Evangelical Anglicanism on Scriptural Coherence

Contra the irrational paradox mongers(James Anderson,  John Frame and their  ilk), the following is a refreshing view from an evangelical Anglican:

“It is, of course, a basic principle of interpreting particular biblical texts that they must be construed in context. With any text, not just biblical ones, reading individual sentences so that they contradict each other may be an amusing party game, but it scarcely is calculated to help us know the mind of the author. Even so, with purely human texts, we are sometimes justified in finding contradictions. This scarcely surprises us, since consistent, coherent thought is difficult. Yet with a text originating with God, we rightly expect and seek consistency and coherence, not just between say, 1 John chapter 1 and chapter 4, but between, say, Paul and James on justification.
The rationale for this is not a bibliolatry, but a conception of who the God is who has originated the biblical texts. As Paul comments in Acts 20:27, when we speak of the plan or purpose or counsel of God, we speak of it in the singular, and as a whole.
Given the sovereignty, wisdom, knowledge and truthfulness of God, this must follow. For to suggest that God has inconsistent plans, or plans that come to implemented as one or another fails, would be to suggest he is not sovereign in salvation. To suggest that there are mutually incompatible values within his purpose would be to impugn his wisdom and knowledge, and so on.
In other words, the God who meets us in the Gospel, eternal, uncreated Father, creator of all, necessitates a commitment at the level of our exegesis to the unity of individual texts, and leads us to seek for resolution and synthesis in the face of apparent contradiction. This again is part and parcel of the authentic Anglican approach to scripture. Article 20 reminds us that the Church does not have liberty to follow any exegetical conclusion. We read of the authority of the Church: ‘neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.’ ”

By Rev Dr. M.J.Ovey ,  THE GOSPEL ‘WHAT’ OF THEOLOGICAL
EDUCATION
,  GAFCON 2008

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