The PERSPICUITY OF SCRIPTURE- Introduction
Protestants assert that the Bible is the supreme authority in matters of faith and practice. But is the Bible a book which can be clearly understood? And if it is, why are there so many denominations?
The PERSPICUITY OF SCRIPTURE- What is perspicuity?
When the Protestant Reformers spoke about the perspicuity of Scripture, they meant that the Bible was clear when it came to its central message. Contrary to the dominant Roman Catholic idea which said that the Bible was difficult and obscure, Protestants said that anyone who is literate could comprehend the gospel and the Scriptures. The Reformers were not saying that all of Scripture was equally understandable or even that scholarly study wasn’t necessary, what they were saying was that the essential clarity of the Word of God was self-evident. Bottom line, they were saying that the Roman idea, that the Magisterium, (or the teaching office) of the church was the only one that could interpret Scripture, was simply in error. Responsible interpretation of the Bible by those in the pews was not only accepted, but also encouraged.
The PERSPICUITY OF SCRIPTURE- Division by Secondary Issues
Of course the question could be asked: If the Bible is so clear, why are there so many denominations? Well the answer is simply this: real division was caused really by those who did not accept sola scriptura — or the Bible alone. Of course, splitting into denominations is also caused by sin and not really by biblical interpretation at all. And then I think it’s important to recognize that the issues which divide are typically secondary issues and can actually be reduced to just half a dozen areas. They are things like:  The sovereignty of God and man’s freedom,  the Lord’s supper,  ecclesiology (church order),  church/state issues,  baptism, and  eschatology. One explanation for the differences on secondary issues is that different groups use different approaches when it comes to biblical interpretation. And let me also point out that Catholicism, regardless of their teaching Magisterium, has at least as much diversity as the Protestants do.On the clarity or perspicuity of Scripture, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.