By Good and Necessary Consequence: A Preliminary Genealogy of Biblicist Foundationalism

  • By Good and Necessary Consequence: A Preliminary Genealogy of Biblicist Foundationalism

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By Good and Necessary Consequence presents a critical examination of the reasoning behind the "good and necessary consequence" clause in the Westminster Confession of Faith and makes five observations regarding its suitability for contemporary Reformed and evangelical adherents. 1) In the seventeenth century, religious leaders in every quarter were expected to respond to a thoroughgoing, cultural skepticism. 2) In response to the onslaught of cultural and epistemological skepticism, many looked to mimic as far as possible the deductive methods of mathematicians. 3) The use to which biblicist foundationalism was put by the Westminster divines is at variance with the classical invention, subsequent appropriation, and contemporary estimation of axiomatic and deductive methodology. 4) Although such methodological developments in theology might have seemed natural during the seventeenth century, their epistemological advantage is not evident today. 5) When a believer's faith is epistemologically ordered in a biblicist foundationalist way, once the foundation--the axiomatic use of a veracious scripture--is called into question, the entire faith is in serious danger of crashing down. In a nutshell, Bovell argues that it is not wise to structure the Christian faith in this biblicist foundationalist way, and that it is high time alternate approaches be sought.