John Piper concludes his book: “the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and without error in the original manuscripts and . . . this can be known with a well-grounded confidence because the peculiar glory of God shines in and through these Scriptures.
“This also implies that the Scriptures are the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and right and beautiful. In matters not explicit addressed by the Bible, it implies that what is true and right and beautiful is to be assessed by criteria consistent with the teachings of Scripture. All of this implies that the Bible has authority over every area of our lives and that we should, therefore, try to bring all our thinking and feeling and acting into line with what the Bible teaches” (Piper, p.281).
That’s a staggering claim—and whole-world-encompassing, binding on all people everywhere.
AN UNDERSTANDABLE OBSTACLE
If you belong to another religion or have no religion or dabble in various “spiritualities”, this claim presents a huge obstacle. Such a claim, you say, leads to intolerance, hatred, and finally violence. Yet even a brief review of history shows that the lack of religious absolutes has led to totalitarian abuses. Think Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot. When man rejects God, he makes himself supreme authority.
When Jesus Christ returns, he will execute a final judgment and do away with all unbelief and sin in a new world of righteousness and peace. Meanwhile, we call all people to believe his word—but we never use coercion to bring about faith.
A MASSIVE FOUNDATION
This may be the first time you have read an argument for Scripture’s truth based on God’s glory. But, even if you’re convinced, no one just decides to see the glory. God the Holy Spirit must open the eyes of our heart. It’s a miracle for which we can pray.
FOR THE SIMPLEST PERSON
This has been one of Piper’s key concerns in this book—that the simplest person can have a well-grounded confidence that the Bible is true and the standard by which all other truth-claims are judged.
THE PECULIAR GLORY
Scripture reveals a peculiar glory, at the center of which is “the utterly unique glory of Jesus Christ” (Piper, p. 284).
In the Bible God glorifies himself in working for those who wait for him. He glorifies himself through fulfilled prophecy, through Jesus’ miracles and through “Scripture-shaped lives of radical love” (Piper, p. 285). But this “peculiar brightness shines through the whole Bible [and] comes to its most beautiful radiance in the person and work of Jesus Christ, dying and rising for sinners” (Piper, p. 285).
AN INBORN TEMPLATE FOR GLORY
Everyone knows God’s glory (Romans 1:21)—written in nature (Romans 1:19,20), in our hearts (Romans 1:15), and in the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). “When God opens our eyes and grants us the knowledge of the truth through the Scriptures, we know we have seen ultimate reality . . .
“When that happens, we enter a life of extraordinary purpose—to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9) (Piper, p. 285).
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In a culture where the Bible is pushed aside, misquoted, treated as just another religious book among dozens of “truth-claims”, we Christians must have a basis for a well-grounded confidence that the Bible is true and holds final authority in our lives. I pray Piper’s book does that for us all.
My blogs have been just summaries of that book. It’s not only available to buy but to read free online . . .