The Sufficiency of Scripture

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 6, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This week with Worldview Warriors, we have been talking about why the Bible should be our authority as we prepare to address a collection of questions about what the Bible says about certain topics. Today, I want to address a not-so-commonly addressed topic: the sufficiency of Scripture.

Many people have no issues talking about the inerrancy of Scripture or giving it a “high view,” however few will speak about the sufficiency of Scripture. You can have a decent conversation with many people about if the Bible is just held as a high level book even without error, but the moment you talk about the Bible alone in answering the issues we face, watch their teeth and claws come out. Is the Word of God enough to answer ALL aspects of our lives? Or do we have to supplement the Bible with the science and expertise of our worldly methodologies?

A constant theme throughout the Old Testament is the departure of Israel from God to other gods, like a wife leaves her husband to go sleep with other men. Proverbs 5 warns about the adulteress and her draw to lead a man astray. Here, the wife never fully leaves the husband. She still returns to him and lives with him, however for whatever reason, she finds her husband to be insufficient. She still likes him and his provision and his protection and his benefits, but she does not find her satisfaction completely in him.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 is commonly used to show that the Bible is God-breathed, but it also shows the sufficiency of the Bible. The Bible is useful for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. This is the basic summary of every area of life. Doctrine: it is not only about the Gospel, but for discerning what is true and what is not. Reproof: the encouragement for how to stay on the right path, and to show what the right path is. Correction: how to identify what the wrong path is and how to get off it, back to the right path. Instruction in righteousness: how to live and act in every area the right way.

The skeptic will often attack the sufficiency of Scripture by giving very specific examples: Does the Bible talk about microbiology? Does it talk about playing video games or watching sports? The Bible does not address the politics of America. However, it gives principles that apply to any and every of life without having to address specific cultures. Proverbs is useful for many areas of life from personal to business to politics and others. The history parts are useful to know how God acted with his people, but also how others actually lived to know how we should or should not act. The epistles (letters) give us instructions on not only how to run a church and also how to live our lives in our daily walks. And the prophecies are impeccably accurate.

Skeptics will ask: “If you get sick, who do you trust? Prayer or real medicine?” How about checking in with the Master Physician to find out what is going on and asking him what you should do? Yes, many have turned down medicine in favor of prayer but they were being presumptuous about God delivering. God did provide the resources for medicine, but he wants us to trust him more than anything else. The doctors had no valuable input when dealing with C.T. Studd or Rees Howells, or even me when I was a child. But God did.

The Bible does not need any supplement, and you will be hard pressed to find a church today that understands this. The Bible does not need the help of modern science to explain itself. I’ve had many people struggle to comprehend how I can be a young-earth creationist without referencing any of the YEC organizations. I was a YEC over 10 years before I even knew anyone would even try to read Genesis any other way. How? I read the Bible and nothing else. If I were to scrap every bit of apologetic knowledge I know, I still would believe the earth is only a few thousand years old, that death entered the world via man’s sin, that a world-wide flood wiped out the earth save for those on the ark, and that people dispersed according to their languages from the Tower of Babel. Why? Because the Bible not only has the authority on all topics, but it is sufficient to address every topic of life, including history and origins.

Many will tell me I need to get more up to date with the times and that there are other ideas out there, that the Bible is outdated and no longer relevant. These people are telling me I need to include the secular ideas of this world into my worldview and particularly to get rid of the Bible. The really disturbing thing is when I hear these comments from proclaimed Christians.

Here is my question: Where is the wise man? What value does he have? What gives any of these other authorities any position to speak on their topics? Because they are experts? What made them experts? Years of experience? Many people do the same thing wrong for many years because they don’t know any better. Proper education? What makes the educators correct? When you boil it all down, all the world’s experts are only experts because they put themselves in that position. All their wisdom is not built upon the Word of God and as a result, nothing they say can ever be true. Anything they happen to get right either already agrees with what the Bible originally said or they actually got it from the Bible and aren’t claiming it as the source. That’s known as plagiarism. ALL the wisdom this world has to offer is either false or is plagiarized from God.

Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Belshazzar each had the wise men of their culture, but they always failed to deliver when the dreams came. Only the wisdom of God prevailed. When we turn to other authorities besides the Bible, we proclaim it to be insufficient and like the man of Proverbs 5, we turn to the adulteress. We proclaim our lack of faith in God to provide what knowledge we need. You can claim to follow God and the Bible all you want, however if you are turning to other authorities, you show you do not follow God wholeheartedly or not at all. And as Jesus told the Laodicean church. He’d rather you be hot for him or cold against him, but not half-and-half.

Is God enough for us, or do we have to look to other lovers to complete us? Few people today trust the Bible to be sufficient to tell us where we came from. Few trust the Bible to be sufficient on how to run a local church. Few trust the Bible is sufficient to tell us how to manage our families. There are many out there who do, however they are getting fewer and fewer in this day and age of apostasy. Jesus wants followers who believe him and him alone. He is a jealous God and he will not share his glory with any other. So why do keep leaving him and going to other sources of authority? The answer is simple: because we don’t believe him. We don’t believe he is enough. If we did, we’d stay with him.

Let us return to the Bible. If we reject the sufficiency of Scripture, we will reject the authority of Scripture. We reject both when we turn to other ideas instead of God and commit spiritual adultery with him. The Bible is sufficient. What God has provided for us is sufficient. And the more we learn to depend upon Christ and Christ alone (including Scripture, which reveals him and his grace) the deeper and richer our lives will be. The resources of this world will never satisfy, the authorities of this world are in direct opposition to God, and so let us forsake the world and its system and stand wholly upon Christ. Christ is always better and purer. As we at Worldview Warriors begin to explore a bunch of questions relevant to our day and age, let us trust in the sufficiency of Scripture in answering them.

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