In the first two posts in this series, we considered the way in which the Reformers viewed the Scriptures as to its authority and clarity. In this final installment, we turn our attention to the need for clarity in the propagation of Scripture for reformation today. For those committed to the Reformation project today, the doctrine of the clarity of the scriptures has certain implications that we should not ignore.

This job though, of making the text clear and easy to understand is not merely the work of missionaries and translators. It is not merely the work of pastors either, though it is that to be sure.

It is the work of all Christians whether you are a parent struggling with how to form the thought processes and desires of your child in a biblical way, a member of a Bible study casually debating the meaning of that week’s biblical passage, or a student attempting to explain to a friend why you don’t partake in the same “social practices” as the others in your school. We are all to give an answer, a defense of what we believe for the hope that is within us (1 Pet 3:15), and that defense should be clear and intelligible in order to be a proper defense.

The clarity of the scriptures calls us to do the hard work of making our beliefs clear. Or to put it in a more Pauline way,

Because we worship a God who has mercifully condescended to speak to us in the confines of human language, of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and in forms of those languages that are the most common, with words and grammar that are intelligible…

Because we worship a Lord who brought his word to us, in the form of his Son, his Logos, made incarnate, a substitute for us…

Because it was the practice of Jesus to debate with the best of the learned scholars of his day, and yet make himself and his good news plain to the least educated, the most disenfranchised people of his day…

Because we of all people, have benefited the most from the clear articulation of the good news, through which we were called to faith in Jesus Christ, justified by his life and death, adopted as sons of God, sanctified in the Spirit, and made to long for glory…

…then we of all people can personally understand the call to proclaim the teaching of scripture in as clear and intelligible a way as possible.

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