Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Delighting in the differences

One of the characteristics of Vern Poythress' book Inerrancy and the Gospels that I really appreciated was the underlying attitude towards Scripture that permeates the entirety of this work. This is evident in the following quote about the differences in the Gospels:

Each of the four Gospels gives us the truth about the life of Jesus. No one Gospel is exhaustive, nor does it claim to be-each is selective. And each makes choices about how it is going to tell the history. Each is interested in highlighting theological significances and relationships to the Old Testament. Matthew is noteworthy for his Jewishness, for his compression, and for the introduction of subtle hints of extra significance. Mark is noteworthy for action and concentration on the main points. Luke is noteworthy for care in historical research. John is noteworthy for theological depth in interpreting the significance of events.

We should also remember that all four Gospels are God's writing, not simply the product of human authors. The differences between them in their approaches to writing history illustrate that God himself is comfortable with using distinct perspectives in revealing what happened and its significance. The significance in God's mind is infinitely deep. He enriches us by providing us four windows on his wisdom rather than merely one. (74).

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