Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ridderbos (again) supports Enns

In dialogue elsewhere, I had occasion to take another look at Herman Ridderbos' other book on scripture, Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures (for my earlier reference, see here). Steve Taylor had us read the book when I took his NT Introduction course. I remember enjoying the book and seeing that it strongly supported what the biblical studies guys were trying to do as they set out, each in his own way, to relate biblical scholarship to the more existential concerns of confessional faith. As far as I can see, Pete Enns is as Dutch Reformed as Ridderbos and Ridderbos is widely accepted and promoted by WTS-styled scholars:

“Still, there can be no doubt that though Christians are bound to Scripture by authority that proceeds from it as God’s Word, this does not provide an exact *concept* of its canonicity or of the extent of its authority. The self-attestation of Scripture as understood by Christians through the witness of the Holy Spirit is related above all to the divine character of the central content of Scripture. Scripture’s self-attestation does not provide direct and infallible certainty about all the facts and data in the New Tesament…”

“Apart from the issue of the limits of the canon, the *nature* of canonical authority cannot be decided by a simple appeal to the authoritative impact Scripture makes or to the witness of the Holy Spirit. The witness of the Spirit teaches us that such authority exists and that it is a divine authority. But the way in which the New Testament canon embodies this authority and the qualitative and quantitative extent of such authority in the New Testament are questions that cannot be decded in terms of the impact that Scripture makes on the church and the individual believer. These questions must be dealt with in a broader context.” (Redemptive History and the New Testament Scriptures, 10)

Compare Pete Enns:

"What a study of Scripture’s humanity does do is help us see the manner in which the divine author speaks authoritatively into particular ancient cultures. How this authoritative Scripture translates to different times and places, in both its timeless affirmations and contextualized particularity is (I trust this is not too reductionistic) the task of theological study. It is my firm experience, however, that evangelical lay readers, those to whom the book is addressed, are not accustomed to understanding the nature of Scripture this way." (