Archive for the ‘Hermeneutics’ Category

Logical Deduction- a simple rule used in exegesis that would serve Paedo-Baptists well to learn

Arthur PinkIn Hebrews 8:13, is found another and yet much simpler example of reasoning upon Scripture. “In that He saith, A new covenant, He hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” The apostle’s design in this epistle was to exhibit the immeasurable superiority of Christianity over Judaism, and exhort Hebrew believers to cleave steadfastly unto Christ, the true light and substance, and not to return to the shadows and symbols of a system which had then served its purpose. Among other reasons, he had appealed to the promise of a “new covenant” made by Jehovah in Jeremiah 31:31-34. This he had cited in Hebrews 8:8-12, and then he drew a logical inference from the word “new”—God’s calling this better economy a new one clearly implied that the previous one had become obsolete: just as the Psalmist (Psalm 102:25, 26), when affirming that the present earth and heavens would perish, added as proof that they should “wax old like a garment.” Thus the declaration made in Hebrews 8:13, is (by way of logical deduction) adduced as a proof of the proposition stated in 8:7, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The logical rule that “unto immediate contraries contrary attributes may certainly be ascribed, so that he who affirms the one at the same time denies the other; and on the contrary, he that denies the one affirms the other”

Arthur PinkSo, too, the apostle when exhorting believers to flee from idolatry added:

“I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say” (1 Corinthians 10:15).

In his masterly exposition of Hebrews 4:3, Owen pointed out that the apostle’s argument there rested upon the logical rule that “unto immediate contraries contrary attributes may certainly be ascribed, so that he who affirms the one at the same time denies the other; and on the contrary, he that denies the one affirms the other. He that saith it is day, doth as really say it is not night, as if he had used those formal words.” His whole design in 4:1-11, was to demonstrate by various testimonies and examples that unbelief cuts off from the rest of God, whereas faith gives an entrance thereinto. In verse 3 he affirms, “For we which have believed do enter into rest,” in substantiation of which he adds, “as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into My rest.” There the apostle again quoted from Psalm 95 (see Hebrews 3:7, 11, 15, 18). From the sad experience of Israel’s failure to enter into God’s rest because of their unbelief and disobedience Paul drew the obvious and inescapable conclusion that believers “do enter” therein.

We repeat, it is only by that principle of logic that the apostle’s argument in Hebrews 4:3, can be understood. If any of our readers be inclined to take issue with that statement, then we would respectfully urge them to turn to and carefully ponder that verse, and see if they can perceive how the proof-text cited supplies any confirmation of the proposition laid down in its opening clause. From that exposition Owen pointed out, “And here by the way we may take notice of the use of reason, or logical deductions, in the proposing, handling and confirming of sacred supernatural truths and articles of faith. For the validity of the apostle’s proof in this place depends upon the certainty of the logical maxim before mentioned, the consideration of which removes the whole difficulty. And to deny this liberty of deducing consequences, or one thing from another, according to the just rules of ratiocination, is quite to take away the use of the Scripture, and to banish reason from those things wherein it ought to be principally employed.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The Lord Jesus often argued according to the principles of sound reasoning from prophecy and the conformity of the event to the prediction

Arthur PinkThe Lord Jesus often argued, both with His disciples and with His adversaries, as with rational men, according to the principles of sound reasoning He did so from prophecy and the conformity of the event to the prediction (Luke 24:25, 26; John 5:39, 46). He did so from the miracles which He performed (John 10:25, 37, 38; 14:10, 11) as being incontrovertible evidence that He was sent of God, and reproved His despisers for failing to identify Him as the Messiah. His

“Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Luke 12:56, 57)

was a direct and scathing rebuke because—on its lowest ground—they had failed to use properly their reasoning powers, as Nicodemus did:

“We know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The right use of ‘Reason’ example 2

Arthur Pink“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matthew 7:11).

Here again the Lord shows us how this faculty is to be employed by a process of holy reasoning. He was speaking on the subject of prayer, and presented an argument for assuring His disciples of their being heard at the throne of grace. The argument is based on a comparison of inequalities and the reason drawn from the less to the greater. It may be framed thus: If earthly parents, though sinful, are inclined to listen to the appeals of their little ones, most certainly our heavenly Father will not close His ears to the cries of His children: natural parents do, in fact, respond to and grant the requests of their little one, therefore much more will our Father deal graciously and generously with His. It is said of Abraham that he accounted or reckoned thus within himself: There is nothing impossible with God. Likewise the apostle,

“For I reckon [convince myself by logical reasoning] that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

Other illustrations of Paul’s inspired reasoning are found in Romans 5:9, 10; 8:31, 32. In all of these instances we are taught the legitimacy and right use of reasoning.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The right use of ‘Reason’ example 1

Arthur Pink12. The right use of reason in connection with the things of God. This is another rule of exegesis which is of considerable importance, yet one that requires to be used with holy care and caution, and by one of mature judgment and thorough acquaintance with the Word. For that reason it is not to be employed by the novice or inexperienced. The Christian, like the non-Christian, is endowed with rationality, and the sanctified exercise thereof certainly has its most fitting sphere in the realm of spiritual things. Before considering the application of reason to the expounding of the Truth, let us point out its more general province. Two examples thereof may be selected from the teaching of our Lord.

“Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall He not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30).

Here we find Christ demonstrating, by a simple process of logic, the utter unreasonableness of distrustful anxiety in connection with the supply of temporal necessities. His argument is drawn from the consideration of Divine providence. If God cares for the field, much more will He for His dear people: He evidences His care for the field by clothing it with grass, therefore much more will He provide clothing for us.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

In sharp contrast with the above, it should be pointed out that in many cases statements put in the interrogative form have the force of an emphatic negative

Arthur Pink11. In sharp contrast with the above, it should be pointed out that in many cases statements put in the interrogative form have the force of an emphatic negative. This is another simple rule which all expositors should keep in mind.

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” (Job 11:7)

—indeed no.

“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (Matthew 6:27)

—none can do so by any such means.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

—nothing whatever, nay, he is immeasurably, worse off.

“Ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33)

—they cannot.

“How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44)

—such is morally impossible.

“How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14)

—they will not. On the other hand, the question of Matthew 6:30, is a strong affirmation; while that of Matthew 6:28, is a prohibition.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

1 Cor. 7:14 – No Proof of Infant Baptism

by Brandon Adams

The previous post explained the correct interpretation of 1 Cor 7:14 as dealing with the legitimacy of marriage between a believer and an unbeliever. This post is a discussion I had with an OPC pastor regarding the text. By the end of the discussion he acknowledges that the text does not prove infant baptism and that he does not know what the holiness of the spouse is.

On Facebook, Jim Cassidy, frequent co-host of Reformed Forum, posted a link to a sermon by Glen Clary on 1 Cor. 7:14 with the title “The Case for Infant Baptism.” Cassidy commented “And that just about ends that debate! Give it a listen….”

So I gave it a listen, and then commented. Here is the discussion (posted with permission). I greatly appreciate Clary’s willingness to discuss openly and to follow the logic. He blogs at Ancient-Reformed Worship.




Read the entire article here.


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