and veracity of Him who is the truth (John 14: 6). And it is also to impugn the reliability of the Holy Spirit who is also the truth as well as the Spirit of truth (1 John 5: 6; John 16: 13). If we reject the witness of both to the character of that upon which we must rely for our knowledge of the whole content of faith and hope, then we have no foundation of veracity on which to rest. It was the foundation of all faith, confidence and certitude that the apostle appealed to when he said, 'Let God be true but every man a liar' (Rom. 3: 4). It is significant that he forthwith corroborated this truth by appeal to Scripture.

The Context of this Witness

The doctrine of the infallibility of Scripture is derived from the witness of Scripture. It is equally necessary to bear in mind that this witness is to be understood in the context of Scripture as a whole. Any doctrine severed from the total structure of revelation is out of focus. It is necessary to insist on this for two reasons.

First, it is possible to give formal confession to the infallibility of Scripture and yet belie this confession in dealing with it. The dogma of infallibility implies that Scripture is itself the revelatory Word of God, that it is the living and authoritative voice or speech of God. Unless we are arrested by that Word and summoned by it into His presence, unless we bow in reverence before that Word and accord to it the finality that belongs to it as God's oracular utterance, then our confession is only formal.

Second, unless we assess infallibility in the light of the data with which Scripture provides us, we shall be liable to judge infallibility by criteria to which Scripture does not conform. This is one of the most effective ways of undermining biblical infallibility.

The inspiration of Scripture involves verbal inspiration. If it did not carry with it the inspiration of the words, it would not be inspiration at all. Words are the media of communication. It is nothing less than verbal inspiration that Paul affirms when he says in 1 Cor. 2: 13, 'combining spiritual things with spiritual'. He is speaking of truths taught by the Spirit, as the preceding clauses indicate. But when we say 'words' we mean words in relationship, in grammatical and syntactical relationship, first of all, then, in the broader contextual relationship, and last of all in relation to the whole content and structure of revelation as deposited in Scripture. They are words with the meaning which Scripture, interpreted in the light of Scripture, determines. They are Spirit-inspired words in the sense in which they were intended by the Holy Spirit. This is to say that the sense and intent of Scripture is Scripture and not the meaning we may arbitrarily impose upon it.

When the Scripture uses anthropomorphic terms with reference to God and His actions, we must interpret accordingly and not predicate of God the limitations which belong to us men. When Scripture conveys truth to us by the mode of apocalyptic vision, we cannot find the truth signified in the details of the vision literalised. If Scripture uses the language of common usage and experience or observation, we are not to accuse it of error because it does not use the language of a particular science, language which few could understand and which becomes obsolete with the passing phases of scientific advancement. The Scripture does not make itself ridiculous by conforming to what pedants might require.

There are numerous considerations that must be taken into account derived from the study of Scripture data. And it is a capital mistake to think that the criteria of infallibility are those that must conform to our preconceived notions or to our arbitrarily adopted norms.


The doctrine of infallibility is not peripheral. What is at stake is the character of the witness which the Scripture provides for the whole compass of our faith. It is concerned with the nature of the only revelation which we possess respecting God's will for our salvation, the only revelation by which we are brought into saving encounter with Him who is God manifest in the flesh, the only revelation by which we may be introduced into that fellowship which is eternal life, and the only revelation by which we may be guided in that pilgrimage to the city which hath the foundations whose builder and maker is God. In a word the interests involved are those of faith, love and hope

When God, in Scripture, speaks straightforwardly of believers being born again in Jesus Christ and, along with other clear doctrinal issues, says that He created the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them in six days and that a straightforward reading of the genealogy of Chronicles and Luke leans heavily toward that creation activity occurring only thousands of years ago then it is a denial of the Infallibility of Scripture to deny such doctrinal issues.

Sam Drucker

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Infallibility or Inerrancy of Scripture has received attention of late so I thought I might provide, in two (2) instalments, an address given by the late Professor John Murray (1898-1975), former Professor of Systematic Theology, first at Princeton then Westminster Theological Seminary. The address was given at a Preaching Conference in Leicester on 3 July 1962. Part 1 follows herewith:

"Scripture as the Word of God has many attributes. But no one of these is more precious to the believer than infallibility. This attribute assures him of its stability and it imparts to him that certitude by which alone he can be stedfast in the faith once for all delivered to the saints. The doctrine of infallibility rests upon proper grounds and only as we examine these grounds can we properly understand its meaning and assess its significance.

The Warrant

When we say that Scripture is infallible, on what ground or by what authority do we make this confession? When we ask the question, we should realize how momentous is the confession. In this world in which sin and misery abound, in which error is rampant, in which it is so difficult to discover the truth about any complex situation, that there should be an entity in the form of a collection of documents of which we predicate infallibility is a fact with staggering implications. And so, when we ask the question of warrant, we are asking a question of the greatest moment. The authority must be as ultimate as the proposition is stupendous.

