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Moody, Biblical Clarity, and a Dangerous Position

Waylan Owens is exactly right here:

You see, to say that “the Bible is not clear” with regard to some aspect of what life in Christ entails cannot be true, lest God be accused of demanding back from us something He refuses to reveal to us.  What Moody must be arguing is that Christians of similar theological views on key doctrines disagree on some point of application of the Bible to life.

However, that does not mean that the Bible is not clear.  It means that sinful Christian men and women do not come to a consensus on what the Bible teaches about a certain thing or behavior.

Saying that the Bible is not clear is a euphemism for, “we do not agree on what the Bible says.”  And since that is the case, to ascribe to God, to His Word, and to His Holy Spirit lack of clarity when the real problem is our own disharmony and failure to hear Him clearly, is a very dangerous position to take.

The same kind of reasoning that Moody used is applied to music, which is why I address the issue in the same way as Dr. Owens in both of my books.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

One Response to Moody, Biblical Clarity, and a Dangerous Position

  1. I’m sure it’s true that there are times the Scriptures are indeed clear – but individuals simply don’t want to see it. I suppose in these days of postmodernal evangelicalism that kind of interpretational deconstructionism is a reality that we must be leery of – so on the one hand I say “bravo” for your note and quote. However, on the other hand – there is a massive Creator/Creature distinction(even for the Spirit-filled believer) that requires the Spirit of God to illuminate the meaning and significance of Scripture…..otherwise it’s meaning and implications will remain “unclear.” Furthermore there are issues on Christian liberty where one brother is righteous and another brother is sinful – same practice – different response from God (Rom 14 – I think verse 22 +/-). Scott I have an equal problem with brothers who make “Scripture” that is not clear “clear” (quote in quote). And then the accusation is you are either dull of heart or head in that you don’t “get it.” The reality is – even for the growing child of God – the Scriptures will often be unclear – and it’s not because the Christian is running from the meaning of implication of the text. It is the result of any of a variety of legitimate issues. Your view and that of Owens if not kept in check can lead to a different set of extremes……theological/interpretational elitism/doctrinal legalism being one of those.

    A quick thought.

    Straight Ahead!


    Dr. Joel Tetreau
    Senior Pastor – Southeast Valley Baptist Church
    Regional Coordinator – Institute of Biblical Leadership (West Region)

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