Ward continues his proposal with a look at the Trinity and Scripture. In my mind, this kind of approach could prove to be the most interesting. Ward’s approach begins with more biblical work, where he suggests that, “every literary genre and form within Scripture is linked directly to Scripture’s basic covenantal form and function.” In his words,
Commandments declare the stipulations of the covenant. Prophecy and epistles, in particular, expound and apply those stipulations in specific contexts; they are, in effect, the covenant preached in different situations. Narrative relates the unfolding events in which God’s people have successively trusted and rejected him, and through which God has faithfully enacted the consequences of his promises, whether in blessing or judgment” (55).
Ward continues on to ground all biblical genres in “Scripture’s covenantal form and function.” At first glance this seems either overly-reductionistic or uninteresting. I’m not sure which. Interestingly enough, the very next paragraph Ward claims, “Yet to see the Bible as ‘the book of the covenant’ is not simplistic or reductionist. It is rather to recognize Scripture’s profound role in the relationship between humanity and God that God wants to establish” (56)! Ward’s basic claim here is that Scripture serves the church by being the ongoing covenant-declaration. To do so he invokes speech-act theory. Keeping in stride with his previous claims, Ward suggests, “It follows that to speak of Scripture as the book of the covenant, the ongoing form in which God repeats his covenant promise in the world, ought to lead us to speak of Scripture as in some sense a mode of God’s presence in the world” (60).
Moving into something of a summary/plateau point in his argument, Ward states,
Therefore when we speak of Scripture as a mode of God’s presence, we are asserting that it is in the speech acts of Scripture that God reveals himself by being semantically present to us, as he promises, warns, rebukes, reassures and so on. And this revelation is happening when the words of Scripture are read: when God is performing again, through the reading of Scripture, the same action he performed through those words when they were first written” (66).
Ward moves into a discussion concerning the nature of Jesus as the Word and the possibility of using this same moniker to talk about Scripture without, in any way, diminishing Jesus’ unique identity. Ward follows Bavinck’s conclusions that Scripture is the servant of Christ. He draws a parallel between the relation of covenant promises to the person of the Father with Scripture’s relationship to Christ. “We should read, listen to and hear it preached, in order to find ourselves presented again with Christ and addressed by him. As we encounter the words of Scripture, we are encountering the Son in action, presenting himself to us in his call on us to take up our cross and follow him” (72).
Again, any thoughts about this kind of account?