In the premodern episteme [approach to knowledge], in which critical thought was subordinated to a theological a priori, it was almost inconceivable to doubt the inspiration of Scripture, or even to conceive of it as a human text subject to the same rules of composition and transmission as any other…I suggest that many of the conflicts between academic biblical critics and conservative apologists arise out of a basic epistemological incompatibility.
Grantley McDonald (Biblical Criticism in Early Modern Europe – Erasmus, The Johannine Comma and Trinitarian Debate, P.146 & 147)
In other words, in the Reformation era, critical thought relating to the Scripture was based upon foundational, theological concerns.
Too many Christians no longer reason from divine revelation (Scripture), but mere rationalism. The ultimate end of the contemporary schools of higher and lower criticism as well as Post-Enlightenment hermeneutics is the same. It is apostasy.
Exclusive Psalmody (and inspired hymnody) provides a direct answer to those demanding Multiculturalism in the church. They say we need to Multiculturalism to bring us together, but it cannot. The result of Multiculturalism is division. What we need is a Christ centered culture.
The worldly answer is the promotion of Multiculturalism by the expression of various cultural forms and in the singing of the church. This finds no warrant in the Scriptures. Not only that but it doesn’t satisfy anyone seeking their own particular cultural expressions. If one is seeking their own particular cultural form to be expressed in the church, they will inevitably seek out a church that expresses their particular culture exclusively.
The Biblical answer to this is not Multiculturalism, but a thoroughly Bibliocentric worship including inspired hymnody with the emphasis of the congregational voice. This is a thing that is altogether “other” from any culture of man. It inculcates a separate and sacred culture.
In this way the church can have diversity in its membership with oneness in its worship of God. God has regulated His worship and would have us set aside the cultural expressions of this world and take up His sanctified worship forms.
Coming into the church, we lay aside rock and roll, hip hop, jazz, classical/instrumental focused music, and all other forms for the simplicity of congregational singing of the word of God.
In truly Biblical worship, the only thing that has the potential to divide is that of differing languages, but that is never the point for those who advocate “multiculturalism” in the church.
Jesus not only prayed that we be one, he also provided the instruction for the worship of God in the church that actually aids us in being one.
Bible believing pastors who have accepted the critical approach to the text live with a cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, there is the Bible’s own self-witness to its PRESENT infallibility and immutability. On the other, there is the endless regress of textual criticism.
Unable to reconcile the two, most ministers accept BOTH and practically treat the dissonance in the same way we treat genuine mysteries of the faith such as the hypostatic union. They see no need to bother themselves with reconciling the problem. This apathy presents a bigger problem than the initial problem. The problem I refer to is the ultimate loss of Biblical authority itself.
When speaking of the subject of identifying the text of Scripture, we are not dealing with a divine mystery too great to be reconciled within the finite mind of man. Rather, we are dealing with the very text wherein God condescended to make Himself known to us by way of covenant. The Scriptures are a product of God’s condescension to make Himself known to us.
If we say the content of Scripture is ultimately a thing of divine mystery unknown to us, we commit a teleological error. For revelation is the very purpose of Scripture. The end of the endless regress of textual criticism is the loss of the very idea of Scripture.
This is one of the many reasons I receive the Received Text of the Protestant Reformation as canonical. Those who sit under my preaching need not concern themselves with the question of what text it is that I will be preaching as theópneustos (God-breathed). I believe in the Received Text because it is received. In this, I share the same approach to text as did Christ and the apostles in their day.
“Unto you therefore which believe he [Jesus] is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.”
—1 Peter 2:7-8
The knowledge of God in Christ is priceless to the true believer. Nothing in all creation can compare. Believers hear the unadulterated word of God and, by the work of the Holy Spirit, say amen! [it is certain!].
Those outside of Christ, being left in their sin, should God not open their hearts, (Acts 16:14) find the the teachings of Christ to be an offense and/or utterly foolish.
Any gospel seasoned for a worldly palate is a twisted gospel.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
— 1 John 5:4-5
The world will receive a twisted, emaciated, man-centered gospel…but that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. They will not hear the true gospel apart from divine grace.
What about you? Do you hear Christ? Are you seeking to conform your life to whatever light you obtain from the Holy Scriptures? Do you even want to learn ‘hard things’ from the Scriptures? Do you desire to be corrected from the word of God? Or do you merely seek confirmation for what you already believe or want to do?
Are you of Christ or are you of the world?
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
—1 John 2:3