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All Articles For Guided Into All Truth

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We have been considering the reformers’ doctrine of Scripture and its interpretation. Rome taught that Scripture was a dark book which would not be understood by the ordinary believer. According to Rome, Scripture needed to be supplemented by the traditions of the church which served as an additional revelation alongside of Scripture. Moreover, Rome taught that only the hierarchy of the church, popes, and councils could explain that Word of God. The believer therefore might not draw his own interpretation and understanding out of the Word of God but must trust in the pronouncements of the church, even if they...

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Thus far in considering the early church’s approach to Scripture, we have treated the church as a unity. This it was fundamentally, both in doctrine and in its approach to Scripture. The difference between the eastern Greek-speaking churches and the western Latin-speaking churches were matters of temperament and character, not doctrine. Both branches received the doctrines of the Trinity formulated at Nicea and the Christology of Chalcedon.

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Rev. Terpstra is pastor or the Protestant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth . . . .” Nothing better proves the veracity of this promise of Christ recorded in John 16:13than the history of the labors of the Christian church in clarifying, setting forth, and developing the truth of Scripture. If we are the least bit acquainted with the development of the truth of God’s Word throughout the ages, then we have some idea how often this promise has been specifically fulfilled. In leading the church...

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Thomas C. Miersma is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The philosophy of Descartes (1596-1650) which we considered in this column last time proceeded from the principle that man can by his own reason and without the need of divine revelation arrive at truth. Descartes’ starting point was that of unbelieving doubt which calls into question th’e reality and existence of everything and seeks some starting point, some fixed point, from which to arrive at truth. That starting point he found in his own process of thinking and experience and the very existence of that process...

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Thomas C. Miersma is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The principle of rationalism by which man, by his own reason and thought can come to a knowledge of the truth without divine revelation, led, as we have seen, to the making of an idol, of a philosophical god, after man’s own imagination. Thus it led to the worship of the creature and not the Creator. It is not surprising therefore that it would also lead to the resurrection of old heresies rooted in pre-Christian paganism. This tendency manifested itself in the philosophy of Leibnitz. In...

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Thomas C. Miersma is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The historical-grammatical approach to Scripture we have been considering sets before us certain principles for arriving at the meaning of the Word of God by allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture. The principles we have considered are by their very nature somewhat general. Scripture, while it is one Word of God, is at the same time rich and diverse. The Scriptures contain parables, visions, psalms, symbols, types, and other’ elements which are all to be approached in the light of the general principles we have considered. These...

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Thomas C. Miersma is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. With this article we begin to direct our attention to the doctrine of Scripture and its development following the period of the Reformation. There are two basic elements which necessarily shape any consideration of this period in the development of the doctrine of the Word of God. In the first place, the Reformation laid down the fundamental principles of sound Biblical interpretation and the doctrine of Scripture. As reformed believers this forms our starting point. The reformed doctrine of Scripture was elicited from Scripture itself. It...

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Rev. Terpstra is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Pella, Iowa. “Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith; . . . And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Essence. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.”

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Thomas C. Miersma is pastor of the First Protestant Reformed Church, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Modern philosophy begins as we have seen with man, man’s reason, and man’s experience. As such, in its very starting point, it has no place for divine revelation or the need of the Scriptures. The claim of the Word of God therefore to be divine revelation is one which philosophy opposes and against which it strives. Throughout the eighteenth century and the era which preceded it, the drive of worldly philosophy was to set man’s wisdom and experience upon the throne as the sole standard of...

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