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A View from the Altar / Pulling the bottom soda can (Hebrews 4)
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Pulling the bottom soda can (Hebrews 4)

Occasionally, grocery stores used to make a pyramid of cans in an aisle somewhere as a product display.  The practice has been discontinued because kids loved to cause an avalanche by pulling a can off the bottom.  Marketing failure, yes.  Spiritual lesson, yes.  Nothing is more vital to a structure than its foundation.

One of the cans at the base of the Christian faith is its doctrine of the Scripture.  Benjamin Warfield wrote that the Bible is the word of God in such a way that whatever it says God says.  Once people back away from that, they no longer see the individual bits of Scripture as his handiwork, all woven together into a glorious whole.  That view may be completely tacit, more of a feeling in many cases.  But once people have that view, then they pull out this doctrine that offends them, then that one, then another, then another till the whole thing is hollowed out.  Typically it starts with things not absolutely central to the faith, then ends with an assault on the core: the virgin birth, the resurrection, the sonship of Christ, the necessity of the cross, and so on.

A correct view of the Scripture is that it’s where God does his talking.  God left us a Book, and it explains things, commands things, reveals things, presents truth.  The Incarnate Word referred to the spoken or written word when he said that word he spoke would judge us in the last day.  (John 12:48)  The Scripture is true because God is true, and it is the record of things he has said.  The Scripture is trustworthy because the Good Shepherd could never lead us astray.

What can be said of those who claim to believe in Jesus but who hold a low view of Scripture?  Their bottom soda can has been yanked, and you’re seeing just them in that spiritual nanosecond of delay before the whole pyramid begins to discombobulate and accelerate to the floor.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

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