Sola Scriptura is a beautiful thing to observe as it flows onto the page in an apologetic context. The system of theology which follows upon scripture alone is a marvel of consistent, doctrinal precision of expression and creates the most wonderful of tapestries. The warp and the weft of each thread of Scripture’s affirmations are woven together on the loom of the renewed mind to create a magnificent fabric of faith in flawless unity and diversity. As I sit here, even while engaging in a seemingly mundane task – assembling cross-examination questions – I’m again struck by the sheer beauty of Christian doctrine, when seen as a cohesive whole.
Over the last several days, I’ve taken a few steps back from debate prep – just to take a look at things. I’ve responded to a putative presuppositionalist who can’t see the forest for the trees, basked in the glory of the Biblical response to Mohammed’s 40 ignorant words, and chuckled over the sheer skullduggery and sophomoric thinking to be found in fundamentalist atheism. Again, however, I’m drawn back – to pick my way through the glorious wonder of those gossamer filaments of truth which make up the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints of God. The latticework of the Scriptural account is so very delicate, at first glance. It soars to ravishing heights, and depicts the most horrifying lows – but for all of it’s apparent delicacy, there is nothing fragile about it. God’s self-revelation showers us in shimmering, restless transformation, our minds being restored in the image of His Son. It scintillates with the fiery passion of Moses’ denunciation of sin upon his descent from the mount. It blazes with the holiness of God, and the brilliance of His majesty, in Isaiah’s vision; only His fire to our lips can assuage our abhorrence of self in light of such perfection, and cleanse us. We lament along with Jeremiah, whose prophecies of the destruction to come crushed him to his knees, and reduced him to groans and sorrow for the people he loved. We rejoice with the promise of God’s vengeance and justice, and the consuming fire of His Holiness, unleashed on His enemies.
We should be captivated by the shocking immanence and condescension of God’s removal of the veil between He and His people, ripped asunder by the substitutionary sacrifice of the incarnate person of His Son. We should be transfixed by the soaring transcendence of God in His aseity, timeless eternality, and His ceaseless, perfect, unified activity in and sovereign over all things. We should be breathlessly amazed by His limitless love – and trembling at the depths of our depravity. Our hearts should overflow in worship – in spirit and in truth – and our minds should be compelled, encompassed, by the enormity and intricacy of His nature and the fathomless mercy which was given to us so freely, and at such a price! The boundless, indescribable, inimitable, unmerited and unimaginable grace of our God bathes us, surrounds us, and remakes us day by day. It is this – this unconquerable assurance – this, this incontrovertible conviction – this! That Christ, the King and coming King, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the one who is faithful and true – it is He who upholds us, keeps us, purchased us, pardoned us, protects us, and promises us – that we who were once dead – yet live! In the priceless propitiation wherein He, by His own blood, bought wretched sinners from every tribe, tongue, people and nation – all by His own mighty power, and by none of our own!
If this does not ignite our spirits, and send them flaring up like a beacon of worship for our infinitely worthy Lord, may God forgive us – and light the fire in our bones that will not allow us to be silent, and which melts the stone of our cold hearts into malleable flesh, rendering our fallible natures fit to consider God with the eyes of faith.