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Apostolically Approved Examples

The Apostolically Approved Example and Activity of the New Testament Church


The forth “pillar” if this chapter by Dr. Reymond refers to the examples in New Testament scripture that emphasize the importance of pursuing, and establishing, doctrinal and creedal statements. The New Testament is full of descriptive terms that demonstrate, and approve, of the establishment of extra-biblical, uninspired confessions and creedal statements with phrases such as: “the traditions” (II Thess. 2:15), “the pattern of doctrine”(Rom. 6:17), “the faith once for all delivered to the saints”(Jude 3), “the deposit”(I Tim. 6:20), and the “faithful sayings”(I Tim.1:15; 3:1; 4:7-9; 2 Tim. 2:11-13; Titus 3:4-8).


Paul, and other New Testament writers under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, demonstrates that certain doctrines and “faithful sayings” can be systematized into creeds and confessions n defense of the faith. The importance in the statements is that it puts an emphasis on doctrine and the presentation of doctrine in extra-biblical communications. The apostles viewed doctrine as important and vital to the health of the church, and the doctrines expressed in scripture may be summarized and expressed in creeds and confessions.


The Very Nature of Holy Scripture as the Revealed Word of God


“If the one living and true God has revealed propositional truth about himself, about us, about the relationship between himself and us in Holy Scripture alone, then we ought to want to know,indeed, we must know Holy Scripture.”


Reymond next declares that if the Word of God is contained in Scriptures then to have a disinterest in Word of God and doctrine is “madness.”


“Not to be intensely interested – and this is true for clergy and laity alike – I repeat, not to be intensely interested in  the study of Holy Scripture if the one living and true God has revealed himself therein is the height of spiritual folly, indeed, such disinterest is a form of insanity.”


Luke 15:17, shows that the prodigal son “came to his senses”, in that he had been out of his mind.


2 Timothy 2:22-26 teaches that the servant of the Lord must “in humility teach those who oppose him, that God may grant them “a change of mind” with reference to a knowledge of the truth,  that they may regain their senses and escape from the snare of the devil.






Answering the Biblical “Fool”


Examples of the Biblical “Fool” is found in the following scriptures: Job 2:9-10; Psalm 14:1; 74:22; Proverbs 1:7; 12:15; 12:23; 13:16; 18:2; 24:9; Matt. 7:26; Romans 1:21-23; I Cor. 1:18-24; Eph. 5:17.


So how do you answer a “fool”?


The first proverb states, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you become like him yourself” – which means that the Christian is not to attempt to provide ultimate answers to the unbeliever in terms of the unbelievers misguided form of truth. To do so will only lead to apologetic futility. Greg Bahnsen writes: “…the apologist should defend his faith by working within his own presuppositions [ that is, working within the circle of special revelation]. If he surrenders to the assumptions of the unbeliever, the believer will never effectively set forth a reason for the hope that is in him.”


We need to respond with “truth arguments”

1) Scripture truths (I Cor. 5:3-8)

2) Historical truths (Acts 14:17)

3) Personal experience (Acts 22, 26)


The second proverb states, “Answer a fool [one who is trying to live independently from God] according to his folly [his philosophy of independence], lest he be wise in his own eyes.”

The intent in the second proverb is to show the unbeliever the outcome of his assumptions. The destruction of his foundational belief system apart from God will show the unbeliever the foolishness and epistemological futility he is pursuing.


·         What are some of the “foolish” discussions we should avoid?