Seven reaffirmations in our commitment to the Bible

 

In J. I. Packer’s article “Hermeneutics and Biblical Authority,” he offered seven key elements to an evangelical understanding of the Bible’s authority:

1. The inspiration of the Bible is an activity of God, who providentially rules over the utterances of men and is binding upon us.

2. There is a subjectively recognized and objectively inspired canon. In other words, not all inspired words are canonical, but all canonical words are inspired, and God causes his people to recognize them as such.

3. The Scriptures authenticate themselves to Christian believers through the convincing work of the Holy Spirit.

4. The Scriptures are sufficient for the Christian and the church in the realm of belief and behavior.

5. The Scriptures are clear and interpret themselves from within, standing above both the church and the Christian in corrective judgment and health-giving instruction.

6. The nature of Scripture is a mystery—that is, there is a human and divine involvement, where a particular book or letter is written by Paul, John, or Isaiah, yet all of Scripture are God’s words.

7. Finally, evangelicals hold that obedience by the Christian, individually, and the church, corporately, consists in the conscious submission, both intellectual and ethical, to the teaching of the Bible.

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