Thursday, 18 September 2008

Good and necessary consequences

George Gillespe (1613-48) was a leading Scottish member of the Westminster Assembly. He explained his view of good and necessary circumstances and how we should use reason in understanding the Bible.
"That necessary consequences from the written Word of God do sufficiently and strongly prove the consequences or conclusion, if theoretical, to be a certain divine truth which ought to be believed, and, if practical, to be a necessary duty which we are obliged unto, jure divino. This assertion must be neither so far enlarged as to comprehend the erroneous reasonings and consequences from Scripture which this or that man, or this or that church, apprehend and believe to be strong and necessary consequences … neither yet must it be so far contracted and straitened as the Arminians would have it, who admit no proofs from Scripture, but whether plain explicit texts, such consequences are nulli non obviae … the meaning of the assertion is not that human reason, drawing a consequence from Scripture, can be a ground of our belief or conscience … the consequence itself, is not believed or embraced by the strength of reason, but because it is the truth and will of God … ” George Gillespie Treatise of Miscellany Questions quoted in Leith, Assembly at Westminster John Knox, 1973, 82.
For an interesting article about Gillespe and others see
John Fesko "The Puritan Theological Method".

No comments: