Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Daily Bible Verse

Sunday, May 21, 2023

A Short Response to Mark Beach: The Bible Alone Is the Word of God

The preaching of ministers is NOT the word of God and even the author of the theological journal author, Mark Beach, had to back pedal his bicycle on the issue. He says, "First, the high view of preaching articulated by Luther and Calvin does not mean that the biblical sermon is the Word of God in the same way that Scripture is the Word of God. They are not saying that preachers are divinely inspired the way the human authors of the Bible were inspired. Not everything preachers say in biblical sermons is the very words of God; their sermons are not God-breathed."

But in the very next breath he says,"No, preaching is the Word of God in a derivative sense. It is an administration of the Word. But surely it is not inconceivable to hear the voice of Christ through the administration of the Word of Christ, is it? God has given us his written Word so that we may have his Word preached. And when that Word is properly (faithfully) preached, the Word of God is heard, not merely Rev. So-and-So’s words. To be sure, when the preacher preaches, his words are not verbally inspired; his message is not infallible or inerrant. In fact, the preacher’s message may have a number of errors and flaws or other shortcomings. That doesn’t mean, however, that the voice of Christ doesn’t come through or that Christ doesn’t admonish his people in that sermon or instruct them or console them. "

This is nonsense for the simple reason that the biblical text is not an existential encounter with the living Christ. That is in fact the neo-orthodox view of Scripture. Since Scripture is a logical and propositional revelation from God, the way we understand the message is through thinking, not feelings, emotions, or some allegedly literal encounter with the living Christ. Christ is indeed omnipresent through the Spirit of Christ, but how does that translate to some sort of special encounter with God? No, Scripture alone is the appointed means of grace and preaching is and always will be subject to a logical and thoughtful examination in comparison with the Scriptures. The Jewish Bereans in fact searched the Scriptures to see if the Apostle Paul's message matched up with the Old Testament Scriptures about the coming of the Messiah. (Acts 17:11). We must hold our ministers accountable to the word of God rather than blindly following whatever they say the Bible says. Although ministers do have more theological and exegetical training, they are not to be trusted completely and for good reason. The Bible can be read and understood by any plowboy or housewife.  The Bible alone is the word of God.  (2 Timothy 3:14-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; John 10:35; Isaiah 8:20; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 4:4; Matthew 5:17-20).

The Real Presence of Christ in Preaching: Further Questions and Clarifications
Dr. J. Mark Beach continues his examination of Martin Luther and John Calvin's proposal that Christ is present in the preaching of the Word. If preaching is the Word of God, doesn’t this imply the infallibility of the preacher?

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