Monday, February 27, 2006

Carson - Hermenutical Constraints

One of the most important hermeneutical constraints one should adopt in order to avoid such reductionism is this: Permit the various attributes and characteristics of God to function in your theology only in the ways in which they function in Scripture; never permit them to function in your theology in such a way that the primary data, the data of Scripture, are contradicted. Thus one must not infer fatalism from the sweeping biblical data about God's sovereignty; one must not infer that God is finite from the constant biblical portrayal of God personally interacting with finite persons. From God's knowledge and sovereignty we must not justify prayerlessness; from the exhortations to pray and not give up, we must not suppose God is coerced by our much speaking (compare Matt. 6:7-8 and Luke 18:1). Precisely because God is so gloriously rich and complex a being, we must draw out the lessons the biblical writers draw out, and no others.
D.A. Carson

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