Wednesday, February 03, 2010

God's Divine and Gracious Word

The final post here (for now) on the nature of Scripture is two quotes from the WTS Hermeneutics Field Committee report.

Concursus warns us against playing the humanity of scripture off against its divinity and vice versa. To the extent that one stresses the foundational role of God as primary Author, to that same extent the question of His determination to use real human authors (and not mere amanuenses) becomes more insistent. The fact is that the Bible that we have presents us with the amazing fact that God chose to use human beings well beyond the minimum threshold required for communication. The tell-tale signs of such an activity in Scripture are, therefore, not principial problems to be explained away or denied but rather wonderful marks of its origin and perfection. Kuyper did not drive home the power of the disanalogous aspects. The depth of divine condescension in the Incarnation is incredibly greater than his condescension in inscripturation, and was strictly necessary, given God’s decision to redeem a people. By comparison, the divine condescension in inscripturation, though less costly, is surprisingly much deeper and pervasive than was necessary! It is the wisdom of this surprising condescension in which I&I and HFC wish to exult, 86.

The phenomena that our tradition has labeled "the humanity of scripture" is, therefore, a signature mark of the character of its divinity. This divinity, if we may paraphrase Pascal, is not the abstract divinity defined by the philosophers; it is the divinity of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Yahweh, the covenant God! As such, these "troublesome" phenomena of Scripture are one of the important revelatory burdens of the Bible, providing us a unique view into the nature of our God, of his relationship with his people and the concerns of his heart. As a set, then, these phenomena are of immense moment for our understanding of the Bible, the Christian walk and calling. We dare not minimize this dimension of scripture in the slightest. It is an integral part of a biblical "doctrine of Scripture." I&I drives this point home to an audience that needs to hear it, 87.