is scriptural authority orthodox christianity?
5/30/2006 07:26:00 PM
I was reading the Memphis Declaration, and on the Declaration, the signers say they will cooperate with those who affirm "Christian orthodoxy". Article 4 Reads:
We publicly repent of having forsaken opportunities to reason together with those who share our commitment to gospel proclamation yet differ with us on articles of the faith that are not essential to Christian orthodoxy.
One thing I noticed in Article 7 is that the document had adamant support for Scriptural Authority. It reads, "...unity within the parameters of Scriptural authority..." and "...whose affirmation of biblical authority..." I began to think about this precept, and had to ask, is Scriptural Authority and all it entails (inerrancy and inspiration) "Christian Orthodoxy"?

I went and looked at a couple of early Christian creeds, namely the Nicene Creed and the Apostle Creed. Neither of the creeds mentions anything about Scripture, but rather basic Christian theology about God and his plan of salvation. The Nicene Creed reads,
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds;
God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God;
begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father,
by Whom all things were made:
Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man:
And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried:
And the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures:
And ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father:
And he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead:
Whose Kingdom will have no end:
And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life,
Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son
Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified,
Who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe in One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church,
I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.
And I look for the Resurrection of the Dead:
And the Life of the world to come. Amen.
The Apostles Creed reads,
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.

It seems that authority of Scripture was not included in Christian creeds or confession until a much later date. The cause if this was probably that Scripture was authoritative by fiat, but when people started questioning it, Scriptural authority started to appear in certain confessions particularly among Baptists

I personally believe in the authority of Scripture, but I am not ready to call it orthodox Christianity based on a historical perspective, in that it was not included in orthodox creeds and cnfessions. This is an argument from silence, so it is hard to say either way. This is beside the point, but the question Baptists have to address is are they willing to cooperate with a church or group that does not believe in Scriptural authority?

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