Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Sufficiency of God II

In highlighting the sufficiency of God, rather than that of the scriptures, I am addressing a shockingly erroneous viewpoint of Christianity that has folk endeavoring to live a life that looks nothing like that presented in the scriptures. These folk are always cessationists, and more often than not, Calvinists. For them, living a godly life is getting out a slide rule and compass, as it were, and applying them to the scriptures, trying to calculate how to do Christianity without exhibiting hardly any of the features that were practiced by the Apostles and the early church and recorded in scriptures. 

The Bible is all-sufficient to guide our faith--what we should believe, and sufficient to guide our practice--these are the kinds of things we should experience and these are the things to avoid, but it is meant to produce a life like it describes. That includes God speaking in real time, the Holy Spirit influencing direction and decision, and inspiring speech and deeds. To pursue some folks view of the sufficiency of scriptures, one, in effect, must white-out huge tracts of the word, all in the name of the word being sufficient. Sufficient for what, I might ask, producing life pretty similar to life without God? Honestly, the only motivation I can see for such action is unbelief!

The wrong view of sufficiency ends up with the believer treating God agnostically, as if he came, dropped off this book and then disappeared, unheard from ever since. The practical effect of such a view is that we are not brought up to the lap of God, through Christ, but stuck behind a curtain trying to figure out life by our best reckoning from the book. That seems to me an empty thing to attribute to the living God.

If we are holding up the word as sufficient in defining and directing Christianity, that sufficiency should entail producing a life that matches what the word describes and exhorts us to experience. Anything else, anything less is a disservice to the Word, not an homage to its sufficiency. When cessationists arrogantly cast aspersions on those endeavoring to walk in the promises of the word, while they staunchly cling to their lack of biblical experience, I must admit I get irritated. If all they offer in their view of the sufficiency of scripture is a "glass empty" vision of life with God actively removed, I think I'll gladly stay with the sufficiency of God.