Friday, May 30, 2014

Sandy Grant on Biblical Authority

In the context of a discussion of Paul's words about women speaking and teaching in church, Sandy Grant, rector of Wollongong Anglican Church said this:

My other contribution is to wonder whether in the current vigour from some evangelicals to defend the possibility of women preaching in the mixed congregation (albeit under male eldership) – and hence you can see this comment is far, far broader than Mike – whether there ought to be equal or perhaps even greater vigour to be affirming the final authority of Scripture as God's Word in determining this matter.

This matters to me even more. It's why I changed my mind, reluctantly, to the conservative position. Because I was convinced that was what the Bible was teaching, and that even though I did not like it much, because of my upbringing, I ought to believe what Jesus believed: that the Scriptures (including those he 'commissioned', if I can refer to what comes in the NT that way) are the Word of God and cannot be broken. Therefore I ought to believe what they are saying.

I realise those who hold a position like Mike's also believe it because they think it is consistent with what the Bible says. And I respect that. (And that's when we do need to go to exegesis and comparing Scripture with Scripture and so on.)

But I'd like to see evangelicals - whether soft or harder on the complementarian position - pull up our friends who cheer our position (whatever it is) for reasons that make it clear that Scripture is not their final authority.

Let's urge them to grapple with this question: if you were convinced from the Bible that this [position X] is what it is teaching, would you change your mind and practice to be consistent with it, that is, with what God declares in his Word?

I like it. 

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