Biblical Inerrancy and Intellectual Honesty -- By: W. Robert Cook

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 125:498 (Apr 1968)
Article: Biblical Inerrancy and Intellectual Honesty
Author: W. Robert Cook


Biblical Inerrancy and Intellectual Honesty

W. Robert Cook

[W. Robert Cook, Professor of Biblical Theology, Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary, Portland, Oregon.]

In his book, Studies in Theology, Loraine Boettner begins the chapter dealing with the inspiration of Scripture with the following significant words: “The answer that we give to the question, ‘What Is Christianity?’ depends quite largely on the view we take of Scripture. If we believe that the Bible is the very Word of God and infallible, we will develop one conception of Christianity. If we believe that it is only a collection of human writings, perhaps considerably above the average in its spiritual and moral teachings, but nevertheless containing many errors, we will develop a radically different conception of Christianity, if, indeed, what we then have can legitimately be called Christianity. Hence, we can hardly overestimate the importance of a correct doctrine concerning the inspiration of the Scriptures.”1

In a similar vein, John Warwick Montgomery, writing in a recent issue of The Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society, says: “The doctrinal problem which, above all others, demands resolution in the modern church is that of the authority of Holy Scripture. All other issues of belief today pale before this issue, and indeed root in it….”2 Again, Harold Lindsell writes: “During the summer of 1964, Christianity Today polled the membership of the Evangelical Theological Society. Its members were asked to designate the major areas of conflict in the theological arena. Two thirds of those who responded to the poll (two thirds of 112 respondees) said that biblical authority is the main theological theme now under

review in conservative circles in America. The replies left this writer with the definite impression that the overall theological viewpoint of any man will ultimately be a reflection of his answer to the question, ‘What is the nature of inspiration and authority?’“3

To these statements could be added others which would further underscore the fact that the doctrine of Scripture is unquestionably the crucial matter in the arena of theological debate today. In light of this fact, it is the purpose to consider only one phase of the doctrine in this article, namely, the question of inerrancy of the Scriptures. It should be added at this point that in a certain sense it is a somewhat artificial division which would attempt a discussion of the doctrine of inerrancy apart from the doctrines of...

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