Vanhoozer on the Triune Scriptures image

Vanhoozer on the Triune Scriptures

I've just got hold of Michael Allen and Scott Swain's edited collection, Christian Dogmatics: Reformed Theology for the Church Catholic. The chapter on Holy Scripture is from Kevin Vanhoozer, which makes it doubly worth reading, and he draws out two points in particular which I had not previously grasped. The first is that the divine authorship of the Old Testament is affirmed in the Nicene Creed: "I believe in the Holy Spirit ... who spoke by the prophets." (That might sound trivial, but if you scan the Internet for the ways in which people claiming orthodoxy deny the divine authorship of Genesis or Joshua or whatever, you'll see that it isn't.) And the second is that the Scriptures, as the speech of the Trinitarian God, are themselves triune. Here's his summary of the chapter:

Scripture is holy because God, its ultimate author, commissions just these texts to play a vital and authoritative role in the triune economy of covenantal communication whereby the Lord dispenses his light (i.e. revelation, knowledge, truth) and life (i.e. redemption, fellowship, salvation). The Father initiates, the Son effectuates, and the Spirit consummates the discourse that Holy Scripture preserves in writing. Scripture is a means of God’s self-presentation, a collection of diverse forms of discourse that, taken together, are ingredient in the extraordinary ministry of God’s Word by which the risen Christ announces the gospel, administers his new creational kingdom, and imparts his light and life to readers made right-minded and right-hearted - fit for communion with God - through the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Vanhoozer then quotes Packer’s rather crisper summary: Scripture is “God the Father preaching God the Son in the power of God the Holy Ghost.” Dogmatics, he adds, “is the attempt to give an orderly account of the biblical logic of God’s ‘gospel preaching’.” Nice.

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