Category Archives: Articles on Biblical Authority

Christians and Critical Judgments

Christians and Critical Judgments

This entry is part 16 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Most Christians are happy to accept the authority of expert opinion. What is instructive to note is which domains of knowledge they are comfortable to refer to experts, as opposed to those in which they actively oppose expert opinion. To paraphrase what I wrote to one commenter, Christians are happy to listen to experts when… Continue Reading

Authority, Soul Competence and Vocation

Authority, Soul Competence and Vocation

This entry is part 15 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Soul competence and the priesthood of the believer are two sides of one doctrine that Baptists cherish. Indeed, they make up part of the matrix known as the Baptist distinctives. Soul competence teaches that individual Spirit-indwelt believers can read and understand Scripture for themselves, using the means He has given. The priesthood of the believer… Continue Reading

You Elitist, You

You Elitist, You

This entry is part 14 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Since this series has dealt with “mangled” words such as tolerance, freedom, and authority, I was tempted to include elitism among them. Elitism, though, is really a misused word inseparable from the word authority. When the meaning of authority is mangled, be sure that a sorely maimed and deformed version of the meaning of elitism… Continue Reading

Identifying Authorities

Identifying Authorities

This entry is part 13 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Within the avalanche of information coming at us, how do we identify true authorities in any domain of knowledge? How do we judge the anonymous Youtube channel, the self-proclaimed discernment ministry, the mega-church pastor, or the well-known author? We need something more than merely an intuitive feeling that a person ‘makes sense’, or ‘seems to… Continue Reading

Who Made You the Authority?

Who Made You the Authority?

This entry is part 12 of 26 in the series Ten Mangled Words You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

The explosion of information on the web has made the idea of authoritative information almost a thing of the past. A CGI-Enhanced Youtube video about the non-existence of the South Pole is as accessible as the online Encyclopedia Brittanica’s information on Antarctica. The crowd-edited Wikipedia is found as easily (or more so) than a peer-reviewed journal.… Continue Reading

Worship forms regulated by Scripture

Worship forms regulated by Scripture

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

This is the final post in a series I’ve been writing over the past couple months in order to more thoroughly develop an idea I presented in By the Waters of Babylon, namely, that the aesthetic forms in our corporate worship should be regulated by the aesthetic forms of Scripture. In this series, I have argued… Continue Reading

Aesthetic Correspondence

Aesthetic Correspondence

This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In this series of essays, I have argued that Scripture presents God’s truth to us, not merely in didactic propositions, but also (in fact, mostly!) through various aesthetic forms. Therefore, when we attempt to translate the truth of Scripture into contemporary forms of communication, we must be certain that the meaning of the original text is accurately… Continue Reading

Translating the Aesthetic Forms of Scripture

Translating the Aesthetic Forms of Scripture

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

In By the Waters of Babylon, I make a brief statement about how the aesthetic forms of Scripture should guide and regulate worship forms today. In this series, I am attempting to flesh out that argument a bit more. Up to this point, I have argued that truth expressed in Scripture is not merely scientific fact… Continue Reading

Verbal, Plenary Inspiration and the Aesthetics of Scripture

Verbal, Plenary Inspiration and the Aesthetics of Scripture

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

A couple of friends asked for clarification and explanation of a claim I make in By the Waters of Babylon, in which I argue that the aesthetic forms of Scripture should regulate our worship forms today. I am attempting to answer that request in a series of posts. The basis for my argument of extending biblical… Continue Reading

Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture

Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Biblical Authority and the Aesthetics of Scripture You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

I’d like to take a few posts over the next several weeks to respond to one criticism of something I wrote, but did not develop, in a very brief section in By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, published last year by Kregel. In that book, I suggest that instead of our worship… Continue Reading

Prophecy: To Be Continued . . .

Prophecy: To Be Continued . . .

Mark 13:11 promises that followers of Jesus will be given words by the Spirit to speak when they stand before civil and religious authorities in the context of persecution. Below is but a brief theological explanation as to why this promise is not for us today but for those in the Tribulation, a time of… Continue Reading

People of the Book

People of the Book

This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Back to Basics You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Christians are people of the book. Conservative Evangelical Christians, in particular, demand that their beliefs and lives be governed by Scripture. Yet what, exactly, that means is not always clear, particularly when dealing with matters of Christian living. On the one hand, some Christians believe that the Bible is an exhaustive list of prescriptions and… Continue Reading

Luther on the centrality of the Word in worship

Luther on the centrality of the Word in worship

Martin Luther did not want to revolutionize completely the traditional worship of the Western church. He did, however, believe that preaching of the Word had been sorely neglected. In 1523, he published some instructions on the “Order of Public Worship,” and therein he identified three errors that were common in papal worship services: (1) the… Continue Reading

John Frame and the Regulative Principle of Worship

John Frame and the Regulative Principle of Worship

John Frame is among one of the most influential theologians to defend contemporary worship music and practice, particularly through his two popular books, Worship in Spirit and Truth and Contemoprary Worship Music. What many may not realize is that his philosophy expounded in these books emerges from a softening and redefinition of the governing doctrine of his… Continue Reading

The Use of Creeds

The Use of Creeds

This entry is part 8 of 11 in the series Some Things To Consider Including in Your Worship You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

 “My faith has found a resting place, not in device nor creed.” So goes the hymn, and if taken over-literally, we might agree. Our faith does not rest in a creed, or even in propositions that explain the gospel. Our faith rests upon the person and work of Jesus Christ, which the propositions of the… Continue Reading

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

Relevance is Irrelevant (Part 12)

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Relevance is Irrelevant You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 The first three chapters of 1 Corinthians debunks the importance of the modern crutch of “relevance.” Throughout this series, I have been arguing that Paul deliberately eschewed artificial props to make the gospel more attractive to unbelievers. Instead, he preached Christ and… Continue Reading

How Scripture is Insufficient

How Scripture is Insufficient

Tuesday I linked to an important article by Carl Trueman about the sufficiency of Scripture. I believe this article is so important that I’d like to highlight a few of his points here. Trueman makes an intriguing statement in his article: There is a sense in which we might say that Protestants believe in the insufficiency of… Continue Reading

The founders of the first church had a proper respect for Scripture

The founders of the first church had a proper respect for Scripture

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Characteristics of the Founders of the First Church You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

Last week we discovered that the founders of the first church were characterized by united, fervent prayer. But prayer is not the only thing with which these founders of the first Church occupied their time, and Luke uses the event of choosing Judas’ replacement to highlight the second characteristic of these men. What was it that… Continue Reading

John Wesley on how the Bible regulates affections

John Wesley on how the Bible regulates affections

The authority of Scripture is of utmost importance to those of us who write here on the Religious Affections blog. The Bible regulates our doctrine, our practice, and even our love. We do not believe our love is arbitrary, to be expressed by our natural whim and fancy. We refuse to believe every theological concept… Continue Reading

The Strange Silence Around the Third Commandment

The Strange Silence Around the Third Commandment

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Mind Your Manners: Rude to God You can read more posts from the series by using the Contents in the right sidebar.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” This command is universally understood to mean that God’s name is not to be used as a curse-word, or as a mere exclamation. And who would deny that? To use the very name of God to express irritation or surprise, to add… Continue Reading