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Copyright for the journal © 2005
M. S. Thirumalai
WHAT GOOD IS YOUR SCRIPTURE ALONE THEORY?
A Timely Book by James R. White
BEDROCK OF EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS
Scripture Alone by James White is a timely book that we all should read. We tend to take the saying "Scripture Alone" often for granted. We believe in the Word of God, but we are often ill-equipped to explain our faith in "Scripture Alone." This book is an excellent summary of the position that has been the bedrock of evangelical Christians for centuries. James White points out to his own disposition in the following words, and we certainly feel that he is speaking about us:
I have always believed in sola scriptura, though the Latin phrase did not enter into my vocabulary until adulthood. When I first began responding to attacks made upon Scripture by various religious groups, I did so out of instinctual respect for the Bible and a strong sense of loyalty to the Word. (Page 11)
THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH AND THE WORD OF GOD
The relationship between the authority of church and the authority of the Word of God will continue to be debated. It does not look like that those who believe in the supremacy of the church over the Scripture will easily give up. They have reasons of their own to believe in the teaching such as that of Ignatius Loyola, who is quoted in this book as teaching his followers,
That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity with the Church herself, if she shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it black (Page 12).
CONTENTS OF THE BOOK
The book is divided into 12 chapters with an introduction.
- Three arguments related to Scriptural sufficiency.
- Definitions: More than half the battle.
- Forever settled: the nature of God's Holy Word.
- The canon of Scripture considered.
- Did Thomas write a Gospel?
- Allegations of corruption.
- Allegations of contradiction.
- Tradition, the Church, and the development of Doctrine.
- The Lord spoke to me, saying …
- Scriptural sufficiency: nothing new
- Conclusion: Forever settled in Heaven … and for me.
PREACH IT FROM THE PULPIT
Chapter headings do not really do justice to the contents. The book contains much information presented generally in a readable form. The subject is hard sometimes for most of us to follow, and this difficulty actually has led to the practice of many cultic tendencies and misunderstanding of the authority of the Word of God. The function of the pulpit is to make such things clearer. Failure to do this has resulted in "sound Christian theology [suffering] a slow and horrible death in those churches and denominations where theories of men take precedence over the authority of Scripture" (Page 80).
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WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN? | CULTURAL REALITIES AND TRENDS IN MISSIONS - An Informal Report by a Team of Missionary Trainers | AT THE SCENT OF WATER - Linda Nichols' Writing Mission | CHRISTIAN MATURITY - GLIMPSES FROM 2 PETER | SHAPED BY GOD | WHAT GOOD IS YOUR SCRIPTURE ALONE THEORY?
A Timely Book by James R. White | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR
M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Bethany College of Missions
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