It’s been awhile since I last did this, but I intend to revive the series now. For more information about Together for the Gospel, please see my Conference Round Up Post. If you haven’t already done so, I would encourage you to read the statement in full — it is available as either a pdf file or as Google’s html version. There is also an ongoing Blogger’s Challenge which I have set to encourage us all to blog about this Statement — thanks to Crossway for donating five copies of God is the Gospel to encourage your participation! The first two books have been awarded to Mathew Sims (who has already finished blogging through each of the articles in a 25-part series!) and Dave Warnock. It is not too late for you to win one of the remaining three by writing on your own blog or in the comments section about this important statement. Don’t feel you have to cover the whole Statement — why not just pick an article that particularly interests you?
I have posted myself on the Introduction, as well as a combined post on Articles 1 and 2. I have also shared a John Piper quote, and have posted from the Doctor’s writings on the Introduction, Articles 1 and 2, and Article 3, part 1 and part 2.
T4G Article 3
We affirm that truth ever remains a central issue for the Church, and that the church must resist the allure of pragmatism and postmodern conceptions of truth as substitutes for obedience to the comprehensive truth claims of Scripture.
We deny that truth is merely a product of social construction or that the truth of the Gospel can be expressed or grounded in anything less than total confidence in the veracity of the Bible, the historicity of biblical events, and the ability of language to convey understandable truth in sentence form. We further deny that the church can establish its ministry on a foundation of pragmatism, current marketing techniques, or contemporary cultural fashions.
Before Christmas I spoke at Jubilee Church, London, about the doctrine of the Scripture and addressed some of these issues. I thought that sharing my notes and the audio of this talk would be appropriate in light of this declaration, which I wholeheartedly endorse.
During my talk I mention that the Bible shows that God communicates and He is very good at doing it. God communication is a true message that comes through as the author intends it. I believe that God has done everything necessary to achieve just that.
The audio is available to download (you may need to right click and save the file onto your PC), as are my PowerPoint slides (which should open in your browser), as well as a handout which has some blank points for you to fill in.
Article 3 of the the Together for Gospel Statement focuses on truth. Much has been written about the post-modern conception of truth. It is perhaps almost trite to talk about the fallacy of an absolute statement that “there is no such thing as absolute truth”. But, over-used phrases sometimes express things well. The notion of blurring the concept of truth is so vacuous as to be impossible to build a life on.
As a scientist, I have been raised with the idea that there is, indeed, such a thing as absolute truth. Either something has mass or it doesn’t. Either I will fall down because of gravity or float because I am in space. How can theology be any different? Give me someone who absolutely rejects the message of the Bible and the existence of its God any day over someone who tries to blur boundaries and talk about the “spiritual meaning” of events that they believe are basically lies.
I note that once more in this article of their Statement
the subject of the Bible is again core. Quite simply, it is not possible to have a Bible that is full of error and yet also the word of God. God is no liar. I cannot see how we can compromise with post-modern ideas of truth and have any Gospel left. For either God is too weak or disinterested to make sure we have a Bible that we can trust, or He is a deceiver.
It simply will not do to say that the Bible contains God’s words and we have to discern them. For, even with a Bible that we have all agreed is trustworthy, evangelicals have succeeded in coming up with differing interpretations. Imagine what we will be like if the anchor of our faith is severed and we are cast adrift.
I honestly believe that this Statement, issued at the Together for the Gospel 2006 conference, comes from men who are given to the whole church in the way described in Ephesians 4.
The series on the T4G Statement continues with John Piper on Expository Preaching . . .