Monday, August 28, 2017

Comments On Lost Apostolic Letters

"Are missing apostolic letters something that should cause us concern? Are we somehow driven to the conclusion that the process of collecting the inspired books of the New Testament was flawed? Some believers might be troubled at the thought, but the problem is not that the circumstances of history worked against God! The problem is a flawed view of inspiration that sees the act of writing Scripture as some sort of "single moment" divine encounter. If we think that inspiration is a merely a string of momentary supernatural writing sessions, then it would be expected that anything "spiritual" written by an apostle or his close associate had to be preserved. If something went missing, then it looks like something went wrong, or that God's intentions were thwarted by human ineptitude.

Rather than seeing inspiration as a string of mystical encounters, we ought to understand that the apostles were normal people whose work for the Lord was in concert with the general providence of God. We know by comparing the New Testament to other literature of its day that the apostles used vocabulary, styles, and forms of expression that were quite commonplace.

The Scripture writers were not under some sort of holy spell that meant everything they thought, spoke, or wrote had to be safeguarded. Rather, God influenced them through the circumstances of providence to write what He deemed necessary for posterity. This perspective moves the focus of inspiration from the writers to the ultimate, providential guidance of God. We owe both the writers and God a debt of gratitude for giving us the Word of God."

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