The Sufficiency of Scripture: Just a big bag of marbles?


No one would argue that Scripture provides us with cake recipes or details on the practice of electrical engineering. But what about the realm of human behavioural/mental/emotional problems. Does Scripture speak with sufficiency to the issues located within the sphere of psychology? And if so, how does it do so? Try searching for ADHD, codependency, anorexia, or a host of other psychological labels in a concordance and the result will be zip. Does that mean the Bible is deficient to address such things?

The following are wise words from Dr. David Powlison on the nature of the sufficiency of Scripture, and the importance of a truly biblical epistemology. I encourage you to read through them slowly and carefully.

'Biblical counselors who fail to think through carefully the nature of biblical epistemology run the danger of acting as if Scripture were exhaustive, rather than comprehensive; as if Scripture were an encyclopedic catalogue of all significant facts, rather than God’s revelation of the crucial facts, richly illustrated, that yield a worldview sufficient to interpret whatever other facts we encounter; as if Scripture were the whole bag of marbles rather than the eyeglasses through which we interpret all marbles; as if our current grasp of Scripture and people were triumphant and final.
Defining the Bible’s Sufficiency

Integrationists view Scripture as a small bag of marbles and psychology as a large bag of marbles. The functional logic of most integrationist epistemology is this: put the two bags together, weed out the obvious bad marbles in psychology, and you end up with more marbles. Lip service is paid to Christian beliefs or “theology.” It is easy for would-be biblical counselors to fall into the mistake of viewing Scripture as simply a huge bag of marbles. This epistemological position differs from the epistemology of integrationists only in quantity, not quality. It leads either to absurd forms of proof-texting (“There must be a verse somewhere in here on anorexia”) or to substituting pat answers for carefully thought-out wisdom (“First Timothy 4:3–5 says to eat with thankfulness; repent of not eating and follow this eating plan”) or to capitulating to integrationism in the wake of counseling failures (“Maybe the Bible doesn’t contain all the marbles after all; it is only one useful resource for acquiring marbles, among many other sources”).
While the Bible does provide both the eyeglasses (interpretive categories that are true) and a vast number of concrete examples, it never pretends to provide all the examples. God demands that we put on our eyeglasses and think hard, well, and biblically about people.'
Edward E. Hindson and Howard Eyrich, Totally Sufficient (Eugene, Or.: Harvest House Publishers, 1997), 81-82.




No comments:

Post a Comment

Next Post Previous Post Home
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Recent Posts

Recent Comments