Boice: The Word of God

Most systematic theologies start with the doctrine of the Word of God or the Bible, as that is the foundation of all the doctrines. What we believe about the Word of God will determine what we believe about God.  2 Timothy 3:16 is usually used as a foundational verse for the doctrine of Scripture: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (ESV). “…the Scriptures are the direct result of the breathing out of God.” and “…product of a specifically Divine operation.”

This of course leads to the authority of Scripture since it is from God. “For a proper perspective on Scripture and for a valid understanding of revelation there must be a constant interworking of these factors: an infallible and authoritative Word, the activity of the Holy Spirit in interpreting and applying that Word and a receptive human heart. No true knowledge of God takes place without these elements.” The Bible is our final authority. This is the doctrine of Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone.

The subject of the Bible is Jesus. “…the object of the Bible in each of its parts is to point to Jesus…” One of the themes is our sin and thus our need for rescue. “The truth of our sin and need is expounded in the Bible because the Bible is also able to point to Christ as the solution to the dilemma.” It also shows a God of love who redeems sinners.

“The power of the living Christ operating by means of the Holy Spirit through the written Word changes lives. This has been true throughout history. It is a powerful proof that the Bible is indeed the Word of God.” Boice has a whole chapter on the proof of the Scriptures. Some of the arguments for the truth of God’s Word include: “the claims of the Scriptures themselves”, “the testimony of Jesus”, “the doctrinal and ethical superiority of the Bible to all other books”, and “the power of the Bible to affect us as we read it.” Another reason given that arises out of arguments from a Puritan Thomas Watson is “the biblical writers would not have claimed divine origin for a book they knew to be purely their own.” There is also the unity of the Bible even in its vast diversity of 66 books. Its historical accuracy continues to be shown again and again. The fulfillment of prophecies and the preservation of the Bible down through the centuries are other proofs of the validity of the Bible.

Boice also spends some time dealing with the inerrancy of Scripture and modern criticism. Then he gives a brief overview on how to interpret the Bible.

The next section of Boice is on the attributes of God.

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