Posted by: thefourwinds | November 27, 2010

Why the Term “Analogy of Faith”?

To my fellow Reformed believers, I have a question.  Why do we continue to use the term “analogy of faith”?

Let me preface this by saying I am not afraid of large words in general or specifically theological vocabulary.  For example, I am interested by debates on the difference between propitiation and expiation.  Rather, I’m coming from a pedagogical perspective.

The concept “Scripture interprets Scripture” (which is what the analogy of faith refers to, as I understand it) is a readily understood concept, and the title makes intuitive sense.  Nevertheless, even if I thoroughly understand the principle “Scripture interprets Scripture,” I may have no idea what someone may mean by the term “analogy of faith.”  It’s not an intuitive term.

So I must create a new neural pathway that indicates “analogy of faith” = “Scripture interprets Scripture.”  But what is the value of doing this?  Is it only so that I can understand what the Reformers meant when they spoke of the analogy of faith?  Or is there another purpose I’m missing?

My 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter are growing up learning the concept “Scripture interprets Scripture.”  They can easily understand it (as could my 6-year-old, I expect, if I outlined it for her), and the 13-year-old could probably explain it pretty clearly if asked.  So why should I teach them the term “analogy of faith”?  Is the reasoning strictly historical?



  1. Wow, just a comment – I’ve never heard of “the analogy of faith” but have heard and applied a lot on “Scripture interprets Scripture.” Like you, I don’t find the term “analogy of faith” a useful synonym for the latter.

  2. Actually, some have been careful to make a distinction between analogy of scripture, and analogy of faith. Analogy of faith is make sure one part of “the faith” matches up with other parts of “the faith.” See this brief description on the Monergism site.

    • Thanks, Jeff. I have read the monergism description. I wrote this post after reading it. But thanks for raising my awareness to the term “analogy of Scripture.” That makes a bit more intuitive sense.

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