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God's authority

Regarding the authority of God and his revealed word, Carl Henry writes,  

"Beyond all doubt, biblical religion is authoritarian in nature. The sovereign God, creator of the universe, Lord of history, dispenser of destiny, determines and rewards the true and the good.  God commands and has the right to be obeyed, and the power also to punish the disobedient and reward the faithful.  Behind God's will stands omnipotent power.  The notion that the individual subjectively determines what is ultimately good and evil, true and false, not only results in an encroaching nihilism, but also presupposes the illusion of a godless [i.e., God-less] world. God can be ignored only if we assume the autonomy of the world. But it is God who in his purpose has determined the existence and nature of the world. 

"The divine sovereignty extends to every sphere of life-- the sphere of work, whether in the laboratory or in the forum; the sphere of love, whether in the home or in neighbor-relations; the sphere of justice, whether between the nations or in local cities and towns. Divine sovereignty can be thus formulated because it extends also to the sphere of truth.  

"We cannot understand anything comprehensively apart from its relation to the Creator and Sustainer of all.  Human beings are commanded by him not only to love the truth but also to do it (John 3:21; 1 John 1:6); knowledge is not simply an intellectual concern but involves ethical obligation as well.  Impenitence spells doom, for man can in no way justify his spiritual revolt. God's authority was firmly stamped on man's conscience at creation, and clearly republished in the Bible which meshes man's fall and need of moral rescue with God's gracious offer of forgiveness and promise of new life to all who repent and trust him." 

-- Carl F. H. Henry, God, Revelation, and Authority, vol. IV (Word Books, 1979), pp 15-16.





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