Thursday, September 26, 2013

Assuming the Truth of Scripture

To some degree, trying to convince others that the Bible is reliable represents an effort to get people to trust us, to believe that we have sufficient arguments in our arsenal to prove that they should take the Bible seriously. By contrast, using the Bible, with no prefatory remarks about whether it is worthy of such respect, is to assign it an even higher place. To state this point differently, much modern theology argues that we should trust the Bible because we can demonstrate that it is reliable. In contrast, the Fathers assumed that the Bible is trustworthy because it came from God, and they assumed this so implicitly and wholeheartedly that they rarely even mentioned the Bible's uniqueness directly. They simply acted on the uniqueness of Scripture by memorizing it, studying it, citing it, using it. Because of this the Fathers have relatively little to offer to our articulation of the doctrine of Scripture, but in their practice they have a great deal to tell us about what submission to the authority of Scripture looks like.
--Donald Fairbairn, Life in the Trinity: An Introduction to Theology with the Help of the Church Fathers (IVP, 2009), 2.

I really like this approach, for two reasons: assuming the truth of scripture rather than trying to prove it would (1) save a lot of time and (2) make superfluous all the terrible arguments used to prove the truth of scripture.

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