I am working on an essay for my Issues in Contemporary Theology class, for which I am reading about the emergent church. One of the books I’m reading is called Listening to the Beliefs of Emerging Churches, in which Doug Pagitt raises an interesting question. He believes final authority is better placed in the Holy Spirit rather than Scripture. He quotes John 14:23-26, which is Jesus instructing his disciples to obey his word, and goes on to say that the Holy Spirit will teach and bring remembrance all that Jesus said to them.
My question is, what’s the difference between placing final authority in Scripture or in the Holy Spirit? Isn’t Scripture inspired by God, thus being the very words of the Holy Spirit? Could bringing remembrance mean that the disciples would record the words of Jesus and we would one day hold the Scriptures in our hands and read them? He doesn’t address this in the book, but I wonder how he would respond. Another question that comes to mind is whether or not Doug believes Scripture is indeed inspired by God.