Thursday, 18 September 2008

Blogging the Confession 4 - the sufficiency of Scripture

The first part of section 6 of chapter 1 of the WCF spells put the sufficiency of Scripture, one of the important implications of its authoritative inspiration. In the 17th century this was both a theological and a political point. The Reformed, and specially the English Puritans, were on their guard against attempts by Catholicism and Anglicanism to bind the Christian conscience to works and worship which were not found in Scripture. This was necessary both for God's glory in the church and to preserve Christian freedom. In response they insisted that since Scripture was God’s authoritative Word and was provided for the good of the church, then nothing more was needed and nothing more could be added without compromising the authority of Scripture.

The three texts given to support this claim do not, in themselves establish a full doctrine of the sufficiency of Scripture, however they reflect three themes which form the basis of the doctrine. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 describes the Scriptures as God’s fully adequate provision to lead to salvation in Christ and to train and teach for life; Gal 1:8-9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:2 point to the need to reject false claims of revelation

The texts were added by the assembly at the insistence of the English parliament. However a consideration of texts gives an insight into the method the Assembly held could be used to determine doctrine. That is what the next blog will look at.

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