"All things necessary for our faith and life are either expressly set down in Scripture or may be deduced by good and necessary consequence from Scripture..." — The Westminster Confession
Logic as the science of necessary inference is ignored by communicators at great peril. Logic is an integral part of reality. Aristotle after all did not invent the law of contradiction. A true paradox is not actually a formal contradiction. Even in non-western thought where logic is more aesthetic and artistic, a modicum of non-contradiction is necessary if there is to be significant interchange.
Both deductive and inductive reasoning are quite essential for full human expression. Deduction is "reasoning from the general to the particular or from the universal to the particular or individual." Induction is "reasoning from from particulars to the general, or from the individual to the universal" (Webster). From the days of Francis Bacon and through the Enlightenment there has been a great emphasis on the examination of things themselves. This is the burden of the scientific method. Using only deduction ignores experience. Using only induction leads to massive data without discerning patterns and relationships. Good science utilizes both deduction and induction. I will argue that good preaching also uses both.
With the pervasiveness of Enlightenment rationalism and modern science, it is little wonder that induction has become the preference of our culture. Induction is important in the apologetic task of the Christian. Careful inductive observation of reality cannot yield absolute certainty, only degrees of probability. Still a high degree of probability can be most persuasive. In seeking to give a reason for my belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ, I cannot "prove" that Jesus rose from the grave bodily, but I can present empirical data from the gospels, church history and Christian theology which make a credible case, indeed a convincing case. In such communication I must settle for high probability.
Still an important step in arguing for the plenary inspiration of the Scripture is what is called a primary induction. I do not argue a priori from the holy nature of God to the perfection of the Bible. After all, God made the earth and it was "good" but look at it now. Still I must in a primary induction examine the Bible's self-testimony as to what kind of a book it is and then consider whether I believe Christ and the apostles are reliable teachers of doctrine (Warfield). Such a primary induction is not to argue in a circle but is the only way to break into any system of ideas.
Induction is anthropocentric. Hence we must view with uneasiness those who urge that the preaching of Jesus was altogether inductive (Ralph Lewis) or that our preaching today should be primarily inductive (Fred Craddock). Such fits the modern mood but can it do justice to the Bible?