Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 138:550 (Apr 1981)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Reason Enough. By Clark Pinnock. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980. 126 pp. Paper, $3.50.

Those looking for a systematic and rational defense of Christianity will be disappointed with this book. Rather, it is a short, informed, readable, and persuasive essay. It is an intellectual tract that weaves together five lines of evidence in the manner of a courtroom lawyer bent on convincing a jury. Pinnock offers pragmatic, experiential, metaphysical, historical, and communal reasons for accepting Christianity inclusive of everything from charismatic (tongues) experience to cosmological arguments. This book is more experiential and less rational than Pinnock’s earlier apologetic (Set Forth Your Case) and less definitive theologically. Pinnock does not hesitate to open the door wide to theistic evolution and so-called women’s liberation. He spends a disappointing four pages on the important problem of evil, says nothing about the inerrancy of Scripture and almost nothing on the deity of Christ. Despite this, the book is a rather persuasive form of intellectual evangelism. But as an apologetic it falls far short of his more forceful earlier work.

N. L. Geisler

The Inspiration of Scripture: Problems and Proposals. By Paul J. Achtemeier. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1980. 188 pp. Paper, $8.95.

The author’s stated purpose is “to help those who are not persuaded by the ‘conservatives’…and their doctrine of total and plenary inerrancy, to formulate a view of the inspiration of Scripture that

will allow the Bible to continue to play a meaningful role in their lives” (p. 17).

This professor of biblical interpretation at Union Theological Seminary shows some signs of taking the evangelical view more seriously. He alludes to the work of the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy several times. He cites some evangelical writers, e.g., Boice, Lindsell, Ramm, Warfield, this reviewer, and others. However, he fails to interact with what these men say (which often answers the point he is making).

Achtemeier offers nothing really new in his view. It is a rather typical neoorthodox view that the Bible has errors but that it becomes the Word of God as God speaks through it (pp. 163-64). The most characteristic or unique feature of his view is that the locus of inspiration is not in the authoritative writings (as 2 Tim 3:16 places it) but in the interrelationship of Scripture—tradition, situation, and respondent (pp. 134-35). In the final analysis the community of faith (collective religious experience) becomes the final...

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