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WHI-1126 | The Loss of Authority

Posted by on in 2012 Show Archive
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One of the banners that was popular at the time of the American Revolution declared, "We Serve No Sovereigns Here!" But what are the effects of this democratic spirit on American Christianity? How has the erosion of authority in the wider culture affected our view of God, or the authority of Scripture? How has it changed the way we view our pastors and elders? On this program the hosts will discuss these issues as they conclude their series on "Recovering the Lost Tools of Discipleship."

One of the banners that was popular at the time of the American Revolution declared, "We Serve No Sovereigns Here!" But what are the effects of this democratic spirit on American Christianity? How has the erosion of authority in the wider culture affected our view of God, or the authority of Scripture? How has it changed the way we view our pastors and elders? On this program the hosts will discuss these issues as they conclude their series on "Recovering the Lost Tools of Discipleship."




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[audio src="http://www.whitehorseinn.org/whiarchives/2012whi1126nov04.mp3" width="250"]
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  • Guest - sandra

    Um, what exactly is an authority according to Scripture. Jesus says to call no man father, that we are all taught of God and all equal brothers. Show me in Scripture where it says we have another authority besides the Bible, and what that means exactly. If someone, a friend or pastor or whoever, quotes scripture to us, their words hold the authority of the bible over us and must be obeyed. anything outside of scripture is their opionion and must be weighed against the Bible and our private conscience, no?

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  • Guest - sandra

    Also, the wheat and the tares grow together in the church, which is why we must trust scripture over the teachings of those in the church, including pastors.

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  • Guest - Rayn

    It's not autonomy if you seek to submit to Scripture. Luther just wanted an exegetical ground for his belief. What's wrong or autonomous about that?

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  • Guest - Rayn

    Luther would also admit that he could err. That's why he said he wanted to be convinced from Scripture that what the councils, popes, and some other Scholars had said was true. He taught that teachers had a ministerial (servant) role to play in this period of redemptive history by pointing to and (fallibly) interpreting Scripture.

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  • Luther and the other magisterial Reformers (like Calvin) did not discount the legitimate teaching authority of the church. In fact, they believed that the teachings of the early Church Fathers largely supported their cause (St. Augustine was a favorite of Luther and Calvin, and was often quoted by them). They were "Reformers," not restorationists or revolutionaries or those who otherwise imagined themselves to be qualified to totally reinvent the wheel of biblical interpretation. "Sola Scriptura" did not mean for them "Solo Scriptura" (i.e., "Just me and my Bible and the Holy Spirit in my prayer closet, cut off from and unaccountable to the corporate study of Scripture in the communion of the church"). Rather, it meant that the Scriptures, being God's only written revelation, were the only infallible rule of faith and practice, the "norming norm" which "normed" all subordinate and secondary authorities (such as creeds and confessions, which are "normed" by Scripture and are thus dependent upon and subject to the correction of Scripture). Churches and ordained church leaders (Ministers and Elders) possess a genuine spiritual authority from God (just as parents and civil authorities possess a genuine secular authority from God), but their authority is a ministerial and declarative (and hence a fallible) authority subject to and circumscribed by the limitations and constraints of Holy Scripture, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. See "The Shape of Sola Scriptura" by Keith A. Mathison (Moscow, Idaho: Canon Press, 2001) and "Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority, and Authenticity" by James R. White (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House, 2004).

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  • Guest - Paul

    Dr. Horton:

    "We" may call the President "dude" but Joe Biden calls him "homeboy."

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  • Guest - Fred

    What’s the Greatest Ecclesiastical Threat Facing the Church Today?
    Michael Horton | LIGONIER | Nov 10, 2012

    "What’s the greatest ecclesiastical threat facing the church today?
    No one has to be convinced that evangelicalism has about the lowest ecclesiology since the Quakers. It is an ecclesiology based on the individual’s decision for Christ, rather than God, from eternity past, making a blueprint for the church and executing it in His Son by His Spirit. And so it’s easy if the church is just sort of created by a collection of deciders and choosers, to turn the church into a market, into a shopping mall of consumers. ... I hear “every believer is a minister, we’re all ministers … every sheep is a shepherd.” Basically, the pastor has become the chief motivator and coach and planner for events, and that’s a big concern I have. Maybe the greatest concern in this milieu that I have is that we’re losing a sense of the catholicity of the church. We’re carving the church into niche markets and setting generation against generation, and socio-economic group against socio-economic group. As such, we are increasingly unchurching the churched."


    http://www.ligonier.org/blog/whats-greatest-ecclesiastical-threat-facing-church-today/


    What greater evidence of the unprecidented loss of ecclesiastical authority is demonstrated, when the church, herself, somehow unchurches the churched?

    "And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."
    -Mark 3:25

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  • Guest - david

    We see through a glass darkly. as we are still in a fallen world, though the light of God has indeed dawned, all things are not made new yet, and so, so many things are so often so less clear and ideal than what they could be. there is struggle in everything.

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  • Guest - Bruce

    I find it interesting that the crew of WHI practices the very things they rail against in this series. Never once have they chosen to interact with us on these posts. Even in a personal contact with Dr. Horton, he refuses to discuss the works based salvation, represented in infant baptisism. He stated he did not see any use in discussing the topic, therefore turning away from the very discussion he says we should be having.

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  • Bruce - While some denominations which practice infant baptism may (inconsistently) promote a works-based salvation, the practice of infant baptism itself (when properly and biblically understood) actually emphasizes the biblical truth that salvation is all of grace, and not at all of human works or human willing (Rom. 9:16). The fact that an infant is totally helpless and incapable of doing anything for itself (including the little "work" of making a decision for Christ), and yet in holy baptism is given the outward sign of God's grace in Christ, is a great picture of all of us in our fallen sinful condition. Apart from God's grace in Jesus Christ we are all totally dead and helpless in sin (Eph. 2:1-3) and incapable of doing anything to merit God's favor (including making a "decision for Christ"). Only when the Holy Spirit regenerates us do we "see" and enter the kingdom of God (Jn. 3:3) through faith in Christ. Infant baptism underscores the truth that God's grace precedes our response to that grace. On the other hand, "believers only baptism" makes reception of the sign of God's grace (baptism) dependent upon the sinner meeting certain conditions first (repentance, faith, public confession of Christ), and thus tends to undermine the gospel of God's grace by making it dependent upon human action. In the consistent Baptist scheme of things, man's action precedes God's grace (which is a form of works-based salvation); whereas in the covenantal paedobaptist view, God's action precedes man's response, and thus its practice reinforces grace-based salvation.

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