Holy Scripture sets
forth everything that is necessary for our salvation. Consequently, nobody
should be required to believe as an article of the Christian faith, or to
regard as necessary for salvation, anything that is not found in Scripture or
that cannot be proved from Scripture…
Therefore, Scripture is to be our highest authority, not
tradition, experience or reason.
We are familiar with the concept of a spokesman or spokesperson. It’s a person who speaks for another person or group.
Zizi Kodwa is the South African presidential spokesmen. What Zizi says, the SA president says.
Sean Spicer, probably has one of the worst jobs in the world, he is the current spokesperson for President Donald Trump. Officially he is the White House Press Secretary. What Sean Spicer says Donald Trump says. Mr. Spicer must also explain what Donald Trump says and tweets.
Individuals and organizations have official spokesmen who speak for them or the organization.
One of the functions of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Triune God, is to be the spokesman of God.
William Tyndale grew up in England in the 1500’s. Back then ordinary people did not own Bibles; they had to go to church to hear what the Bible had to say. The church, at the time, believed that only the Pope and priests were educated enough to understand and interpret the Bible. But there was a problem, the only version of the Bible tolerated in England was Jerome’s Latin translation which dated back to the 4th century and most of the priests could not understand Latin.
William Tyndale felt that God was calling him to translate the Bible into English so that all people, ordinary people, could read it for themselves. God had given William a gift for languages and graduating from Oxford University he had mastered seven languages including Hebrew and Greek, the original languages of the Bible. However, translating the Bible was against the law.
Many people today claim to hear or speak words that come from God. From those who hear God speaking to them in a “still, small voice” to the preachers on TV claiming to have a new revelation from God. A friend of mine has recently given me a copy of a new book called “The Little Blood Soaked Book” that has been printed in South Africa. The author claims God took her into the Garden of Eden and revealed to her a new message for the world. How do we hear God’s words?, is a very relevant question.
The release of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey has caused quite a stir. Porn is now masqueraded as the sexual empowerment of women. Has the world finally gone crazy? A recent TIME magazine article reminded readers that while this movie ventures into the realms of bondage, sadomasochism and female degradation, more and more newspaper headlines concern sexual violence directed towards young women. “The Hunting Game”, a documentary about campus rape is soon to be released. There is an ever-growing list of accusations against rich older men who take sexual advantage of women who are subordinates1. Just watch the news.
When I was a teenager (many, many years ago), I was often told in our youth group how important and essential a regular “Quiet Time” was. A QT was a time when you were quiet, by yourself and with a Bible. You read the Bible, you thought about what you read and then you prayed. You did that often. It was a Christian habit, whether you felt like it or not. Our youth leader often asked us, “How’s your QT going?”
Very seldom today do I hear the same note of urgency, value and importance of regular devotion times.
The terror attacks in France, like the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, have disgusted us all. Radical Muslims, who believe that Allah is the one true God and that Muhammad is his prophet, have done terrible things in Allah’s name. Masked gunmen methodically killed twelve people, including a newspaper’s editor, as they shouted “Allahu akbar!” Are Muslims correct in their view of Allah that he is the one true God and Mohammed is his supreme Prophet? Or are Christians correct when they assert that the God of the Bible is the one true God and he has revealed himself through Jesus?
The name John Calvin is a bad word to many people, but I hope to show you that Calvin’s theology should be our theology because it was Jesus’ theology and the Bible’s theology.
John Calvin lived in the 1500’s in Geneva, Switzerland.
He was and is one of the hero’s of the Christian faith. He was one the greatest Christian thinkers, theologians and reformers who guided the church back to the Bible after it was immersed in superstition.
Calvin is still massively influential today, and either loved or hated. Depending on your worldview, you will either gratefully read Calvin’s writings and benefit from them or you will despise them.