Brandon E, whom I do not know other than my interaction with him on my blogs, has commented on a number of my posts. This began with Response to Brandon E.
Because his objections represent in some ways typical evangelical thought, and because those objections are buried at times in long comment strings, I thought it would be helpful to separately identify and address them in individual posts.
Here we go then, in no particular order. (The original context in which Brandon made the comment below can be found here.)
We can imitate the apostles in many ways (such as in manner of life and faith in Jesus) but certainly not in every way, such as in the ways that makes them apostles but not us, for apostles, like Old Testament prophets, are in a higher position and calling than others to receive, know, and communicate the oracles of God or to define truth that would become written Scripture. Likewise, we should also imitate the Lord Jesus, but that doesn’t mean we have the right to say that before Abraham was “I am,” or that we are the way, the truth and the life, or to command people to belief into ourselves, or to try to die on a cross for the sins of the world.
It should go without saying that when the Scriptures instruct us to be imitators of Christ and the apostles, or even of God for that matter – as in 1 Corinthians 4:16; 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; Hebrews 13:7; 1 Peter 2:21 – it does not encourage us to claim that any of us are “the way and the truth and the life” or to think that we can write Scripture. And indeed the Scriptures give us such instruction without adding such obvious qualification. Why then do you need to spell it out, and how is that relevant to the point you are trying to make?
I am not suggesting that any of us claim to be an apostle, or a Savior, or God Himself. Nor am I suggesting that I am writing Scripture. Those would be ridiculous and pitiable claims. I am I am merely suggesting that we are to speak boldly for the Lord Jesus Christ just as the apostles did. After all, Jesus Himself told them that John the Baptist was the greatest of all Israel’s prophets, yet he who was least in the kingdom of God was greater than John (Matthew 11:11 and Luke 7:28).
I am proclaiming Jesus Christ as Lord and King of the kingdom of God, reigning in heaven over all creation…and that we should all trust and obey Him. He is the only Savior of mankind and we have no one else to whom we are directed to turn. We should imitate the apostles’ boldness in proclaiming this message.
I am just a human being. I have no special status. I am a sinner like every other human being. The only basis for my proclaiming the truth of Jesus is that He has been kind enough to reveal Himself to me. This He will do for anyone. And He has done so for many, many people. The things I proclaim are all there in the Scriptures. That’s where I found them. I have no authority to proclaim them any less boldly than those who came before us.