MP3s by Eric Alexander
Eric J Alexander has been an ordained as a minister in the Church of Scotland for over fifty years. He is one of the finest preachers of the word we know of an would encourage you to take the time to listen to one of his fine sermon series. He studied at the University of Glasgow, graduating Master of Arts in 1954 and Bachelor of Divinity in 1958. It was in 1962 that he was called to the parish of Loudoun East Church, in the Covenanting district of Ayrshire, in the village of Newmilns. After 15 years there, in 1977, he was aware of God's call to the city centre church of St George's Tron, in Glasgow, where he served as senior minister for 20 years, until his retirement in 1997. During these 20 years, large congregations, of all ages, gathered, both morning and evening, to listen to expository sermons from both Old and New Testaments.
Abraham, The Cross, The Biblical Teaching on Man, Who Jesus Is, Acceptable Worship, Life of Peter, The Bible, the Godhead, the Church, The Person and Power of the Holy Spirit, Him We Proclaim, Studies in the Life of Paul, The Law of God, The Character of God, Spiritual Warfare, The Sermon on the Mount, In Christ, Living the Christian Life, Biblical Newness, Advent, Approaching Calvary, The Church and the Holy Spirit, Relationships, The Life of Moses, Knowing Christ, The Subject of Prayer, On Temptation, A Tale of Two Cities, The Life of David, Seven Words from the Cross, The Bible, The Authority of Jesus, Apostolic Evangelism, The Feast of Pentecost, Priorities, Being Children of God
Two Ways in Which Kingdom through Covenant Misrepresents Traditional Covenant Theology
For the most part, Gentry and Wellum, the brothers who wrote the new "alternative" (pg. 23) to Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism, really attempt to be fair in the characterizations of the two systems they critique. Their overall purpose seems genuine enough in trying to arbitrate between the two systems, and bring them together, however much we may disagree with their conclusions. Which is why I was truly suprised (no, stunned) to find them somehow associating Covenant Theology with "Replacement" theology throughout its pages. The first time I ran across this term (.pg 42) I was taken aback, but then I saw it again (pg. 125) and again (pg. 685). In fact it uses this term multiple times throughout the book and serves as as basis for one of their main points of contention with covenant theology regarding the distinction between the church and Israel and the progressive nature of grace in redemptive history.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 and the Case for Sola Scriptura
Though this debate took place almost 19 years ago now, the fact is that the word of God has not changed in any way at all in that time. On September 28, 1993, at the Bayview Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Chula Vista, California, Dr. James White debated Roman Catholic Patrick Madrid on the subject "Does The Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?" The full transcript of the debate can be found at this link.
Here's part of Dr. White's opening statement regarding the sufficency of Scripture:
2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction, for training in righteousness, in order that the man of God might be complete, fully equipped for every good work."
We begin by noting that Scripture is theopneustos, "God-breathed." The term is very strong. I refer anyone who wishes a full discussion of this term to B.B. Warfield's excellent treatment of it. That which is theopneustos has ultimate authority, for there can be no higher authority than God's very speaking. "All Scripture is God-breathed."
It is common for Roman Catholic apologists to follow an error made by John Henry Cardinal Newman, with reference to this passage. Indeed, Karl Keating, Patrick's associate at Catholic Answers, makes the same mistake in his book, Catholicism and Fundamentalism. And he repeated it again only recently during a debate on this subject in Denver during the papal visit. Newman said that if this verse proves the sufficiency of Scripture, it proves too much, for Paul is talking here only of the Old Testament, which would leave the New Testament as an unnecessary addition. But such is not Paul's point at all.
Paul's point is, if it is Scripture at all, it is God-breathed. Paul is not speaking about the extent of the canon but the nature of Scripture itself as originating in God. All Scripture then, including the New Testament, is God-breathed.
Because Scripture is God-breathed, and hence represents God's very voice speaking, it is profitable for the work of the ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ. We are told that the work of teaching, and rebuking, and correcting, and training in righteousness, can be undertaken due to the nature of Scripture as God-breathed. That is Paul's point.
The Church is not left without the voice of God. For when the Church listens to Scripture, she is hearing her Lord speaking to her. The authority of the Church then, in teaching, and rebuking, and instructing, is derived, despite Roman Catholic claims to the contrary, from Scripture itself.
Now, Mr. Madrid will certainly disagree for, in addressing this very passage less than fifty days ago in a debate on this topic, he said, speaking specifically of verse 16, "I defy you to show me where it says 'sufficient,' in your remarks you said, when you cited II Timothy 3:16, you said, 'sufficient,' but that is not what the Bible teaches." Of course, no one asserts that the term, "profitable," in verse 16, equates to "sufficiency."
When his opponents referred him to verse 17, Mr. Madrid said, "Well, 17 doesn't say 'sufficient' either! 17 says, 'that, so the one that belongs to God may be competent and equipped for every good work.' That does not teach sufficiency. Where does the Bible teach that it is sufficient?" Is Mr. Madrid correct here? Well, let's see.