Book Extract: Word in Action

No doctrinal position is able to tell us how to use scripture so as to guarantee that God will be present to illumine and to correct us. This overlooks the essential importance of (1) the presence of the Holy Spirit. It also overlooks the fact that (2) the interpreter moves from the text of the Bible to the concrete situation of the church by using quite particular procedures of interpretation. He selects and relates what he selects from the Bible to the doctrinal or theological schemes he works out, and does so in specifiable ways. He does not normally simply repeat or ‘translate’ the biblical language. ‘Transposition’ is not an adequate term either to describe the construction that theology involves.

A reference to God, the Holy Spirit, reminds the Christian that he is not dealing only with a text. What authority the Bible has, it has because God reveals himself through it.

We must relate the statement that the Bible is the authority for the church to the further claim that God, as he manifests himself, is the absolute authority. This means that God, through Christ, through the Holy Spirit is active in the life and activity of the church in the present. The two claims must be brought together. To know the truth means being involved in and influenced by this activity of God.

Edward W. H. Vick, Seventh-day Adventists and the Bible, pp. 54 & 55

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