Luther’s Sola Scriptura Part 2: Clarity

In Luther’s eyes, his opponents believed Scripture to be obscure and unclear (Luther 1997b, 255): the Papists, writes Luther, “adhere to [the interpretation of the Fathers] and believe that in these interpretations they possess something that no one could reject, and claim again and again in order to keep us away from the pure Word … Continue reading Luther’s Sola Scriptura Part 2: Clarity

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Luther Against the Neo-Orthodox on Inerrancy

Many modern interpreters debate Luther’s doctrine of inerrancy: they argue that Luther held a position later associated with Neo-orthodoxy (e.g., Karl Barth). Luther, it is said, did not hold to a view of verbal-plenary inspiration nor of an inerrant text. For Luther, it is claimed, the form of Scripture was not inerrant and authoritative: inerrancy … Continue reading Luther Against the Neo-Orthodox on Inerrancy

Luther’s Sola Scriptura Part 1 – Inerrancy and Authority

In the controversy that followed the posting of Luther’s 95 theses in 1517, it is readily apparent Luther and his opponents are vast distances from one another on the question of interpretive authority. Luther’s opponents agreed with him on the infallibility or inerrancy of Scripture (the nature of being free from error) and its authority, … Continue reading Luther’s Sola Scriptura Part 1 – Inerrancy and Authority

A Critical Review of Dempster’s Dominion and Dynasty

Dempster’s attempt to read the whole Bible literarily fails to consider what the OT is and the contribution its nature and structure make to the question of the OT’s unity. By seeking the unity of the OT in a narrative plot unpacking the themes of dominion and dynasty, Dempster forces the OT into a procrustean … Continue reading A Critical Review of Dempster’s Dominion and Dynasty

Limiting Concepts and Biblical Logic – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1, here.] As an example of the significance of limiting concepts, let us first consider the Trinity. God has given us in Scripture adequate attestation that our reasoning is trustworthy and presupposed in Scripture and human reason is the law of non-contradiction (something cannot be P and not-P at the same time in the same … Continue reading Limiting Concepts and Biblical Logic – Part 2

Limiting Concepts and Biblical Logic – Part 1

What do we do when our logic seems to befool us? when we run the numbers, check the math, yet we are left with unresolved contradictions? In philosophy and biblical studies, this comes up a lot: the perennial response to the doctrine of the Trinity is the accusation of bad math—how can God be both … Continue reading Limiting Concepts and Biblical Logic – Part 1

The Irrational Rationality of Postmodernism

Have you experienced that awkward situation in which, having just presented the good news of Jesus Christ, the man or woman on the other side the table says something like, "I see, I understand how much that truth means to you, but it is not for me"? In this situation the absolute truth claims of … Continue reading The Irrational Rationality of Postmodernism

Luther’s Hermeneutic

Central to Luther's doctrine of Scripture was the claim that Scripture was clear; from this doctrine of the clarity (or perspicuity) of Scripture came Luther's method of interpretation (or hermeneutic). Because the clarity of Scripture is a property of the text itself on account of God’s authorship, Luther’s primary hermeneutical approach is prayerful mediation upon … Continue reading Luther’s Hermeneutic

Some Thoughts on Philip Schaff’s The Principle of Protestantism

In part one of his book the Principle of Protestantism, Philip Schaff sketches the two-sided (material and formal) principle he sees to be the essential positive element of the Reformation; that is, the progressive element the Reformation contributed to the evolution of the Catholic Church. The second part addresses the relation of this principle to … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Philip Schaff’s The Principle of Protestantism

Some Thoughts on Braaten and Jenson, The Catholicity of the Reformation

In the section Structures of Authority in his essay, The Problem of Authority in the Church, Carl E. Braaten argues that the Reformation was catholic in the way it viewed the relationship between Scripture and the church. Braaten argues beforehand that the church needs a way to identify and denounce heresy; to do so there … Continue reading Some Thoughts on Braaten and Jenson, The Catholicity of the Reformation