Monday, September 27, 2010

Full Confidence Follow-Up


A wonderful weekend was had at Church of the Saviour. The Full Confidence Conference was a blessing. The opening address by David Garner was a powerful warning against allowing skeptical views of God's Word to take root in the church and its institutions. He rightly pointed out that often times the skeptics are well meaning and decent people who truly believe they are helping the church by lowering its views of the trustworthiness of Scripture. However, when this well-meaning error is met with too charitable responses from the orthodox the results are always devastating. As Dr. Garner said, "Undiscerning charity waters the seeds of future heresy." He went on to say that "the health of the church in each generation corresponds directly to its view of God's Word." How often do we have to see the tragic results of a skeptical approach to Scripture before we will stop making a place at the table for those who challenge the trustworthiness of God's Word? Dr. Garner's exposition of 1 Peter 1:16ff was outstanding.

Carl Trueman's two addresses focused on the historical roots of the Scripture's authority, inerrancy, and clarity. Anyone who believes church history is a dry topic has not heard Carl Trueman lecture. Dr. Trueman first made a convincing case against the idea that inerrancy was an innovation of Old Princeton. He showed quite clearly that the idea of inerrancy existed in the post-apostolic Fathers. He unpacked the early Father's approach to the Bible's inscripturation, inspiration, and purpose. Through it all, it became quite clear that the Scripture's inerrancy was not an innovation of Warfield and Hodge. In his second address Dr. Trueman dealt with the Scripture's clarity as presented and defended by Martin Luther. Special focus was given to Luther's debate with Erasmus. While Erasmus believed that Scripture is fundamentally obscure, Luther believed quite rightly that the Scriptures are fundamentally clear. That is, the Bible is clear enough that the average Christian lay person can understand the fundamentals of doctrine as held forth in the Bible.

Lane Tipton gave a stirring address on the Christ-centeredness of the Bible. In his opening statement he connected the Scripture's inerrancy with the Gospel: "Inerrancy serves the Gospel." In other words, denying the Bible's inerrancy always seems to go hand-in-hand with denying its Christ-centerdness. Dr. Tipton dealt with an issue of which most laypersons are probably unaware. That is, within evangelical circles it is becoming more common to dismiss the intrinsic Christ-centeredness of Scripture. These scholars and pastors hold that the apostles read Christ back into the Old Testament; that as originally written the Old Testament does not directly speak of Christ. Of course this denies the very hermeneutic of Jesus who taught us that the law and the prophets speak of Him (Luke 24). Dr. Tipton's address/exposition was outstanding and I am hoping it will be available soon for more people to hear. His central assertion is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the message of his dying and rising) is "trans-testamental." "The Gospel is foundationally embedded in the Old Testament...The Old Testament sets forth the same Gospel as did Paul." Excellent.

Over at Ref21 Carlton Wynne and Liam Goligher have posted articles relevant to Full Confidence.

1 comment:

Elke said...

What a tremendous blessing this conference was to me. Thank you for hosting.