Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Keys To Knowledge
Two doctrines that are stressed by the Reformed and Presbyterian Traditions are the doctrines of "Sola Scriptura" and "Sovereignty of God". What exactly are the doctrines of "Sola Scriptura" and "Sovereignty of God"? Below are some helpful definitions, and later I want to illustrate why I think these two doctrines are the keys to the study of knowledge (epistemology)
SOLA SCRIPTURA (Scripture Alone)
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: It is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited of disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church. *
* Taken from "The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy" at http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/creeds/chicago.htm
SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
This simply refers to the fact that all things are under His rule and control, and that nothing happens in this Universe without His direction or permission. He is a God Who works, not just some things, but all things after the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). God's purpose is all- inclusive and is never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11). *
"It is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things but that He does so always and without exception." - John Piper *
*Taken from Monergism.com at http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/topic/sovereignty.html