Our Source of Authority: The Bible -- By: Clark H. Pinnock

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 124:494 (Apr 1967)
Article: Our Source of Authority: The Bible
Author: Clark H. Pinnock

Our Source of Authority: The Bible

Clark H. Pinnock

[Clark H. Pinnock, Associate Professor of Theology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, New Orleans, Lousiana.]

The Importance of the Bible

The issue of Biblical inspiration and authority lies close to the heart of Christian theology. It is a continental divide running through the center of its landscape. Where we stand on the divine integrity of Scripture will determine the nature and content of the gospel we proclaim to the world. Because the doctrine of inspiration is so central to all subsequent formulation of Christian truth, it is well to increase the clarity of our conviction regarding it. Inspiration is not an empty cliche to be carelessly used. It is a veritable miracle of God securing the divine Word written. Our salvation does not rest upon an existential experience insufficiently understood, nor upon a historical redemption inaccurately recorded, nor upon truth imperfectly known. It is grounded in the finished work of Jesus Christ, accredited and certified in our hearts by the Spirit, and transmitted in human language by men who spoke from God. Scripture is the capstone of the program, of redemption which culminated in Jesus Christ. As it is our privilege to consult the transcript of the voice of the living God, so it is our responsibility to maintain a pure testimony regarding it.

The urgency of the need for a clear stand becomes daily more apparent. Exponents of a radical, speculative theology speak with increasing arrogance and impunity from beneath the umbrellas of the historic denominations. The distinctive mark of theology in our day is its dreadful ambiguity. Something needs to be done to check the pretended autonomy of this unbiblical thought. The chaos of American theology

today can be traced back to its roots in the rejection of Biblical infallibility. For Christian theology rests upon the truth claim implicit in the doctrine of inspiration. Scripture is the principium of theology. Only because the Bible embodies objectively true communication about the nature of God, the condition of man, and the provision of His salvation, is it possible to begin the theological task. The question of inspiration is then not the plaything of the theological specialist; it is the eminently practical foundation on which the gospel rests. The preacher dare not appeal to the intellect for the saving information on which a man’s destiny depends. His natural mind is the source of endless confusion concerning the ultimate questions which matter most. It is set forth objectively in the written Word of God. As the all-sufficient act of redemption accomplished in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ constitutes th...

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