Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem - This post is part of my year-long journey through Dr. Wayne Grudem's world-renowned Systematic Theology. I welcome and hope for your interaction.
Chapter 2 - The Word of God
Before we can now begin our year-long journey, we must first make two assumptions:
- That the Bible is true and that it is, in fact, our only absolute standard of truth.
- That the God which is spoken of in the Bible exists, and that he is who the Bible says he is: the Creator of heaven and earth and all things in them.
Of course, these are enormous assumptions for some, and we will certainly be exploring these very assumptions as we move along.
As we place our gaze upon the whole of the Bible, we find that God has spoken to us in primarily two ways:
- "The word of God" as a person: Jesus Christ (John 1:1)
- "The word of God" as speech by God.
As we consider God's word as speech, it has come to us in a number of ways:
- God's decrees. For example, God said, "Let there be light". God's decrees cause something to happen which we can then witness.
- God's words of personal address. The Bible is full of examples of this. Think of God speaking to Adam and Eve, or God speaking from heaven during the baptism of Christ.
- God's words as speech through human lips. Think of prophets like Moses, Elijah, or Jeremiah.
- God's words in written form (The Bible).
Grudem goes on to say that it is this fourth way where the student of systematic theology will spend his/her time. Although the other three ways are possible, it seems that God has chosen today to let us find him primarily through the written word: the Bible.
Dr. Grudem left this chapter with a very good question for us to consider: Do you think you would pay more attention if God spoke to you from heaven or through the voice of a living prophet than if he spoke to you from the written words of Scripture?
My answer to this, right or wrong, is yes.
If God were to appear in my home office right now, it would significantly change my life. Yet, I don't seem to give his words in the Bible the same respect.
I suppose some of this is only natural and I should give myself a break? Or, I need to significantly deepen my understanding of the way God personally communicates to me today.
What say you?
Homework: Next week we will explore chapter three and discuss what belongs in the Bible and what does not. See you then!