Bob Gonzales on the Necessity of Scripture

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Through what mode of revelation does God now reveal the gospel to fallen humanity? Historically, Reformed Protestants have argued that Bible alone is the sole medium by which sinners may come to a saving knowledge of God. This doctrine, known as the necessity of Scripture, is summarized in the opening sentence of the opening chapter in the 1689 Baptist Confession: "The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience." The Confession offers two lines of support for this position. First, although general revelation (i.e., creation, providence, and the human conscience) provides humans with a basic revelation of God's nature and moral expectations for humanity, it does not reveal to them God's saving will. Hence, special revelation is necessary. Second, although various modes of special revelation other than Scripture (e.g., theophany and prophecy) have served as vehicles of gospel revelation in times past, those modes of revelation have ceased since the the completion of the NT canon. Accordingly, the cessation of special revelation has rendered the Bible "most necessary." Such a conclusion has ramifications for evangelism, the urgency of Bible translation and dissemination, and modern claims regarding the gifts of prophecy and tongues. In the three lectures below, Dr Bob Gonzales expounds the biblical evidence for the Confession's teaching on this vital but somewhat debated topic.