Ground Rules of Biblical Interpretation – Part 2

(This is the second post in a 2 part series,click here to read part 1.)

Scripture Interprets Scripture (in context)

The second principle we want to look at is that “scripture interprets scripture.” This principle is just what it sounds like. When we face a passage or verse that is hard to understand, we can look elsewhere in God’s word to gain clarity. Since the entire Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit, its teachings do not contradict one another but complement one another. Something in the Gospels might be clarified by a passage from the letters of Paul, and vice versa. Whenever Calvinism is discussed this principle is often abused. Not just by Calvinists but also by those on the other side of the issue. 

That scripture interprets scripture is a very basic rule of how to find out what the Bible is trying to say. Some passages have a clearer context than others. The more complete the context, the more confident we can be that our understanding of a particular verse or passage is correct. But it is often abused by those seeking to defend Calvinism from scripture. We must make it very clear that scripture interprets scripture, but scripture does not overrule scripture. Often the verses that speak of God’s sovereign rights are used to explain away the genuine responsibility (i.e. “ability to respond”) and choices of men.
Continue reading “Ground Rules of Biblical Interpretation – Part 2”

Calvinism’s Missing Contexts – Part 1

Philippians 1:29

“For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake.”

Calvinism’s Challenge:

This verse shows that people don’t believe in Jesus because they “choose to,” but because God allows them to have faith. Paul was telling the Christians in Philippi they only believed because God decided to save them. They weren’t elected by God because they believed, but because of God’s unconditional election they were allowed to believe. This verse teaches irresistible grace, and strongly implies unconditional election.
Continue reading “Calvinism’s Missing Contexts – Part 1”