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Showing posts from February, 2016

Tenets, Creeds, and Hermeneutics: How Systematic Theology helps us read Scripture faithfully

I was away at an ordination at the weekend, so over dinner the night before I was chatting to the apostle who had come to preach at the ordination (and who happened to be a former National Leader of the Apostolic Church). One of the topics that my interlocutor brought up was the need to read Scripture as a confessional theologian, and thus the importance of the role of systematic theology in our hermeneutics. This evening I’ve been reading The Holy Trinity Revisited , a collection of essays in response to Stephen R. Holmes book The Holy Trinity . This got me thinking again about the conversation at the weekend, for in Kevin Giles’ contribution to the volume, he points out three principles from Athanasius for reading Scripture theologically, from which ‘we contemporary evangelicals have much to learn’ (p.46).  Firstly, Athanasius teaches that we must read Scripture in harmony with the body of teaching which has been handed down to us (essentially the Creed). This isn’t an app

The 3-Fold Word of God

After lots of questions last night about the 3-fold Word, I thought it might be useful to repost this old post from a few years ago on the Word of God. Surely everyone knows what the Word of God is – the Bible is the Word of God! Yet, ‘in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God’ (John 1:1). And when Paul and Barnabas were on their first missionary journey, newly saved Gentiles ‘glorified the word of the Lord’ (Acts 13:48). The Word ‘grew mightily and prevailed’ (Acts 19:20). And the Word of the Lord gets preached and spoken a lot in the Bible too. Sometimes people even do things ‘by the Word of the Lord’ (e.g. 1 Kings 13:1) without that particular Word of the Lord being written down in the Word of the Lord! Confused yet?  So, the Bible is the Word. Yet Jesus is also the Word. And preaching and prophesying are the Word too. (For ease, let’s just group preaching and prophesying together as proclamation.) But the Bible isn’t Jesus, Jesus i