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Biblical Authority: The Critical Issue for the Body of Christ Paperback – July 1, 2001
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About the Author
James T. Draper, Jr. served as president of LifeWay Christian Resources from 1991 until 2006 and is also a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. His previous books include Biblical Authority and Preaching with Passion. Dr. Draper and his wife, Carol Ann, now live in Colleyville, Texas.
Ken Keathley currently serves as Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Ken graduated from Southeastern with a Master of Divinity and a Ph.D. in Theology. A native Missourian who came to Christ at the age of 17, he has served as Youth Pastor, Interim Pastor, or Senior Pastor of churches in Missouri, the Carolinas and Louisiana. Ken and his wife, Penny, live in Rolesville, NC. They have two grown children, Matt and Allison.
Top Customer Reviews
The first chapter deals with epistemology, how one knows what one knows. Three possible sources for knowledge are examined. The first possible source of authority is human reason. Human reason can be broken down into rationalism, empiricism, and mysticism. Rationalism and empiricism are the favorite methods of gathering knowledge of the modern day scientist. If reason is the final arbiter of knowledge, it makes the human mind the final source of authority. The second possible source of authority is ecclesiastical authority. Some people (particularly Roman Catholics) believe that their church is the final authority. Since the Church collected and preserved the Scriptures, it seems they should have some say in interpreting them. The third source of authority is divine revelation. Divine revelation can come from general revelation (seeing God in creation) or special revelation (seeing God in His written word). The authors soundly reject the Charismatic belief that God continues special revelation today by speaking to modern day believers.
In chapter two, the authors examine four reasons why Scriptural authority has been challenged. These are the emergence of the historical-critical approach to Scripture. The second is existential philosophy. The third is the rise of naturalistic-uniformitarian science. The fourth is the study of comparative religions.Read more ›
1. A Tragic Step That Can Lead to Spiritual Disaster
There has been a shift in matters pertaining to Biblical authority, from the local pulpit to the seminary professor. The shift magnified what people accepted as the source of truth. The core doctrines of the Christian faith were embraced, but the foundation from which these doctrines arose was being denied. It was argued the primary debate resided around the source of truth. When this is embraced, the door opens to any doctrine and lifestyle.
2. The Dramatic Shift Away from Biblical Authority
The shift away from Biblical authority was traced throughout history to the current date. The shift was evaluated from the historical-critical approach, existential and postmodern thought, naturalistic, uniformitarian science and comparative religions. These shifts were argued to have placed the church in its current state of elevating reason over revelation.
3. The Church's Historical Position on Biblical Authority
The authority of Scripture and Biblical inerrancy were traced from Clement of Rome to Jonathan Edwards. The historical outline was provided, demonstrating that through history the church has embraced the Scriptural authority.
4. Baptists' Historical Position on Biblical Authority
Historical Baptist stance on the authority of Scripture was traced from "first Baptist church to be the one established in Amsterdam in 1609" to W. T. Conner. An overview of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message criterion loophole regarding interpretation being by Jesus was evaluated.Read more ›