Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pinning Every Atom in Place

The Holy Spirit loves the details. The Spirit hovered over the waters of creation, and He was the breath that carried the Word of God crashing out into the nothing.

"Let there be light," was the Word, and the Wind of the Voice spun the nothing into light.

The Spirit constantly does that. The Spirit constantly carries the Word of Power that upholds all things. Like the Gravitron at the fair, the Spirit is the Wind that holds everything in its exact place in space.

I like to think of this while I'm sitting at my computer at my desk in my office. I like to think of the room rushing and howling with the Spirit-Wind, holding my coffee cup absolutely motionless, holding the books in their crooked stacks, all of the papers stuck, smack against the desk, unfurled flat in the storm of the Spirit.

That's really fun to think about, and occasionally the Lord gives prophets and seers glimpses into this reality.

But what I was trying to get to was the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture. But it almost seems superfluous now. I was going to describe how the Spirit superintends all the details, all the billions of details in history, how the Spirit conducts the symphony of time and every note lands on the page exactly where it belongs.

The Holy Spirit loves all those details, and so should we. J. Gresham Machen counters the academic fools of his day who object to plenary inspiration claiming that the doctrine is all mechanical, all machinery, all clunky and fabricated. But Machen rightly insists that in fact plenary inspiration "does not deny the individuality of the biblical writers; it does not ignore their use of ordinary means for acquiring information; it does not involve any lack of interest in the historical situations which gave rise to the Biblical books" (C & L, 74). What it does do, is insist that the Holy Spirit so ruled that there are no errors in the Scriptures.

Plenary inspiration insists that the Breath of God has carried the Word of Power perfectly, fully, without a hitch in the dance, blowing, bursting the nothing, pinning every atom in place since that first thunderous shout.

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