Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 133:532 (Oct 76) p. 356
The Battle for the Bible. By Harold Lindsell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976. 218 pp. $6.95.
Stuart Alsop once said that Winston Churchill’s genius lay in his ability to recognize the obvious. The Battle for the Bible points out the obvious in plain statements, in the lessons of history, and in analyses of the contemporary scene. And the obvious is this: When biblical inerrancy is abandoned, other defections, some heretical, inevitably follow.
Warning his fellow evangelicals that the current uncertainty about and, in some cases, departure from inerrancy will surely lead to other errors, the author hammers home his point with incontrovertible lessons from history, with biblical theology, and with devastating logic. Though he recognizes (contrary to what some of his reviewers have asserted) that inerrancy is not the only watershed doctrine (cf. p. 23 where he plainly calls it “a watershed”), he rightly points out that it is a most basic doctrine because it relates to epistemology and it is the issue among evangelicals today. Perhaps no one else on the contemporary scene possesses the associations (formerly vice-president of Fuller Theological Seminary), the perspective (as a historian and theologian), and the position (editor of Christianity Today) to author a book like this.
Four chapters are devoted to the current problems among the Lutherans, the Southern Baptists, and Fuller Theological Seminary, with other sections devoted to Beegle, Mounce, the Covenant Church, the American Scientific Affiliation, and the Free University of Amsterdam. The expose of events at Fuller Seminary is astounding in its specifics. That the seminary could have abandoned its founders’ clear positions
BSac 133:532 (Oct 76) p. 357
so soon is traced to an unethical cover-up of those who denied inerrancy and to the lack of decisiveness at the highest levels. That Charles E. Fuller could have agreed to allow the premillennial position of the seminary to be dropped after his death is almost unbelievable. How far the defection has gone is detailed from the current writings of Jewett, and the waves he makes in relation not only to Fuller but to Young Life are not overlooked. The implications are staggering and the lessons must not be lost on other schools.
Neither should the lessons of Fuller Seminary be lost on denominational groups which are facing the same battles today. The seminary is a fountain from which the water, whether pure or poisoned, flows and which is drunk by the man in the pew.
Some intriguing questions which arose in this reviewer’s mind on rereading the book are these: What were some of the prior causes for abando...
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