Over the last several days I have been thinking about the value something has depending on where it comes from - especially in regard to preaching (or things of the sort).
I was reading recently about the need for a statement of faith (and I am not against such a need) and the idea was presented that although ultimately the Bible should in essence be our statement of faith; many people may say they believe the Bible and yet disagree on various doctrines (that could be very important).
Along with this, I was listening to one of my favorite preachers and as I was listening he said that for the same reason (two can believe the Bible and disagree on what it says), that we should look to the teachings of the great preachers in history (and I am also not against looking to these preachers).
But what I was thinking about is whether it is better to hold the Bible as the only authority, look to it to find a truth on a particular subject, and be wrong in your understanding; or to believe something because a great preacher (modern or historical) said so, and that teaching be right?
The closest thing that came to mind on the subject in the Bible is when Paul went to the Bereans. Paul wrote most of the books in the New Testament - and if we can imagine him coming to our church, every word he said would probably be recorded on our note paper. We would probably reference his sermon often and say "Paul said..." and so on. But, the Bereans did not respond this way - their response is as follows:
These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
So although the famous Paul was preaching; the authority was (and is) still Scripture.
I think that I would rather someone (who believes the authority of Scripture) disagree with me on a subject (assuming they have looked to the Bible for its stand on that subject) than for them to believe anything because they agree with me. If the subject is an essential doctrine - we should be able to open Scripture (as the authority) to show them their error.
We should look to the teachings of the great preachers in history, but "with all readiness of mind, searching the scriptures whether those things are so". But that's just my thought, I am sure there are those who say differently.