God's Word is Trustworthy (4)
February 17, 2009
J.I. Packer's classic work Fundamentalism and the Word of God is now 50 years old. I encourage you to read it. I believe you will find that it helps to bolster your faith in the Bible as God's Word.
The Bible excludes the idea of a frustrated Deity. ‘Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth’. He was well able to prepare, equip and overrule human writers so that they wrote nothing but what He intended; and the Scripture tells us that this is what in fact he did. We are to think of the Spirit’s inspiring activity, and, for that matter, of all His regular operations in and upon human personality, as (to use an old but valuable technical term) concursive; that is, as exercised in, through and by means of the writers’ own activity, in such a way that their thinking and writing was both free and spontaneous on their part and divinely elicited and controlled, and what they wrote was not only their own work but also God’s work. (80)
Not that the text of Scripture is made up entirely of formal doctrinal statements; of course, it is not…In fact Scripture is an organism, a complex, self-interpreting whole, its theology showing the meaning of the events and experiences which it records, and the events and experiences showing the outworking of the theology in actual life. All these items have their place in the total system of biblical truth. (94)
Scripture must interpret Scripture; the scope and significance of one passage is to be brought out by relating it to others….The Reformers termed this principle the analogy of Scripture; the Westminster Confession states it thus: ‘The infallible rule of interpretation of scripture is the scripture itself; and therefore, when there is a question about the truth and full sense of any scripture, it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly’. This is so in the nature of the case, since the various inspired books are dealing with complementary aspects of the same subject. The rule means that we must give ourselves in Bible study to following out the unities, cross-references and topical links which Scripture provides. (106)