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Archive for May, 2010

 

 I think that if the data is overwhelming in favor, in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult, some odd group that’s not really interacting with the real world – Bruce Waltke

I admit to being asleep at the wheel as far as the Bruce Waltke/ evolution controversy goes.  In fact, it was just yesterday that I received an email from a friend about this issue.  After getting myself up to speed by reading a transcript of Waltke’s comments here and what others had written about his comments here and here, I was struck by how this purported conservative Evangelical scholar was tripped up by his low view of the Scriptures. 

Waltke’s association with the NIV and TNIV mis-translations indicate a low view of Scripture.  Commenting in his article on Waltke, Paul Eliott wrote,

Waltke’s attitude toward the Bible itself belies orthodoxy. Waltke served on the translation committee of the New International Version of the Bible, and later on the translation committee of the gender-inclusive Today’s New International Version. In 2007, Waltke delivered the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary. He said that all Bible translations (the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation excepted) “are faithful and adequate.” He clarified this by saying that “all translations lead their audience to faith in Jesus Christ, into sound doctrine, and never into heresy.” He then stated that he thinks the best available English translation is Today’s New International Version! A more sensible commentator once accurately described TNIV as a “bastard child of political correctness.”     

Had Waltke a proper Biblical understanding of the doctrine of Scripture, he would have had nothing to do with the NIV or TNIV.  Neither of these translations is based on a sound Greek New Testament text, and neither employs sound translation principles.

Apart from the issue of translations, there is another problem with Waltke’s understanding of the doctrine of Scripture: he fails to understand that the Bible alone is truth.  The opinions of scientists are not truth.  The opinions of historians are not truth.  The views of secular philosophers are not truth.  The Bible calls these things “foolishness” and “empty deceit.” But Waltke makes the mistake of thinking that these things are true, that the [scientific] data for evolution is such that it cannot be denied.  But Christ tells us where we may find truth.  He said, “Your word is truth” (Jn.17:17).  And God’s word tells us how he made the world: out of nothing, in the space of six literal days, and all very good.  

We do not judge the veracity of the Bible by what scientists say, we judge the veracity of what the scientists say by the Bible.  If scientists do not speak according to Scripture, we know their science is wrong.  Or as Isaiah would put it, “there is no light in them.” God’s truth is all truth.  There is no other.

Here’s the April 16, 2010 ABC News account of the Waltke controversy.

By the way, it’s true that in the wake of his leaving Reformed Seminary Orlando, Dr. Waltke has a new job:  giving prosepctive seminary students another good reason to avoid Knox Theological Seminary.

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Tool Time

tool: one who is used or manipulated by another – Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary

Featured as the lastest Trinity Review, Richard Bennett’s article “The Roman Catholic Agenda Embedded in the Manhattan Delcaration” is a much-needed exposé of this dangerous, ecumenical document.  Bennett’s main point is that the Manhattan Declaration, while being promoted as a Christian defense of life, marriage and liberty of conscience, is in fact a hard-core Romanist document designed both to advance the socialist agenda of the Roman Catholic Church-State and to draw Evangelicals into the Roman Church itself.  That this is the case should surprise no one, for Rome has a long history of two-faced political maneuvering.  But what I find most distressing about this sordid affair is how leading figures in the Evangelical community are so easily duped into becoming tools of the Romanist agenda.  

Check out the following video to see Baptist tools Mike Huckabee and Chuck Colson promoting the Manhattan Declaration.  

I found a couple of remarks in this segment especially interesting.  At about the 3:15 mark, Colson describes the language of the Manhattan Declaration as “covenantal.”  So according to him, those Evangelicals who have signed the Manhattan Declaration have entered into a covenant with the Roman and Greek Orthodox churches, both of which deny the Gospel.  This is in direct contradiction to Scripture, which enjoins Christians to separate from those who teach false doctrine.  Then Huckabee toward the end – around seven minutes into the video – makes the comment that Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” was inspired, to which Colson adds that it was inspired by God.  Who knew?  I guess Colson agrees with his Romanist buddies on more that just social action.  By promoting the notion of continuing revelation, he’s joined with Rome as a co-belligerent in the attack on the doctrine of Scripture.

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The Bible alone is the Word of God.  This is the axiom, the starting point, for the whole system of Christian doctrine.  Since all saving knowledge of God is given in Scripture (man has an innate knowledge of God that does not lead to salvation, see Rom.1:18-23 and WCF I.1) it is critical that the church clearly understand and articulate what the Bible has to say about its own origin and authority.  In the early years of the twentieth century the Bible was under attack by liberals, who, by advancing an erroneous doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible, managed to undermine the authority of the Scriptures in the eyes of many.    J. Gresham Machen would have none of this.  Writing in his book Christianity and Liberalism, Machen commented,

The contents of the Bible, then, are unique.  But another fact about the Bible is also important.  The Bible might contain an account of a true revelation from God, and yet the account be full of error.  Before the full authority of the Bible can be established, therefore, it is necessary to add to the Christian doctrine of revelation the Christian doctrine of inspiration.  The latter doctrine means that the Bible not only is an account of important things, but that the account itself is true, the writer having  been so preserved from error, despite a full maintenance of their habits of thought and expression, that the resulting Book is the “infallible rule of faith and practice.”

The Bible alone is the Word of God, and that Word is truth, infallibly communicated by the human authors of Scripture writing under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

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