Yesterday my family and I finished reading in our after breakfast Bible reading time chapter 8, “The Four Characteristics of Scripture: (4) Sufficiency,” and thus Part 1, “The Doctrine of the Word of God,” of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. We discussed the application questions and hymn with which the author closes the chapter (along with a bibliography and memory verse).
I’ve observed on previous occasions that I’d have to give the application questions to report here on our discussion of them, which would violate the book’s copyright. However this time I will share one aspect of our discussion. In response to questions about subjects that we have been wondering about and wish that the Bible would say more about, we referred to the problem of evil happening to Christians. According to the doctrine of the sufficiency of the Bible, the Bible contains all that God wants us to know about that problem. Next month the Life group that my wife and I attend will begin a study of the problem, guided mainly by Randy Alcorn’s If God Is Good. I plan to report on our discussion at Open Theism.
Grudem closes the chapter with the hymn, “How Firm a Foundation,” drawing attention to the statement of the doctrine of the sufficiency of the Bible in the first verse.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?
In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not over thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
Even down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.