Losing ‘ground’?


Harold Netland new-testament-matthew-chapter-5-papyrus-no-86-5c says that it should go without saying that the authority of the Bible must be recognized by Christians. He says that the church cannot exist and flourish without unreservedly embracing the Bible. But the central heritage of the church on this subject has come under increasing fire. It is not surprising therefore that Netland lists skepticism about the Bible as one of the contributing reasons for the rise of religious pluralism and the rejection of exclusivism.I take it that by the church Netland is thinking of something akin to the model seen (through the eyes of the New Testament) in the first century. By ‘Christians’, I take it that he does not mean all those purporting to be Christians—those of varying shades of persuasion but of those who believe that the Bible is actually God’s final word to man. Netland may be referring to the church that is yet to come [should it ‘come’ at all] as well as the church that we can refer to as the body or group of believers taking seriously the claims made in both the Old and New Testaments. [Evangelical] Christianity may have lost ground but all is not lost—even in an age of ‘post-modern-fog’—the ‘lost’ ground can be retaken—metaphorically speaking that is…

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