The low view of God in the Old Testament, found among those touting a so-called “Christocentric hermeneutic”, comes from too high a view of themselves.
They often take personal offense at how God dealt with humanity in the Old Testament – including His sometimes fierce display of holiness and punishment of sin and rebellion.
So they make God in the Old Testament an aberration. They substitute their own perceptions of Christ – rooted in their post-modern sensibilities – for the totality of Scripture, and make their resulting “Christology” higher revelation than God’s own external Word of Scripture.
They have joined Adam and Eve in choosing the moral autonomy of deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, and have the further hubris of then imposing it on God Himself.
In elevating their sensibilities over God’s external Word, however, and seeking the right to create Christ in their own image, they minimize His grace.
They forget that grace has no meaning apart from our depravity.
They forget that God owes us nothing but wrath, judgment and eternal damnation because of our rebellion – and are offended that He exhibited those qualities in the Old Testament.
They forget that God in His sovereignty is not answerable to our sensibilities.
When we understand sovereignty and depravity, and the resulting wrath, judgment and damnation that we all deserve, we finally understand the wonder, power and beauty of God’s authentic grace.
We can embrace God’s wrath, and His love.
We can accept His judgment, and His mercy.
We can submit to the plenary authority of His written Word, while knowing His presence within us.
If you deny the authority of God’s self revelation of Scripture, however, your grace is cheap, your faith ineffective and your churches anemic.
It is time to affirm Christ once again, not as we want Him to be, but as He has chosen to reveal Himself to be – throughout the totality of Scripture.
Only then, as we authentically know Jesus, can we grasp His truly amazing grace.
~ Jim Wright
- Beyond Scripture (Part 1) (crossroadjunction.com)
- Beyond Scripture (Part 2) (crossroadjunction.com)
- Plenary Authority (crossroadjunction.com)
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I agree with you about the plenary authority of Scripture…although I had to look up ‘plenary’ to find it means full or absolute. The problem I face is not that of rejecting the full authority of the Old Testament… along with the New… but of reconciling it in my mind with the verses which outline how the New Covenant replaced the Old and about how Jesus Christ showed us the Father. If our picture of God doesn’t line up with what we see in Jesus then I think we need to let Him paint a different picture. That must be what it means to be a follower of Christ .
John 14:8-9(NET) Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be content.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you for so long, and you have not known me, Philip? The person who has seen me has seen the Father! How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Hebrews 8:6-7,13(NET) But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one…. When he speaks of a new covenant, he makes the first obsolete. Now what is growing obsolete and aging is about to disappear.
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