which was begun at Reginald de Piperno’s The Supplement, here. My next response follows:
Very well. But perhaps you could actually clarify? Because it seems that your position amounts to:
1. All that is necessary for salvation is clearly revealed in Scripture.
2. The list of all that is necessary for salvation is not clearly revealed in Scripture.
#2 could either be taken to mean that the “list” is revealed in Scripture but not clearly so, or that the list is neither clearly nor obscurely revealed in Scripture. Either of these require a tradition: a hermeneutical key in the first instance, or a repudiation of sola scriptura in the second. There does not appear to be a third option, for a hermeneutical key which allows one to discern all that which is necessary for salvation from Scripture must either be drawn exclusively from Scripture, or it must be added thereunto.
If drawn from Scripture exclusively (thus avoiding the “tradition” charge, as you would have it), then the key needs at least to be as clear as the list if not moreso, and more clear than the contents themselves as well, probably. Where in Scripture is the hermeneutical key given? Presuming, arguendo, that the key which the Reformed claim to utilize does come exclusively from Scripture, one who approaches Scripture ought to be able to isolate it in one or more passages and show how it inexorably leads to a list of necessary doctrinal content. It also seems inescapable that such a key itself needs to be part of the canon of necessary doctrinal content, or else the position is self-defeating. So, we have a somewhat circular process, it seems.
On the other hand, the hermeneutical key could be a traditional method of approaching Scripture and not drawn therefrom. It appears you wish to deny that such is the case, so I see little point in developing such a line. You stated you don’t know where I would get the idea you would accept such an assertion about your position; that’s fine. The problem remains, though, that you stated that although the indispensible doctrines are clearly revealed in Scripture, the list thereof is not. But the list must be a function of the hermeneutical key which must – for consistent advocates of all of the Reformation solas – itself be considered doctrinally indispensible. It is manifestly absurd to maintain that the way to interpret, categorize, systematize, etc., sacred Scripture when indispensible doctrinal content is in view is itself dispensible. This is untenable. Succinctly stated, that position would be
1 All that is necessary for salvation is clearly revealed in Scripture but
2 there is no clearly revealed list of what ‘all’ those things are
3 nor is there any clearly revealed method for determining them even though faith in these essentials is a requisite for salvation (sola fide)
4 and assurance of salvation is a hallmark of each of the actually elect (WLC Q 80 & 81)
5 such that therefore one must know, believe, and profess all that which is necessary for salvation.
But one cannot do so without a clearly revealed definition of all that which is required for salvation, and you have stated that such a list is not clearly revealed in Scripture, thus leaving you with the uncomfortable position of needing an ascriptural hermeneutical key, i.e., a tradition, as I surmised. If you wish to assert some third option, please do. If you wish to take issue with the premises of my syllogism, please do. But as it stands, you did not, in fact clarify anything with regard to the point of RdP’s post, in my opinion. You’ve stated you didn’t wish to argue the matter at The Supplement, but I for one would appreciate a rather more detailed clarification of your supposed clarification.