Contend Earnestly: John Piper: Why I Trust the Scriptures: Resurgence Conference 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

John Piper: Why I Trust the Scriptures: Resurgence Conference 2008

The night ended with John Piper, but started with Pastor Tim Smith and the worship band Ex Nihilo. That was some of the best worship music that I have heard in a long time. All of the songs were hymns that were redone by the band. I have heard most of these songs through the Phillippians series that Mars Hill went through in 2007, but it was a lot more amazing worshiping live with them.
Not a bad way to end a day of preaching and teaching from the word of God. As Mark Driscoll introduced Dr. Piper, you could see the importance that Dr. Piper has been in his life as Driscoll dropped some tears in his introduction.

Dr. Piper came forward to give us what I felt was an hour and half introduction for his sermons for the rest of the week. Because there is so many questions still unanswered, as it was an introduction, there will be much more meat the rest of the week. This doesn't mean that tonight didn't have meat, but you could tell that tonight wasn't the climax of the week.

Dr. Piper started off this night with the question:

Why do we need to preach on Trusting the Scriptures? Why this really matters.

Dr. Piper gave eight reasons why this needs to be answered when looking at today's culture.

1. Many in our day deny the existence of truth
2. One trait of secularism is the bible is a mixture of truth and error
3. The competing body of holy books are coming increasingly close
(They aren’t far off anymore, but very much accessible to everyone)
4. One trait of liberal Christianity is rejection of inerrancy of Scripture and finding a canon within the canon

The NT is not the basis of the unity of the church, but, it is the basis of the disunity of the church. Multiple theologies in it and you need to figure out which one to follow

5. In every generation there are new creative attacks on the trustworthiness of the Bible.
6. If it is true, the message of the bible is the only message of eternal life
7. Building our lives on sacrificial service when it is all a mistake it is all pitiful
8.The bible makes claims of inspirational authority and inerrancy

Dr. Piper then came with two assumptions for us:

1.In asking the question, Why do I trust the scriptures?, I am agreeing that there should be a, “why’? cf. 1 John 4:1; Acts 17; 1 John 5:13; Acts 1:3

2. God is not honored by leaps in the dark

Dr. Piper then ended with his five steps he takes into a warranted solid confidence into the word of God. Again, I stress, as he stressed, this was Dr. Piper's steps not necessarily what everyone should follow.

1. I met Jesus in the gospel and his self authenticating glory has won my affections, and I could not turn away

2.Turn to the apostle Paul as a contemporary witness to Jesus who more than any others lets us see his own soul and his own ministry

3.I go to the gospels…I say Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell me about the Jesus I now believe in. Show me the story. Show me this man. As they show…he is the same as those found in steps 1 and 2. These also show Jesus' affirmation of those in the Old Testament speaking the word of God. cf. Mark 12:36 (David is speaking in the Spirit); Matthew 19:4 (Moses is talking, even though Jesus says, God said)

4. Westminster Larger Catechism:

How do we know that the Scriptures are the word of God?

- the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God cf. John 7:16-18; John 5:41-44

The thrust of the Bible is that you don’t get the glory, God gets the glory!

- but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very Word of God.

Calvin on the Testimonium Internum Spiritus Sancti - How can we know the authority of Scripture? Calvin believed that “Scripture exhibits fully as clear evidence of its own truth as white and black things do of their color or sweet and bitter things of their taste” (I, 7.2). The persuasion that God is the author of Scripture was established in us by the internal testimony of the Spirit. The Word of God does not derive its authority from the Church, but the reverse. The authority of the Word arises from the testimony it receives from the inner work of the Spirit in the regenerate mind:
J.I. Packer on Calvin

“The testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit” (I, 7.4).

John Calvin

Overall, this was a great first day of the conference. Dr. Piper's introduction, although long, was well worth the length for him to set the precedence of the conference. Of the three that we heard today, I would definitely have to say that I enjoyed Mahaney's and Driscoll's messages more, but that is just because they were able to finish their thoughts, and Dr. Piper is still yet to be determined. This isn't to say that Dr. Piper's message wasn't well done, for I believe it was. I just feel as though there was a lot of ground that he was covering and a lot of foundation was being laid. I look forward to see how this sermon works its way out in the next couple of days.

Until tomorrow.

Soli Deo Gloria


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