Question Authority?

In our contemporary society, it is almost automatically assumed, primarily under Immanuel Kant’s influence, that the mature adult must attain moral autonomy and question critically every directive that authority makes. When I was much younger, I think I would have found this a persuasive position, especially in the wake of the civil rights revolution, the Vietnam War and, of course, Watergate. Yet in the real world this is impossible. It is impossible to question authority in general. If we see fit to question specific manifestations of authority—as indeed we must—then we necessarily do so based on some other authority which we accord priority. This is what the apostles did in the book of Acts when they claimed to be obeying God rather than mere human beings (e.g., Acts 5:27-29).

David Koyzis

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.


  1. Layton Talbert on April 29, 2015 at 7:51 am

    The opposite of trusting God’s words is not merely distrusting God; it is choosing to trust someone else instead. For people, that started in Genesis 3.

    • Mark Ward on April 29, 2015 at 9:12 am

      That was a good line in your MCBC SS—I used it in Biblical Worldview: Creation, Fall, Redemption, with proper attribution.

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