Anne Hutchinson, sola scriptura, and my ride to work

"VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men." -- Westminster Confession of Faith

"But how, it was asked, had such knowledge [of spiritual matters] come to her? It came, [Hutchinson] said, just as the word had come to Daniel, that is, "by an immediate revelation"... Dudley challenged [John] Cotton to condemn her talk of miracles and revelations. Cotton equivocated, distinguishing between God's deliverance by the Word (reasonable, scriptural) and outright miracles (delusive and sinful)." -- Bernard Bailyn, The Barbarous Years, p. 454

The above two passages highlight a fundamental problem in the doctrine of sola scriptura: of course, most of the major figures in the Bible did not gain their spiritual knowledge from reading scripture, but from direct, divine revelation. In order to maintain a doctrine of sola scriptura, it has to be held that revelation ceased when the last line of the Bible was jotted down. But, of course, that is not something stated in the Bible! This is yet another way in which the doctrine of sola scriptura undermines itself.

But what does this have to do with my ride to work? Well, if Hutchinson hadn't made her courageous stand, we wouldn't have the Hutchinson River Parkway, would we, and my commute would be so much the worse. So it all worked out in the end.


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