Thursday, March 5, 2009

Revelation is salvation, it does not merely contain salvation

The authority of Scripture is its Spirit-bestowed capacity to quicken the church to truthful speech and righteous action. Confession of Scripture's authority is avowal by the hearing church of that which the Spirit undertakes through Scripture's service of the Word, and its proper context is therefore soteriological (italics mine). From this primary definition flow all other aspects of Scripture's authority, such as its role in theological or moral argument, its place in proclamation, or its liturgical presence.
John Webster, Holy Scripture: A Dogmatic Sketch. pg 52

The prime argument of Webster's Holy Scipture is that the bible is a servant of the revelation of God. For Webster, he argues, revelation means God's reconciliation with his people, the establishment of fellowship. Therefore when we speak of a doctrine scripture, it is in fact a doctrine of salvation. This is a great truth to remember. I think we can often act as though the only place to speak of God's reconciliation with the world is in an evangelistic sermon or conversation, as though it is one part of many in the Bible. I hope that whenever I preach, argue, meditate on, listen or merely speak about God's word, it will always be clear it is in the context of the saving work of God. Though practically I'm not so sure how...

Edit: I originally had the title as "Scripture is salvation...", and then walked away realising that is not what Webster thinks. Scripture points to revelation, it is a servant of it, it is not salvation itself. Whoops...

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