OK, clearly my short-treatise format is not working for me. Nor is my attempt at foundationalism-on-the-run.
The Gospel is our way in. It is the way in to our relationship with God, which gives us the Holy Spirit, which helps us understand the Bible, which allows us to develop doctrine.
That’s what I wanted to say.
Having said that, it is through the Scriptures, illumined for us by the Spirit, that God talks to us. Not the community of believers, not the “tradition” of doctrine and not our curent doctrinal system. These are valid only as and when they reflect the scriptures.
Of course, both the community and tradition (and it could be argued that they are basically the same thing) are valuable correctives to our own personal weaknesses and failings in reading the Bible (read: the effects of Sin on our reading). However, if our best exegetical efforts on a passage challenge the tradition, our community or our systematic, they must give way to the preimmenent authority of Scripture.
Go one, shoot that one down.