Last week I admitted to a friend that when I am reading a book which quotes lengthier portions of Scripture, I often skip over the quotations if I think I am familiar with them. Saying it out loud brought home the realization that this practice is foolish.
Yes, I want to know what the author has to say on the subject, but the author of the book I’m reading is fallible, the Scripture he is quoting is not. The words he is using are not inspired by God, but the Scripture he is quoting is (2 Timothy 3:16). While the words the author is writing may be helpful and profound, they are not, however, necessary for my faith in Christ and the practice of that faith before God.
What has been given to Christians so that we will be “complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17)? Is it Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, John Piper’s Desiring God, or the latest Gospel-Centered work? As good as they are, it is only Scripture that has that power, so it is Scripture that should be given the priority.