Necessity of Scripture
I affirm, Holy Scripture is a vitally necessary aspect of the Christian’s life.
I affirm, Scripture is the means by which God reveals His will, therefore people cannot please God apart from submission to Scripture.
I affirm that there can be no salvation apart from the words of Scripture.
I deny, Holy Scripture is an optional part of the life of the Christian.
I deny, Scripture is necessary for acknowledging the existence of God or other facts attainable through general revelation.
Scripture is necessary in the sense that the Christian life cannot be lived apart from the truth of God’s word. We cannot know His will or His plan of salvation apart from His revelation. This is not to imply that the people of God did not exist prior to the completion of the modern cannon, rather God has now chosen to reveal himself in His word, deeming it necessary.
Clarity of Scripture
I affirm, Scripture is clear and understandable for any person who has a basic grasp of language and communication.
I affirm, Scripture is special revelation regarding salvation and redemption and is most clear in areas related to salvation.
I affirm, Scripture is most clear to those who are believers having been illumined by the Holy Spirit to understand the truths of Scripture.
I deny that Scripture is completely obscure in its meaning for nonbelievers.
I deny that nonbelievers can completely comprehend many of the spiritual truths of Scripture apart from the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
Though many people believe the Bible is difficult to understand, it is clear in most of its teaching. There is no doubt that Scripture becomes increasingly clear with spiritual maturity. The Holy Spirit illumines the minds of believers to better understand God’s word. This in no way is to imply that the Bible, on a basic level, cannot be understood by anyone with a normal ability to understand. The Bible is indeed a light to a dark world.
Interpretation of Scripture
I affirm, Scripture is to be interpreted by the illumination of the Holy Spirit.
I affirm, Scripture is to be interpreted in light of other clearer passages within Scripture.
I affirm, Scripture is most accurately understood when the grammatical-historical method of exegesis is employed.
I deny, Scripture is always to be spiritualized or understood as allegory.
I deny, Scripture is to be interpreted based on individual presuppositions.
The most basic rule regarding the interpretation of Scripture is that Scripture is its own best interpreter. No single passage should ever be lifted from its context to take on a meaning that is contradictory to the overall message of Scripture. The intent of the author, the context of the original recipients, and the overall flow of the passage should be given considerable weight in interpretation. In addition, the more obvious and literal understanding should be favored. The particular genre of the passage is also important in an accurate interpretation. Any individual interpretation must be considered in light of centuries of Christian scholarship and interpretation. Not that these historical interpretations are authoritative over Scripture, but they are an important tool in interpretation. The historical interpretations provide a safeguard against personal presuppositions determining the meaning of the passage.