The Rule of Faith and Practice, Part 4

AA Hodge

AA Hodge

The following information is taken from AA Hodge’s Outlines of Theology, published in 1866. Hodge graduated from Princeton Seminary and served as a missionary to India and a pastor. He later served as a Professor and Chair of Theology at Princeton Seminary. Hodge was an associate and contemporary of the famous Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, and his Systematic Theology text was used at Spurgeon’s Pastors College.


NOTE: The Baptist Catechism asks:

Q4. What is the Word of God?

A. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, being given by divine inspiration, are the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16,17; Isaiah 8:20)

Q6. May all men make use of the Scriptures?

A. All men are not only permitted, but commanded and exhorted, to read, hear, and understand the Scriptures. (John 5:39; Luke 16:29; Acts 17:11)

Hodge’s Outlines of Theolgoy, Chap V Says…


5. What is necessary to constitute a sole and infallible rule of faith?

Plenary inspiration, completeness, perspicuity or clarity, and accessibility.

14. What was the third quality required to constitute the scriptures the sufficient rule of faith and practice?

Accessibility. It is self-evident that this is the pre-eminent characteristic of the Scriptures, in contrast to tradition, which is in the custody of a corporation of priests, and to every other pretended rule whatsoever. The agency of the church in this matter is simply to give all currency to the word of God.


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