Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Relevant gleanings on preaching from Modern Reformation

While reading MODERN REFORMATION on the plane from DC to Seattle, I came across Michael Horton's article, Interpreting Scripture by Scripture. He addresses some critical hermeneutic understanding necessary to properly interpret Scripture. "... the Westminster Confession properly reminds us that not everything in Scripture is equally plain or equally important. We have to interpret the more difficult passages in the light of clearer ones. Scripture interprets Scripture, and we learn the whole meaning of Scripture by studying its parts and its parts by learning the whole."

He is particularly helpful in his critique of specific problems with some interpreters of Scripture. "A noted pastor once told me, 'When I'm preaching through the Sermon on the Mount, I sound like a legalist; when I'm preaching through Galatians, I sound like an antinomian.' although this sounds like fidelity to the text--wherever it leads us--it is problematic for at least two reasons. First, it's naive. No one comes to the Bible without presuppositions. We all have some doctrinal framework we have acquired... Second, this assumption undermines confidence in the unity of Scripture. Jesus did not teach legalism and Paul did not teach antinomianism. As an apostle commissioned with the authority of Jesus himself and writing under the Spirit's inspiration, Paul's message is Christ's message. If we interpret the Sermon on the Mount as something completely unrelated (mush less, contradictory) to Galatians, then we haven't gotten either right."

The article concludes with a quotation from RC Sproul. "The primary rule of hermeneutics was called 'the analogy of faith.' The analogy of faith is the rule that Scripture is to interpret Scripture: Sacra Scriptura sui interpres (Sacred Scripture is its own interpreter). This means, quite simply, that no part of Scripture can be interpreted in such a way as to render it in conflict with what is clearly taught elsewhere in Scripture."

No comments:

Post a Comment