All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. –WCF 1.7
The Doctrine of the Perspicuity of Scripture (DOTPOS) in many ways resides at the core of the origins of Protestant and Reformed identity. The above excerpt from the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) represents an articulation of DOTPOS directly relevant for many of us in the Reformed world.
For several years I have pondered the implications of DOTPOS for the place of the historical study of the Bible in the church and as part of how the church engages its Bible. My thought has tracked down several related paths, a couple of them stemming from particular parts of the WCF articulation of DOTPOS. I plan to do several posts on DOTPOS, especially its articulation in the WCF, and the historical study of the Bible. In this post I would like to share one of my particular ponderings that remains in an insipient stage. What do you all think of this?
I think a POSITIVE use of DOTPOS is helpful and edifying for the church while a NEGATIVE use of DOTPOS is unhelpful and Spiritually stiffling. (more…)