Systematic Theology 4: The Four Characteristics of Scripture (1) Authority

We’re continuing our study of the Word of God, by looking at four distinct characteristics of scripture. These are:

  • Authority
  • Clarity
  • Necessity
  • Sufficiency
  • (Inerrancy)

These four characteristics can be rearranged for the purposes of memory into the acronym SCAN(I). Please find below my notes for Wayne Grudem’s chapter on the Authority of Scripture.

“The Authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God”

The chapter asserts that all the words in Scripture are God’s words because 1) this is what the Bible claims for itself, 2) we are convinced of this as we read the Bible, 3) other evidence (such as historical & internal consistencies, anecdotal, fulfilled prophecies etc) is useful but not finally convincing!

4) The words of Scripture are self attesting. This means they appeal to their own authority, whilst this is a circular argument, it does not disqualify the claim. Since any argument for ultimate truth but do so by appealing to itself. (E.g. I know the tower is real, because I see it, therefore my seeing it makes something real, I am appealing to my sense of sight to determine truth).

Grudem then goes on to explain that dictation from God is not the sole means of communication. He also uses prophets, writers, dreams, visions, Jesus and other mysterious and unknown methods.

As always if you want to support this blog, and you’re interested in studying Systematic Theology for yourself you can get the textbook using my affiliate link here.

*Apologies for any zooming you will have to do to see these notes properly.

This paragraph was especially meaningful to me, as it links the Doctrine of the Authority of Scripture to preaching! I loved it!
Finally Grudem lays out the truthfulness of Scripture as a source of it’s authority.

As a side note, for those readers who are invested in the schedule of Blog posts. This was intended to be published last Saturday. However due to circumstances with “two socially distanced” weddings this weekend I was unable to post. I intend to offer a fuller explanation on Sunday, with my month summary!

2 thoughts on “Systematic Theology 4: The Four Characteristics of Scripture (1) Authority

  1. Pingback: Systematic Theology 5: The Four Characteristics of Scripture (1.5) Inerrancy – To be a man after God’s own heart

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