Martin in England #5 – Grudem @ Cambridge

We had a quite a train ride from Edinburgh with a couple of really wild train exchanges, but we made it safely to Sydney Sussex College in Cambridge where we are staying for the next few days and nights. All the colleges here are part of the Cambridge University system, so I suppose I can say that I lived at Cambridge when I return. This college is 800 years old…that is quite a history. The picture below is part of the building near where we are staying inside Sydney Sussex College.

Probably the greatest treat today upon arriving to Cambridge was knowing we were going to a lecture of a man I deeply respect, Wayne Grudem. The venue held only about 100-150 people and the topic for tonight was The Perspicuity of Scripture, that is to say the clarity of Scripture. Dr. Grudem is a professor at Phoenix Seminary in Arizona. The greatest impact, to date, he has had on my life is his single volume Systematic Theology text titled Systematic Theology (fitting). I highly recommend it, as even tonight he talked about why he wrote it which was quite simply to provide a text that could provide complex doctrines of the nature and character of God and other essentials of the Christian faith in a way everyday people could understand. I also recommend it because he litters his doctrinal discussions with Scripture.

I will not do justice to what was spoken on tongiht but I will hit a couple of really great high points. (these are my notes based on what I heard him say so not direct quotes) The clarity of Scripture means that complex doctrines can be taught in a way that can be understood. Scripture affirms that it is able to be understood but not all at once, and not without effort, and not without ordinary means, and not without the help of the Holy Spirit, and not without human misunderstanding, and never completely.

Clarity is a property of Scripture, NOT of its reader who varies greatly!

Grudem called us all to the life long pursuit of the clarity of Scripture because the subject matters, because of the value of the relationship with God whereby we gain understanding through prayer, study, meditation, and teaching, and because there is value in the life long process of it as well as our obedience to it. The clarity of Scripture is no minor doctrine; it is the basis of so much of our pursuit of Him and teaching about Him. Our infinite and Holy God loves us so much He spoke to us in words we can understand.

When was the last time you stopped to thank God for the clarity of His Word, not that it comes quickly or easily but that over time that which is supposed to be understood can be by the student of the Word?

(One quick word about the photo below, this
is obviously me with Dr. Grudem and I look like I have had a hat on all day because I have, but what a treat to meet him tonight.

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