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Posts by Finny Kuruvilla

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Principles of Faithful Biblical Interpretation

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15) Hold in your mind this image from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress: the path to the Celestial City. The central figure of the story, Christian, is summoned to leave the City of Destruction and sojourn upon this difficult path. The ...

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Sufficiency of Scripture

The sufficiency of Scripture is closely related to sola scriptura, but has a different emphasis. The sufficiency of Scripture means, "Scripture contained all the words of God he intended his people to have at each stage of redemptive history, and that it now contains all the words of God we need for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly."121 ...

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The Testimony of the Persecuted Cloud of Witnesses

Early in church history, divergent interpretations of Scripture were recognized and judged as problematic. One powerful tool to find the correct interpretation was proposed by the church fathers. Irenaeus and Vincent of Lérins proposed that the true teaching of Scripture would be found in the church across time (semper), across persons (ab omnibus), and across distance (u...

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The Clarity of Scripture

The clarity of Scripture—sometimes called by an older expression, the "perspicuity" of Scripture—serves as a foundational interpretative key. Yet this doctrine is as challenging as it is foundational. "No confession concerning Scripture is more disturbing to the church than the confession of its perspicuity."75 Once over dinner with a graduate student at Harvard Uni...

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The Necessity of the Spirit

Scripture attests that the Spirit is required to understand the things of God: "And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spirit...

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Christocentric Exegesis

While nearly everyone claims Christocentric exegesis, very few put this interpretative principle into practice. There are two ideas behind Christocentricity: order and focus. To understand the concept of order, the scriptural description of Jesus as the cornerstone proves useful. The cornerstone is the very first stone set in a building, which all subsequent stones are set...

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A New Covenant Perspective

Understanding the relationship between the Old Testament and the New Testament is best achieved by examining how Jesus and the apostles used the Old Testament. Several themes emerge from a disciplined examination of how Jesus and the apostles handled the Old Testament. First, Jesus teaches that His commands supersede those of the Old Testament, most notably in the Sermo...

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Sola Scriptura

Sola scriptura is one of the most misunderstood and maligned slogans from the Reformation. Today's opponents of the doctrine mistakenly attack positions that bear little resemblance to the original doctrine as articulated in the sixteenth century. Being richer and more complex than most doctrines, we will build up a definition slowly, drawing heavily on church history. Wit...

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The Political Claims of the Gospel

Here is an excerpt from the book “King Jesus Claims His Church” The claims of the gospel are in fact political, or perhaps better described as counter-political: 1. The phrase "repent and believe" itself has political overtones. The first-century historian Josephus describes a fascinating story where he learns that a brigand chief is plotting to kill him. He tell...

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