Friday, February 3, 2012

A Voice from the Past - Charles Hodge

It is no less unscientific for the theologian to assume a theory as to the nature of virtue, of sin, of liberty, of moral obligation, and then explain the facts of Scripture in accordance with his theories. His only proper course is to to derive his theory of virtue, of sin, of liberty, of obligation, from the facts of the Bible, He should remember that his business is not to set forth his system of truth (that is of no account), but to ascertain and exhibit what is God's system, which is a matter of the greatest moment.

Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, Introduction, Chapter 1: On Method, Section 5: The Inductive Method, Principles to be Deduced from Facts (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1982, p. 13)

Does this make sense? How do we avoid reading our preconceived notions back into Scripture?

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