Sunday, 24 January 2010

Christian Bible

to say that the Christian Bible contains the only and final verbal revelation from
God is to establish a definite source from which we may gain knowledge about him, thus
rendering the formulation of authoritative doctrines possible. It also serves to eliminate
other sources from laying claim to being a verbal revelation from God, and thus ensuring
a closed system from which we may perform inductive studies, rendering the results as
certain as the conclusion of a deductive syllogism.
That this verbal revelation has reached its final form means that there will be no future
verbal revelation from God before the end of human history as we now know it as
predicted by the Scripture itself. The premise stating that only one God exists also
eliminates the possibility of divine revelation from another deity, verbal or otherwise.
These three assumptions make a meaningful construction of Christian theology possible.
However, they may seem to many as rather bold assumptions. This is why it is important
to keep in mind that they are not arbitrarily presupposed, but that they have been
conclusively established as true by Christian apologists.
The study of Christian apologetics has proven the existence of God and the divine origin
of Scripture. It has also established that there cannot be other gods besides the one whose
existence it has proven. Since this is a text on theology and not apologetics, I will not
elaborate on the arguments and evidences used to establish these statements. Taking into
account the work done by apologists, we may cease referring to the three premises as
assumptions, but instead perceive them as facts.
Thus, we begin with three factual statements, namely, "God exists," "There is only one
God," and "The Christian Bible is his only and final verbal revelation." For the sake of
simplicity, we may combine them to form one central premise, on which all of Christian
theology depends: "The Christian Bible is the only and final verbal revelation of the only
God." Again, this is not just the working premise or assumption of theology, but it is the
proven premise from which we may begin the study of theology.
Since this central premise is true, the implication for theology is that accurate biblical
exegesis combined with a correct systematization of its product yield an authoritative
theology – a system of doctrines that is both factually true and morally binding on all
people, and to which Christians have pledged submission in thought and action.
Biblical exegesis, or hermeneutics, refers to the correct interpretation of Scripture, while
the systematization of the information provided by biblical exegesis involves the
application of logic, or the rules of necessary inferences. This means that, having
accepted our central premise, any error in theologizing is the result of faulty hermeneutics
or reasoning, or both.
Do not underestimate what we are establishing here. Based on our central premise, if we
through flawless exegesis and sound reasoning derive from the Scripture, for example,
that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, then there can be no doubt but that
this is what God is telling us, and that it is objectively true for everyone.