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The Case for Scripture

Lecture Outline

John Mark Hicks
1999 Center for Christian Education Forum
Irving, Texas


   A. The Question: "How can God's eternal truth be contained in a book thousands of years old?"

   B. The Problem: Our Postmodern Context.

I. The Nature of Scripture: It Provides the Story of God.

   A. Question: Where do we find about God?

      Everyone is looking for some kind of "god".
      Everyone is on a journey of discovery.
      Everyone wants to experience the meaningfulness of life.

   B. Answer: Scripture

      It bears witness to God's acts;
         it interprets God's acts;
            and it applies the meaning of God's acts.

   C. Scripture is...

      a redemptive history,
         a divine interpretation of that history,
            and a divine application of significance of that history.

II. The Function of Scripture: It Provides a Hermeneutic for Meaningful Life.

   A. Question: Why do we need a hermeneutic?

      Everyone has a story.
      Everyone reads their own story through some kind of lens.
      Everyone interprets their story, if only be default.

   B. Answer: Scripture.

      It is the lens through which we can read our own stories in the light of God's story
         because we are unable to understand life's meaning autonomously
            due to finitude and sin.

   C. Hermeneutic: The Story of God.

      God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ,
         has created a community through which he has fellowship with us,
            and calls us to be like him.

III. The Purpose of Scripture: It Provides Ethical Guidance and Assurance.

   A. Question: What are our fundamental values?

      Everyone has values.
         Everyone is rather ambiguous about their values.
            Everyone yearns for something solid and substantial.

   B. Answer: Scripture

      It equips the people of God for righteousness because
         it provides a guide for imitating the image of God
            and bears witness to our fellowship with God.

   C. Values: The Character of God.

      God is the locus of all value.
         His story reveals and applies those values.
            Scripture is a hermeneutical guide for applying those values.


Scripture, even though it is millennia old, reveals eternal truth because it reveals the character of God through bearing witness to, interpreting and applying the history of God's dynamic relationship with his people from the creation of the cosmos to the climactic Christ event. Thus,

   A. Scripture, by whatever means, is a divine witness.

   B. Scripture is the authoritative interpreter of God's acts in history.

   C. Scripture, as a medium of revelation, conveys the true message of salvation


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