Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Sanctification of Scripture

Professor John Webster has suggested a doctrine of the sanctification of Scripture. (Holy Scripture: a dogmatic sketch, chapter 1: ‘Revelation, Sanctification and Inspiration’). The Bible is a human text set apart by God for God’s purposes.

Okay, but is it progressive or positional / decisive sanctification? Surely the latter. (see Peterson, David, Possessed by God – who argues that the Bible speaks of our sanctification in positional terms: we have been sanctified).

I understand (I think from Liam Beadle?) that Professor Oliver O’Donnovan has suggested that a doctrine of the election of Scripture would be better. (If anyone knows where he’s said this in print, I’d be most grateful for the reference).

Okay, the Bible is chosen by God and planned before the creation of the world by him. It is predestined and decided by him.

But is the election of the Bible more like the election of the believer or the election of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the True Believer?

Come to that, is the sanctification of the Bible more like ours or Jesus’?

The words of the Bible are chosen and set apart without sin or imperfection, not chosen from it or despite it. They do not stand in need of cleansing for they are clean already. Words are a good created thing. They are chosen on their merits, we are not.

The Bible is much more than merely human words set apart and / or chosen by God. It is the very words of God in human words that he has planned, chosen and set apart for his purposes.

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