Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On arguments

From a friend:

"One of the struggles that the church continually faces is the temptation to atomistic exegesis of Scripture. This is idea that one text cannot be brought to bear on another. For instance, we sometimes hear it said that we cannot interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. The church has always affirmed that we can bring one text into proximity with another. She has also affirmed that what Scripture teaches expressly and “by good and necessary consequence” are equally authoritative. In other words, what the Bible teaches explicitly and what it teaches implicitly are equally binding. This is related to the idea that we cannot know something as true unless we know it directly or self-evidently. Jonathan Edwards has something to say about that in Miscellanies 1340,

“For therein consists all reason or argumentation whatsoever, viz., in discovering the truth of a proposition whose truth don't appear to our reason immediately or when we consider it alone, but by the help of some other proposition on which it depends. If this be not allowed, we must believe nothing at all but only self-evident propositions; and then we must have done with all such things as arguments...”

So Edwards tells us we can know something as true which we have deduced from some other truth."

Jeff Waddington, Westminster Theological Seminary.


Post a Comment

<< Home