Grant R. Osborne writes,
“Luther (in The Bondage of the Will) proclaimed the basic clarity of Scripture in two areas: external clarity, which he called the grammatical aspect, attained by applying the laws of grammar (hermeneutical principles) to the text; and internal clarity, which he called the spiritual aspect, attained when the Holy Spirit illumines the reader in the act of interpretation. It is clear that Luther meant the final product (the gospel message) rather than the process (recovering the meaning of individual texts) when he spoke of clarity. In the last century, however, the application of Scottish Common Sense Realism to Scripture has led many to assume that everyone can understand the Bible for themselves, that the surface of the text is sufficient to produce meaning in and of itself. Therefore, the need for hermeneutical principles to bridge the cultural gap was ignored, and individualistic interpretations abounded. For some reason, no one seemed to notice that this led to multiple meanings, even to heresy at times. The principle of perspicuity was extended to the hermeneutical process as well, leading to misunderstanding in popular interpretation of Scripture and a very difficult situation today. Hermeneutics as a discipline demands a complex interpretive process in order to uncover the original clarity of Scripture. Again, the result is clear but the process is not; this should govern the sermon as well!” (Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral, 27)
Luke is a pastor-theologian living in northern California, serving as a co-lead pastor with his life, Dawn, at the Red Bluff Vineyard. Father of five amazing kids, when Luke isn’t hanging with his family, reading or writing theology, he moonlights as a fly fishing guide for Confluence Outfitters. He blogs regularly at LukeGeraty.com and regularly contributes to his YouTube channel.