A Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture, By Mark D. Thompson

A Clear and Present Word

The Clarity of Scripture

New Studies in Biblical Theology


by Mark D. Thompson
Series edited by D. A. Carson

A Clear and Present Word
  • Length: 196 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: July 21, 2006
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2622
  • ISBN: 9780830826223

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By almost any measure, a bold and confident use of the Bible is a hallmark of Christianity. Underlying such use are a number of assumptions about the origin, nature and form of the biblical literature, concerning its authority, diversity and message.

However, a lack of confidence in the clarity or perspicuity of Scripture is apparent in Western Christianity. Despite recent, sophisticated analyses, the doctrine is ignored or derided by many. While there is a contemporary feel to these responses, the debate itself is not new.

In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Mark Thompson surveys past and present objections to the clarity of Scripture; expounds the living God as the Guarantor of his accessible, written Word; engages with the hermeneutical challenges and restates the doctrine for today.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

"Certainly there are few topics more pertinent in the first decade of the twenty-first century. . . . The 'perspicuity of Scripture' (often designated claritas Scripturae) has fallen on hard times. Dr. Thompson's clearly written and robust articulation of the clarity of Scripture will help many people think about these matters knowledgeably, crisply, faithfully, pointedly. The purpose . . . is to handle Scripture itself with greater wisdom and confidence."

D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

. . . a solid and clearly written introduction to the biblical and theological issues that frame the conversation.

John R. Franke for Religious Studies Review, April 2007

. . . Timely and relevant in a climate where attacks on the character of Scripture as God?s word are radical and far-reaching.

Gordon Cheng for The Briefing, December 2007


Series preface
Author's preface
1. Oh Sweet Obscurity: The Absurdity of Claiming Clarity Today
2. The Effective Communicator: God as the Guarantor of Scriptural Clairty
3. It Is Not Beyond You: The Accessible Word of the Living God
4. Engaging the Hermeneutical Challenge
5. The Sharp Double-edged Sword: Restating the Clarity of Scripture Today
Index of authors
Index of scripture references


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Mark D. Thompson is academic dean and lecturer in theology and church history at Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of A Sure Ground on Which to Stand. He is coeditor of The Gospel to the Nations.
D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.