When Silence is Love

Greyfriars Hall Spring 2016 Preaching Retreat Sermon Text: Acts 8:26-40 Introduction The problem of exegesis and the meaning of language goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden where the serpent asked the woman: Did God really say? And ever since, men have asked why God doesn’t speak more clearly. If there is…

Bultmann, Cyril, and a bit more on Sola Scriptura

Robert Arakaki has responded here to my Reformation21 article An Apostolic Case for Sola Scriptura. I’m grateful for his interaction and some of the other questions I’ve received. Here are a few thoughts in reply. Arakaki rightly points out that if the apostolic commission included a written testimony, there should be evidence in the New…

Testing the Spirit of Sola Scriptura

One aspect of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura that sometimes seems problematic is what the Protestant tradition has called “the internal testimony of the Spirit.” Is this the Protestant version of the Mormon “burning in the bosom?” Is this the catch all excuse-maker justifying all manner of iniquity? I cannot submit to my elders because…

God Does Not Mumble

The biblical doctrine of Sola Scriptura, that Scripture alone is the only ultimate and infallible authority over the Church and every Christian, rests on the fact that Scripture is God’s perfect Word. The Bible says that God’s Word is perfect. His Word is complete. His Word is breathed out by the Holy Spirit. We know…

Sola Scriptura & Truth with a Beard

One caricature of Sola Scriptura often sketches the Protestant doctrine as problematic on the grounds that since many people read the Bible and come away with different interpretations, it is necessarily (even if unintentionally) an individualistic doctrine. When it comes down to it, Protestants submit to themselves and their personal interpretations and not to Christ…

Twelve Foundation Stones

Luke XXIII: Luke 6:12-19 Introduction Here, Jesus chooses twelve ordinary men to become the foundation of the new Israel, the Christian Church, in order to work His powerful grace through them. Prayer When Jesus chose the twelve disciples, He prayed all night (Lk. 6:12). Like Moses, Jesus goes up a mountain to choose twelve new…

Tradition With A Lisp

Perhaps one of the greatest attractions to the Eastern Orthodox tradition or the Roman Catholic Church is the claim to an authoritative interpretive tradition that cuts through all the different interpretations of the Bible. For example, a Roman Catholic acquaintance posted this from G.K. Chesterton yesterday: “The Bible by itself cannot be a basis of…

The Temple Became A Man

If I occasionally come across as baffled in discussions about conversions of Reformed Protestants to Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy it’s because, well, I am. But let me explain. It’s certainly not because I believe the only true church is OPC or CREC or PCA or URC or some such silliness. It’s certainly not because…

Luke I: Christian Certainty

Easter II: Luke 1:1-4 [Note: the audio for this sermon is available here.] Introduction Today we begin the gospel of Luke, and we begin by considering who Luke was, how he came to write his gospel account, and the purpose for his writing. Who Was Luke? Luke is the author of two books of the…

The Bible as Food

When we read the Bible we always want to be careful and pray that God would not let us just run on autopilot. We want to seek what God has for us. In the gospel reading from John, Jesus has just warned the Jews that they have made an idol of the Scriptures. They think…