House Church Talk - Inductive and deductive methods of logic

David Miller David at
Sat Mar 13 09:06:00 EST 2004

Bruce wrote:
> It is for such reasons that I value INDUCTIVE Bible 
> study and have become very leary of any doctrine not 
> stated in the words of scripture which has been arrived 
> at by the process of DEDUCTION.

I was a little confused by this statement and am having difficulty
following some of your conversation as you throw around words related to
"inductive" and "deductive."  Can we agree upon some definitions of
these words if you are going to use them?

An inductive logical process is one that argues logically from specific
observations to general principles.  This is the general method used by
science in trying to establish theories that have broad application.  By
their very nature, inductive logical processes can never PROVE anything.
The conclusions drawn are alway tentative and so the method of
determining their validity is to try and falsify the conclusion.  For
example, in biology, theories of evolution are arrived at by inductive
logical processes.  In Scripture, the doctrines of the atonement,
justification, sanctification, etc. are all arrived at by induction.  

A deductive logical process is one that argues logically from the broad
to the specific.  It is, in fact, a proof.  Conclusions arrived at by
deduction are known to be true as long as the premises are accepted as
true.  For example, if we say all trees are green, and then say that
this plant is a tree, we can deduce that this plant is green.  This
conclusion was arrived at by the logical process of deduction.  In
Scripture, if we were to say that anyone who believes is saved, and we
also say that Joe believes, then by deduction we can conclude that Joe
is saved.

So, Bruce, are we agreed on these definitions?  If not, please clarify
your understanding of these terms so I can better follow your comments.

Peace be with you.
David Miller, Beverly Hills, Florida.

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