Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | January 13, 2008

Lord’s Day Quote: Hermann Ridderbos

The revelatory character and authority of the New Testament Scripture, therefore, undoubtedly has its bounds and limitations.  Above all it has authority as kerygma, as the proclamation of the great redemptive works of God in Jesus Christ.  To fulfill their calling as the inspired heralds of the redemption Christ achieved, the apostles did not share in divine omniscience, nor were they commissioned to reveal the mysteries of nature, to unlock the structure of the universe, or to solve the problems of science.  Neither, then, is that the meaning and purpose of the New Testament revelation in its written form.  The New Testament is not a book of revelation in the sense that all of its pronouncements intend, directly or indirectly, to give answers to the questions with which life confronts us.  It does not anticipate the natural development of the human race or the exploration of nature.  It does not provide critiques of every time-bound conception of the structure of the universe and what takes place in it.  It does not correct quotations from the Septuagint by making them agree with the Hebrew text, nor does it authorize every idea that Paul derived from his rabbinical training.  Those qualifications, however, do not in any way detract from the revelatory character of the New Testament as Scripture, but they do teach us to distinguish its nature.  And in doing so we should not make a dualistic or dynamic distinction between what has and what has not been written under the leading of the Spirit.  As the New Testament Word of God, as the witness of the Spirit for the church and for the world, the entire New Testament is divine revelation.  It is itself included in God’s work in the fullness of time.  But it is that above all in its kerygmatic significance, that is, as proclamation of the great acts of God in Christ.  The New Testament, therefore, is totalitarian in its scope, touching every area of human life and knowledge, because the salvation of which it speaks is totalitarian.  It has that scope, however, in its own way, that is, it illumines man and the world, history and the future, church and nation, the state and society, science and art from one standpoint, the standpoint of the coming death, resurrection and return of Christ.

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