the Word validates

Posted: September 10, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

Wilhelmus à Brakel:

If the Word of God is the only criterion by which we can determine a church to be the true church of God, then we must first acknowledge Scripture to be the Word of God before acknowledging the church to be the true church. Furthermore, we cannot receive the testimony of the church unless we acknowledge her to be the true church.

Thus, we do not believe the Word to be the Word of God because the church affirms it, but on the contrary, we believe the church to be the true church because the Word validates her as such. A house rests upon its foundation, and not the foundation upon the house. A construction is subordinate to its cause rather than the cause being subordinate to what it has constructed.

(The Christian’s Reasonable Service, 1:29)

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Comments
  1. kim/nannykim says:

    So I am wondering if Wilhelmus à Brakel gives the arguments for the Word of God being the only criterion for determining whether a church is a true church? What about the 4 marks of a church–“one”, “holy” , “catholic”, “apostolic”?

    He says–” Furthermore, we cannot receive the testimony of the church unless we acknowledge her to be the true church.” Well, based on what? On someone’s interpretation of Scripture? We get on dangerous ground if we base it on someone’s personal interpretation. Many heresies also use the Bible as proof .

    So I am wondering if he also affirms the 4 marks?

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    I can’t speak for him, but I think one way to tell about a church is if a church can affirm the apostles creed ( seems like a common agreement point on the Trinity, Jesus, resurrection), if they preach about Jesus & God’s grace in salvation.

    That would be some things on my short list.

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