Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous
BSac 134:533 (Jan 77) p. 75
“What the Bible Says about Itself,” Frank E. Gaebelein, The Other Side, May-June, 1976, pp. 56-60.
“Inspiration and Authority: A Truce Proposal,” Clark H. Pinnock, The Other Side, May-June, 1976, pp. 61-65.
“The Watershed of the Evangelical World,” Francis A. Schaeffer, United Evangelical Action 35 (Fall 1976): 19-20, 22–23.
These three articles are illustrations of the fact that one of the burning questions among evangelical Christians today is the definition and extent of the inerrancy of Scripture. In fact, the theme of this issue of The Other Side is “What Shall We Do with Scripture?” In addition to the two articles listed above it includes several other discussions on aspects of the subject, including a review of the book by Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible.
The logical starting point is Gaebelein’s treatment of the Bible’s self-witness. He makes the point ignored by so many that among the phenomena of the Bible is its teaching concerning itself and not just “apparent discrepancies, chronological difficulties, and textual and historical problems” (p. 56). This internal evidence of the Bible to itself is that it is the book from God which speaks with divine authority.
Gaebelein shows that the consistent attitude of Jesus toward the Old Testament was that “it was divinely authoritative” (p. 58). He demonstrates further that the apostles and other New Testament writers shared Jesus’ view that “what Scripture says is what God says” (p. 58). Furthermore, they “applied to the New Testament the inspiration they attributed to the Old Testament” (p. 58).
Affirming the self-witness of the Bible to its inspiration and authority invariably brings the accusation of circular argument. Gaebelein shows
BSac 134:533 (Jan 77) p. 76
that such an accusation is invalid because “the claims of Scripture are substantiated by what it is and what it does” (p. 60) just as the claim of the Lord Jesus Christ “to deity is uniquely substantiated by his person and work” (p. 60).
Building on the biblical self-witness, Schaeffer affirms the importance of holding the inerrancy of Scripture today. He presents two reasons: (1) it “is the only way to be faithful to what the Bible teaches about itself and what Christ teaches about Scripture” (p. 19), and (2) it is the necessary foundation and fortification “for the hard days to come” for evangelical Christians in this world (p. 20). He feels that a strong view of Scripture, which involves recognition of its full inerrancy, is “that which makes evangelicalism evangelical” (p. ...
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