Driscoll tweeted this statement by JI Packer. “The Church no more gave us the New Testament canon than Sir Isaac Newton gave us the force of gravity.”
In other words, the Bible created the church, the church did not create the Bible. This is similar to the argument that asks the question, “Is the Mona Lisa beautiful because we say it is beautiful or do we say it’s beautiful because it is?”
Well, ontologlically this is true – the church cannot create the Bible. But it begs the question. Did the church have a role is recognizing and then codifying the books which were ultimately recognized as inspired of God? The simple answer is yes. If the simple answer is yes, then the church itself is a source of God’s presence and authority. I don’t have a problem with that. I used to. Now I don’t.
Of course, once the church is given that status, us evangelical Protestants have to meaningfully interact with the authority of tradition. I wonder if our problem with that is more psychological than intellectual. And I wonder if that keeps us reductionistic in our development and able single-handedly with one arm tied behind our back to reduce our doctrine (after 2,000 years of thought, prayer and worship) to one side of a 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper.