I was been thinking through a question on authority for a few weeks, maybe months now? While in a study with a church of Christ man, I have asked many question. I do not fully understand all the answers he provides but this week I have worked out part of it in my mind. Feel free to correct me or direct me.
I started to state these things to him but was cut off at point two.
- Scripture does not define scripture.
- This means an authority outside of scripture defined scripture.
- The Holy Spirit did this using man.
- The Apostles were dead when scripture was decided.
- The members of the church defined scripture.
After he told me about church history again, I probed with questions as best I could. I am still not sure he fully understands my question on authority but regardless I left with the following. Now this is not what he said mind you but what I put together based upon what he said and what I know about scripture.
- All authority was given to Jesus.
- Jesus gave His Apostles authority.
- This authority includes what they wrote.
- Thus scripture written by the Apostles has authority.
- The Apostles died and the authority died with them.
Now I can understand that. I am not necessarily saying I agree with it. It makes me ask questions that have already been around. Did Jesus give the elect any authority? Did He give the church any authority? If He did, did that authority die when the last Apostle died? If not, which church and which of the elect?
Questions are fun right? 🙂