Does NCT Look First to Theology & Not Scripture? (Questions, Part 4)

Some critics of NCT maintain that its proponents look first to theological systems not to the Scriptures. Admittedly, NCT has contributed to this misperception in that it often defines itself in theological contrast to DT and CT. Having said that, this specific criticism cannot be legitimately leveled against NCT. Why? This is so for two reasons. First, NCT resoundingly affirms that the Scriptures constitute not only the plenary inspired, wholly infallible, wholly inerrant, and wholly sufficient Word of God but also the sole authority of faith and practice for the Christian believer. Simply put, its adherents strive to consistently apply the Protestant principium of sola Scriptura (Latin: “by the Scriptures alone”). In doing so, NCT endeavors to heed the biblical principle of not going beyond what is written (c.f. 1 Cor. 14:6) – by seeking to consistently limit its own terminology (not to mention theology) to the language of the biblical text. In the words of Gary D. Long, “The driving motive of NCT is “Back to the Bible.[1] Second, NCT adamantly affirms that believers discover biblical truth only through humble, Spirit-illumined investigation of God’s revelation in the Scriptures.

In the gracious spirit of Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:26), advocates of NCT also strive to employ another Protestant maxim: Ecclesia reformata semper reformanda secundum verbum Dei (Latin: “The Church reformed & always reforming according to the Word of God”; cf. 1 Thess. 5:21). New Covenant theologians earnestly labor to positively contribute to the ongoing reformation of the Church’s collective understanding of Scripture, the biblical Gospel, and theology. In doing so, NCT hopes to help break down the middle walls of doctrinal partition which exist within and between CT and DT. In saying that NCT seeks to offer a via media (Latin: “a middle way”) between these two theological systems, NCT is not attempting to imply, convey, or teach that seeking a middle way between two systems is the way to discover Scriptural truth. Again, NCT adamantly affirms that believers only discover biblical truth through humble, Spirit-illumined investigation of God’s revelation in the Scriptures.

 

Notes:

[1]Gary D. Long, NCT: Time for a More Accurate Way (Scotts Valley, CA: Charleston, SC: CreateSpace, 2013), 4.

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