Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Holy Scriptures: True

It is popular these days to postulate that the Holy Scriptures cannot be fully understood, that there is a cloud of mystery surrounding them that keeps us from there full value. A claim to that end is that they are not true, historically speaking. Some make claims that although the Scriptures contain many great "truths" they are not themselves "true." Some have gone so far to say that the Scripture actually makes no claim to "be true" but just that it is "truth". The clear dangers of such a post-modern, relativistic view of Scripture is easy to see and depending on how far one would take such a notion, could in fact dismantle the entire Gospel itself.

Does the Scripture make claims that it is in fact fact? I think it does. In the Gospel According to Luke, the author Luke plainly states that he has "undertaken a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us" just as they were delivered to him by the "eyewitnesses and ministers of the word". And that he had "followed all things closely...to write an orderly account". He said these things that we "may have certainty concerning the things [we] have been taught" (emphasis added).

It was Luke's purpose to make sure that we understood that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as he recorded it for us, was true. A clear problem that arises from a Truth not True position is that you have to pick and choose what you are going to believe is true and what is not. The Corinthian church, for example, wanted to believe that Christ was raised from the dead, but that there would not be a "resurrection of the dead." They started to slip in their understanding of the Gospel. They believed the the Gospel had Truth but they stopped believing that is was True.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scripturesthat he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scripturesand that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all...he appeared also to me...Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitiedBut in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. (Emphasis and underlines added)
Notice Paul's emphasis of the facts. If certain facts about Jesus' life aren't true then we have no hope, for this life or the next. Our hope does not lie in some theoretical truth that applies to our lives in only some meta-physical way that we can then apply to our lives. No, our hope lies in the fact that Christ lived the life described in the Scriptures and that He died the death described in the Scriptures and that He was raised according to the Scriptures. Without it we have nothing.

The very reason the Scriptures were written is so we can have full assurance that Jesus was and is who He said was. This is certainly not a comprehensive argument, by any means, and it wasn't intended to be. It's simply a reminder, to myself as much as anyone else. A reminder that God is and God has spoken and that His words are True.