We say Scripture is infallible not because we can prove it to be infallible. The impossibility of proof lies on the face of Scripture. For example, how could we prove that the first chapter of Genesis is substantially true, not to speak of its being infallible? This chapter deals with the origin of created realities, and what collateral or independent evidence do we possess regarding the action by which
created entities began to be? We must not depreciate science. But science has to deal with existing realities, not with that which was antecedent to created existence. Or again, if we think of the third chapter of Genesis, who can prove that the events there recorded are true, or that it provides us with an infallible account of what is alleged to have occurred?

It is, of course, necessary to take account of what is our province and duty. It is our obligation to defend Scripture against allegations of error and contradiction. We can often show from the data of Scripture that the Scripture is consistent with itself. And we can also show that its representations are not contradicted by data derived from other authentic sources of information. Oftentimes, though we may not be able to demonstrate the harmony of Scripture, we are able to show that there is no necessary contradiction. There is ample place and scope for this type of defence in order to meet on the basis of all the data provided for us the charges which doubt and unbelief bring against

But the main point of interest now is that when we thus defend the Scripture we do not thereby prove its infallibility. We are indeed vindicating the authenticity of Scripture, authenticity without which it would be futile to maintain its infallibility. But we do not thereby prove its infallibility. For one thing there are areas of Scripture, and these the most important, in connection with which we are not able to engage even in the aforementioned type of defence or vindication. How could we prove that when Christ died upon the cross he expiated the sins of a countless number of lost men? How are we to prove that Christ after his ascension entered into the holy places at the right hand of the majesty in the heavens? It can be demonstrated that the Scripture so teaches but not that these things are true.

Thus, on the question of warrant for the proposition that Scripture is infallible, what are we to say? The only ground is the witness of Scripture to itself, to its own origin, character and authority.

This may seem an illegitimate way of supporting the proposition at issue. Are we not begging the question? We are seeking for the ground of the proposition that Scripture is infallible. And then we say: we believe this because the Scripture says so, which, in turn, assumes that we are to accept the verdict of Scripture. If we accept this verdict, we imply that its verdict is true, and not only so, but infallibly true if the verdict is to support the declaration that Scripture is infallible. This is the situation and we must frankly confess it to be so. It can be no otherwise in the situation that belongs to us in God's providential grace.

The Uniqueness of Scripture

Let us try to assess the situation in which we are placed. Apart from the Scriptures and the knowledge derived from them we today would be in complete darkness respecting the content of our Christian faith. We must not deceive ourselves as to the darkness and confusion that would be ours if there were no Bible. We depend upon the message of Scripture for every tenet of our faith, for every ray of redemptive light that illumines our minds, and for every ray of hope against the issues of time and eternity. Christianity for us today without the Bible is something inconceivable.

We are not presuming to limit God. He could have brought the revelation of his redemptive will by other means than that of Scripture. But the issue now is not what God could have done if he so pleased. The issue is what He has done. It is the de facto situation of God's providential ordering. And the upshot is that Scripture occupies an absolutely unique position. The case is not simply that Scripture is indispensable. Much else besides Scripture is indispensable in our actual situation. There is the witness of the church, there is the Christian tradition, and there is the mass of Christian literature. The fact is that Scripture as an entity, as a phenomenon, if you wish, is absolutely unique. We are deceiving ourselves and refusing to face reality if we think that we can maintain even the most attenuated Christian belief or hope without presupposing and acknowledging that absolute uniqueness belonging to Scripture as a collection of written documents. It is this absolute uniqueness that must be taken into account when we speak of accepting its verdict.

It may be objected: does not the foregoing position impinge upon what is central in our faith? Is not Christ, the Son of God incarnate. crucified, risen, exalted, and coming again, the Christian faith? Might it not even be objected that this emphasis gives to Scripture the place of God?

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 Christ, but because of its relationship to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit. It is unique because it is the only way whereby we come into relationship to God in the redemptive revelation of His grace and the only way whereby Christ in the uniqueness that belongs to Him as the Son of God incarnate, as the crucified, risen and ascended Redeemer comes within the orbit of our knowledge, faith, experience, and hope. We have no encounter with God, with Christ, and with the Holy Spirit in terms of saving and redeeming grace apart from Scripture. It is the only revelation to us of God's redemptive will. That is its uniqueness.

Here then is the conclusion proceeding from its uniqueness, its incomparable singularity in the situation that is ours in God's providence. If we do not accept its verdict respecting its own character or quality, we have no warrant to accept its verdict respecting anything else. If its witness respecting itself is not authentic, then by what warrant may we accept its witness on other matters? By reason of what Scripture is and means in the whole compass of Christian faith and hope we are shut up to what Scripture teaches respecting its origin, character and authority

Part 2 will follow in a few days.

Sam Drucker