Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wayne Grudem on Scripture, Reason, and Paradox

The following is an excerpt from Wayne Grudem's volume, Systematic Theology. I'm lifting it from a section in which Grudem introduces the idea of systematic theology (pp. 34-35). (As you may know, systematic theology is thinking about God topic-by-topic.) It's worth noting that while Grudem here makes a number of assertions and easily affirms paradox, he takes about twelve hundred pages to discuss and apply these ideas.

(The italics in the text below are in Grudem's original.)

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We find in the New Testament that Jesus and the New Testament authors will often quote a verse of Scripture and then draw logical conclusions from it. They reason from Scripture. It is therefore not wrong to use human understanding, human logic, and human reason to draw conclusions from the statements of Scripture. Nevertheless, when we reason and draw what we think to be correct logical deductions from Scripture, we sometimes make mistakes. The deductions we draw from the statements of Scripture are not equal to the statements of Scripture themselves in certainty or authority, for our ability to reason and draw conclusions is not the ultimate standard of truth - only Scripture is.