Friday, 6 September 2013



My friend #Wylie asks an interesting question. I quote:  
Why is that the people who want to invoke "sola scriptura" spend most of their time telling us what MEN say about the SCRIPTURES?

With the follow up observation:

Baptists were "sola scriptura" before it was cool.

Which is nice because "Sola Scriptura" is, of course, one of the 5 great Sola's of the Protestant Reformation and I agree with our mutual friend, Calvinistic Baptist BH Carroll whose "goldmine" writings remind us:

So, technically anyway, the Baptists and the Presbyterians and the Protestants are on the same pitch. 'Sola Scriptura' is a very important doctrine. In practical terms, it means that all teaching is subject to the scrutiny of Scripture. No matter how great a preacher or teacher is (be he Calvin, Luther or Spurgeon or whoever)  we simply must subject what he says to the teaching of the Bible. IOW (to quote Paul) we only follow that preacher when and if he follows Christ i.e. in Scriptural matters. (The Bible is called the 'word of Christ' in Colossians 3:16) The teaching of the great Apostle Paul himself was subjected to the verdict of Scripture in Acts 17:11 and the Bereans who did so were commended by the Spirit of God as more noble so their example is evidently to be emulated. 

Unfortunately, an earlier view of my friend #Wylie (IMO) seriously undermines the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, which makes his view above (while most agreeable to Protestants in general) somewhat hard to fathom. 

#Wylie earlier gave us his views re: the position of the man of God which, in #Wylie's circles, is another name for the pastor and therefore the preacher. He is anxious to preserve the respect which a pastor deserves and with this, there is no argument. The preaching elder is indeed worthy of double honour (1 Timothy 5:17) although only when he is in accordance with what is written in the Book. It is the responsibility of the hearer in the pew to listen carefully to the man of God and then (as above) to subject his teaching to the authority of Scripture. No man, even the genuine man of God, is ever the final authority. In his sermon on "Speak Lord for thy servant heareth" (MTP Vol 10 # 586) Spurgeon articulated it perfectly. Although Spurgeon was an avid admirer of John Calvin, yet he captured the feelings of genuine Calvinists everywhere when he said: 

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Wherein does #Wylie overstep the mark and undermine this great fundamental doctrine of Sola Scriptura? His earlier view is captured here:

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 On a pedestal? Three times in the one small paragraph, including it being boxed for highlighting purposes. Wondering if there was maybe a Transatlantic difference in the meaning of the word, I decided to check out an American English Dictionary and typed in the offending phrase. Lo and behold, the meaning is the same both sides of the Atlantic.

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The last thing I want to do is to make any man an offender for a word. If there was a way of escape from the glaringly obvious, I would gladly let #Wylie use it.

Maybe you are wondering why I have put Jack Hyles name in the title. I haven't mentioned him or his childhood days yet.  Well herein lies the problem. As much as I would be happy to let #Wylie somehow defend the indefensible, he gave a working example drawn from an incident  in the young life of the said Jack Hyles. Bear in mind the lament that #Wylie has publicly aired:

Why is that the people who want to invoke "sola scriptura" spend most of their time telling us what MEN say about the SCRIPTURES?
 In the context of excessively elevating your man of God to dizzy heights, #Wylie tells the following story. I assume it is true. #Wylie is an avid admirer of Hyles while I am not. I would rather have a thousand BH Carrolls than Hyles, but that is neither here or there. #Wylie relates what he means 

What a classic question from the young Hyles. "Is what he is saying true?" We do not know what was stirred in his young heart. At least, not from this quote. Whether pious or just plain curious is beyond our ken, but he was gripped enough to want assurance. #Wylie continues his account:
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Oh dear! The assurance that "Jesus is coming again" is rooted not in a "Thus saith the Lord" i.e. "It is written" i.e. Sola Scriptura but in a "Thus saith the man of God in the pulpit!"  This is what #Wylie aspires after. Which leaves his latest thoughts about Sola Scriptura (IMO) somewhat in tatters. That "it paid dividends in the years ahead" is a veritable can of worms that I have no desire to go into now. 

Many years ago, AW Tozer (a non Calvinist) observed about Fundamentalism:

 An interesting post, I hope. Feel free to comment.


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