Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Holy Scripture: It's Not All About Jesus?

Pastor Gary E. Gilley, author of This Little Church Went to Market and This Little Church Stayed Home, and Senior Pastor of Southern View Chapel in Springfield, IL, recently reviewed Michael Horton's (Whitehorse Inn) book, Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church.

Speaking of Michael Horton's study of sermons on the Prodigal Son in which he found them presenting a therapeutic message rather than a Christ-centered one, Pastor Gilley made this statement:

This is a good point, but Horton himself is in danger of importing the gospel message of reconciliation through the cross into the Prodigal Son account, even though it is not there (Christless Christianity, p. 56). This is no doubt due to Horton’s view, commonly held, that the whole Bible is about Jesus (CC, p. 143). With this approach to Scripture the meaning of the biblical texts cannot stand on their own - they must somehow always directly point to Christ. This leads to allegorizing and excessive typology (CC, pp. 148-152). I am not disagreeing that in the big picture all of Scripture is framed by Christ and the gospel, but we must be careful not to press each detail so hard that we distort the authorial meaning of individual texts. (review)

This statement didn't (and still doesn't) sit well with me. How about you? Do you agree with Pastor Gilley's assertion that the whole of the Bible is not about Jesus? That's what he's saying, right?! What say you?

For more on the Prodigal Son, read John MacArthur's book, A Tale of Two Sons.


At 9/22/2010 3:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree in part with Gilley. But only in part. Especially with the Prodigal son. Jesus wasnt talking about himself in the parable, so to teach the parable as a direct correlation to himself would be missing the whole of the story line. But, what makes the parable wonderful is the 'father' in the story. This circles back around and displays the love of the Heavenly Father for his people. But, as we learn later that the Father gave his Son that the two lost sons might be reconciled both to themselves and to the 'father'.

Im saying, Jesus Christ is central, but doesnt need to be forced. We should allow the context to speak clearly for what it is, then as revelation is given to us to connect the remainder of scripture, tie-ins can be made and Christ revealed just as the scripture handles Christ.

As reformed we want to be on-target with preaching Christ, but we also want to be on target in all contexts where the immediate context has a message 'from Jesus' not just about Jesus. Both of them serve to center Christ as declarer of God's word and fulfiller of God's word.



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