The Authority of God’s Word

” … the authority of God’s Word is not an arbitrary, external authority … (But) a wooing and conquering authority … Scripture’s authority does not demand blind obedience … rather a subjection that spells redemption … a subjection to Christ whereby he is never out of view … in which acceptance occurs with joy and willingness.” (Holy Scripture, pp. 349-350).

As a biblical theologian, Berkouwer is aware of “the dangers of an experience-theology” (Holy Scripture, p. 348).

As a modern theologian, he is critical of the suggestion that “all scriptural questions could possibly be solved by excluding them on the basis of a childlike faith” (Holy Scripture, p. 348).

He has sought to understand the authority of Scripture in a way that acknowledges fully both the objectivity of biblical authority and the subjectivity of the believer’s experience of that authority.

He emphasizes that his view is “not a subjectification of authority, which might only become reality through acknowledgment” (Holy Scripture, p. 348, emphasis mine).

He points to “the unique authority (which) can only be acknowledged and experienced on the way” (Holy Scripture, p. 348, brackets mine).


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