A Call to Reformation: Chapter 1, The Bible

The reformation we need (thanks to Mel Feldsbar for noting that this is needed across evangelicalism) will be one that returns us to the great Solas of THE Reformation (for a brief summary go here).

I am posting the first chapter of A Call to Reformation. One of the most insidious dangers in evangelicalism is the temptation to doubt the sufficiency of Scripture. The Battle for the Bible has presumably been won among evangelicals—many people now rally to the flag of inerrancy. But when we examine evangelical ministry, we find a lot of "worship services" that seem to feature a rock band and a comedian. We find a lot of "counseling ministry" that looks a lot like secular psychology done by people that happen to be Christian (see the recent shake-up at SBTS over this issue).

Among those who really believe that the Bible is the tool God uses to change lives by the power of the Spirit, the approach to ministry is substantially different.

So this first chapter is on "The Nature of the Bible and How to Study It." The title describes the content of the chapter. The first 5 pages are on the nature of the Bible as the inerrant word of God written by human beings situated in particular historical contexts and using particular literary conventions. The next 5 pages are on studying the Bible. Most of this is focused on a method called "Tracing the Argument" that I learned from Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner (who learned it from Dr. John Piper, who learned it from Dr. Daniel P. Fuller). At page 10 the diagrams begin—step by step formatting for word docs, layouts of Deuteronomy 4:32–40 and Romans 5:1–11, a chart summarizing possible "relationships between propositions," and finally step by step tracings of Deuteronomy 4:32–40 and Romans 5:1–11.

Let us unleash the mighty sword of the Word of God!

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  1. Jim,
    A while back I read Piper’s Biblical Exegesis. I have since tried to use it in my own studies (though I am very poor at making it a regular habit), and have struggled. It has been very hard for me to get put this to good use, since I have not had a through teaching of it with practice. I always thought that this would be something that would be well learned from a workbook style format. Just thought I’d pass this thought along.

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