People can use empiricism. They can employ philosophy. Others can claim revelation or epiphanies. All these things are used to substantiate truth claims. Further, all of these methods certainly help all of us explore truth. However, none of these contain unadulterated truth on their own.
It is my claim, based upon my faith and the testimony of generations of men who have shared it, that the Scripture is our sole unadulterated source of truth.
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. (2 Tim 3:16)
Yes, the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth (John 16:13), but how do we know that your revelation is truly from the Spirit? The Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth, but how do we know that your church fathers and tradition were not in error on certain points?
The Spirit certainly convicts us of our sin and opens our eyes to God’s truths, but we cannot claim that by virtue of the Holy Spirit being real that every revelation or tradition made in His name is true.
So, are we in perpetual doubt over what is true and what’s false? No! We have the Scripture. If you have laid eyes on the Scripture, you have been witness to unadulterated truth. If there have been translation or manuscript issues along the way where we are not sure if the verse ends this way or that way, anyone who has read the possible different translations or word orders quickly notices that we do not see anything faith-shattering or meaning-changing. God is true to His promise and does indeed lead us into all truth by preserving the only infallible record of divine revelation we have.
Now consider this: If we seek truth anywhere else, what assurance do we have of it actually being true? None.
Let’s consider the issue of Molinism:
They have a whole philosophical system that attempts to preserve God’s omniscience and omnipotence but at the same time preserving man’s complete autonomy. However, as James White points out in the video, if you read the Scripture alone you would never ever arrive to Molinism. It is a foreign philosophical system imposed upon the Scripture. Which begs the question. Why should I even consider it?
And so, it brings me to a comment left on my blog:
Here is all you need to know. Forget wading through Augustine, the Dominicans vs Molinists, etc. 1 God wants all men (100%.) saved. All men are not saved. Ergo, freewill. Man is given a choice to resits or assent (cooperate).
If this is false, why didn’t God just create man already in heaven or hell?
My response was this:
Why do we waste our time with rhetorical questions? God revealed to us the truth in His Scripture. If we cannot find such a notion in the Scripture, why am I even compelled to consider it? God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4), yet God deliberately does not want certain people to repent (Isaiah 6:9-13). Already, I know it is God’s will to have certain people not repent.
Both are true and there is not a contradiction. We know this to be true because both are in the Scripture. As for “free will” explaining everything, I suggest you read “Free Will is Not the Problem.”
I am sure you will notice that I will not make any broad assertions of truth without deriving it from the Scripture and a consistent reading of it. For me, the only workable philosophical system is the practice of creating consistent interpretations from the Scripture. If you have an understanding that can make sense of several different parts of the Scripture that according to some can even contradict one another, chances are you are correct in your reading.
It reminds me of my article “Why I am a [Calvinistic] Christian Part IV.” I was responding to a series of articles from an ex-Calvinist presently Eastern Orthodox writer in which he had a litany of objections and almost nothing in his objections from the Scriptures, or even the Church Fathers by the way. When I took him to task and the site moderator of OrthodoxyandHeterodoxy.org for not addressing the Scripture or even the Church Fathers, I was banned from leaving comments on their website. Point is, I wrote in my own article about the issue of Gnomic Will and Christology that I found the issue “so unimportant and Biblically obscure, I am simply not addressing it out of my own ignorance and lack of concern.”
This is to me the proper response to such questions. If the Scripture does not address something specifically, it’s importance as well as the ability to verify such a doctrine are questionable.
So, let’s all drop the philosophy and meaningless rhetorical questions. We have God’s truth at our fingertips. Revelation is a superior source of knowledge than what could be cooked up in any laboratory or symposium. Thank you God for preserving your Scriptures and condescending Yourself to our level.