God’s Truth and the Christian Theologian

The task of Christian theologians (basically all Christians are theologians) is to seek God’s truth in the sea of competing truth claims. As Christian theologians pursue truth, they must fix their “eyes on Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Heb 12:2 NIV). Christians have the mind of Christ, and so they should look to Jesus to guide their minds and align their thoughts with his thoughts. Christ is the one who will lead his people to the knowledge of truth. Without Christ, the pursuit of truth is ineffectual. All truth is in Christ and belongs to Christ. Christ is the truth (John 14:4). Therefore, Christians should abide in Christ because apart from him they can do nothing (John 15:5).

Furthermore, while pursuing truth, Christian theologians should be tethered to God’s story within the Holy Scriptures. Christians should view the world in the context of God’s story of salvation and redemption of humanity. His story is the ultimate story that presents universal truth. Thus, according to B.B. Warfield, “there is no source of knowledge which will rank with [the Christian] in authority above the written Word of God, or to which he can appeal with superior confidence.”[1] When Christians are introduced to extra biblical truth claims, they should filter them through the lens of the Scriptures—the final authority of truth. Warfield argued that to do otherwise would surrender authority to the opinions of modern scholarship and lead to the modification of universal truth and to heresy.[2]

If “all truth is God’s truth”, then extra biblical truth will align with the truth as presented in the Scriptures, and this should give confidence to theologians who hold to sola scriptura because the Scriptures remain as the authoritative rule for faith, practice and truth. Theologians can hold to sola scriptura while zealously investigating and pursuing truth in every corner of the universe.[3] Paul Kjoss Helseth writes, “They [believing academics] have the truth, they have the moral ability to discern the truth in all things, and they are confident that everything they encounter will be assimilated to the truth by sifting the good and rejecting the bad.”[4]

Works Cited

[1] B.B. Warfield, “Heresy and Concession,” in Benjamin B. Warfield, Selected Shorter Writings, 2 vols., ed. John E. Meeter (Nutley, N.J.: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1970, 1973), 2:674 quoted in Paul Kjoss Helseth, “Warfield on the Life of the Mind and the Apologetic Nature of Christian Scholarship” in B.B. Warfield: Essays on His Life and Thought, ed. Gary L.W. Johnson (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2007), 119. [2] Warfield, “Heresy,” 2:677,675 cited in Helseth, “Warfield,” 119. [3] Warfield, “Heresy,” 2:674 cited in Helseth, “Warfield,” 119. [4] Helseth, “Warfield,” 119.

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