I recently had an online exchange with someone who was arguing against middle knowledge. He included statements like, “Supposedly Scripture teaches man has a free will” and, “That’s no where in Scripture.” You’ll be surprised how much doctrine we believe to be true is not explicitly stated in Scripture. Here are a few things that are not explicitly stated in Scripture that are commonly accepted doctrines:
- The Trinity: I believe God exists in a trinity of persons and I believe the Bible teaches the trinity but only implicitly. You’re not going to find “trinity” or “three beings in one” anywhere in the Bible.
- The Hypostatic Union: There isn’t a clear articulation of the coherence of the hypostatic union in Scripture. The Bible merely teaches what it was and that it happened.
- Dispensationalism: Find the Greek word for that, I dare you. Hebrew will get you extra points, go. (For the record, I wouldn’t consider myself a dispensationalist).
- God’s Relationship to Time: There are passages that discuss God and time, but no amount of exegesis will arrive you at a static or dynamic theory of time and which model ensues post the creative decree. The Bible doesn’t say anything about general relativity and particle relations (Copenhagen suggests particles that move backwards in time).
- The Logical Moments of God’s Knowledge: You won’t find middle knowledge in an exegesis nor will you find an explication of natural and free knowledge either (free knowledge is a given, but that it relates to other moments).
- Supralapsarianism/Infralapsarianism: Count all the syllables and use those words at least once in a conversation today, you’ll look smart.
- Monotheletism/Diotheletism: Did Christ have one will or two wills? Hmm…
- The Age of the Universe: Scripture isn’t our only means of revelation, though it may be indicative.
My point is that our doctrine is coupled with reason and empirical evidence. I believe sola scriptura as the Bible alone being the sole authority and final say concerning an issue. We arrive at these truths through theological and philosophical reflection. We use our natural revelation (record of nature and scientific inquiry) in conjunction with our special revelation, the two are not mutually exclusive. We take so much for granted and lack an appreciation for the early church fathers who labored and debated so we may have an understanding of sound doctrine. So, whenever you get into a discussion about an issue, please don’t ever say, “Just read the Bible,” or “Well, you don’t have a verse,” because if you resort to that odds are you’re losing ground and you don’t have an intelligent rebuttal.