I’ve recently begun working through G.K. Beale’s A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New. I have the sense of being drawn into a deep, expansive ocean. In just a few chapters I’ve already been shown new facets of the Biblical revelation that is not only intellectually satisfaction, but imagination enriching. It makes my Bible feel thicker.
I’ve been preaching through a list of “Essential Tenets and Reformed Distinctives” the past several weeks; today was on the priesthood of all believers. In laying out my discussion I realized how closely this doctrine is related to the doctrine of the authority of scripture. The role of the priest is to act as a mediator – speaking God’s word to people, and on behalf of the people to God. The doctrine that each of us are priests means that we speak directly to God in our prayers through Christ, and we hear God speak directly to us through the scriptures.
We lose this if we do not take the scriptures to be the very Word of God. If they are only a witness to the Revelation, or potentially a channel for the Word then we must have someone distinquish for us which portions are the Word of God and which are the words of men. We return to having a magisterium, an authoriatave priest or professor who tells us which portions are accurate witnesses and which are errors.
(Photo of people reading the New Testament for the first time in the Mape language by kahunapule)