Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Letham on Private Interpretation of Scripture

"It needs to be restated forcefully that the idea of 'the right of private interpretation' is not a Reformed principle. This alien notion supposes that any individual Christian has the right, privilege, and duty to interpret the Bible as he or she sees fit.... The Bible was not given by God to private persons but to the church of Jesus Christ, his Son.... To categorize Reformed theology as individualistic, with no doctrine of the church, is an error of monumental proportions.
The error of equating the classic Protestant and Reformed doctrine of Scripture the later [private interpretation] is committed repeatedly by the Orthodox in discussing Protestantism. Evidently they are best acquainted with fundamentalist and evangelical sects with their highly individualistic and non-ecclesial slant. Stylianopoulos makes this mistake many times. They need to come to terms with the fact that the Reformed faith is an ecclesial faith, as the plethora of confessions published in the century and a half after the Reformation attest. There is simply no excuse for ignoring the strong stress the Reformers had on the Fathers.” Robert Letham

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