Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 138:552 (Oct 1981)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Beyond the Battle for the Bible. By J. I. Packer. Westchester, IL: Cornerstone Books, 1980. 159 pp. $7.95.

Packer offers “this book as a contribution to the task of restoring the Bible to its rightful place in the lives of present-day Christians and churches—a task which extends beyond the battle for the Bible” (preface). By this Packer does not wish to minimize the inerrancy debate. “On the contrary, you should see the inerrancy debate as the latest chapter in a great controversy about the Bible which has been going on continuously in the church for the best part of the last 500 years: a controversy centering in the last analysis on the question, whether there ought to be any such thing as evangelicalism at all” (p. 37).

Packer does believe, however, that “it is not enough to fight and win the battle for biblical inerrancy if we are then going to lose the battle for understanding the Bible and so for living under its authority. We must be clear therefore on the rules of interpretation, and with that be working constantly to get the blinkers off our spiritual eyes so that breadth of practical insight may be ours” (p. 36).

In accord with this purpose the book presents four readable and helpful chapters and three short book reviews (of works by Lindsell, Berkouwer, and Rogers). Chapter 1 is a plea to remember that “Jesus’ disciples must be Scripture’s pupils” (p. 15). Chapter 2 is a good summary of “Inerrancy in Current Debate….” “The debate on inerrancy must go on, for it is foundational to any other debate. At issue is personal spiritual maturity, power in witnessing, and the entire integrity of the Church” (pp. 60-61). Chapters 3 and 4—”The Use of Holy Scripture in Public and Private” and “The Bible and the Church”—have a distinctive Anglican orientation. They do, nonetheless, have helpful suggestions for those beyond that communion.

The only significant disappointment this reviewer had was that Packer did not go far enough nor deep enough in his critique of the position held by errantists G. C. Berkouwer and Jack B. Rogers. Presumably space was a factor here.

N. L. Geisler

Foundations of the Christian Faith. Vol. 4: God and History. By James Montgomery Boice. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1981. 288 pp. Paper, $6.95.

This is the final volume in a set of four books presenting the historic Reformed Protestant position on many crucial issues facing believers today. The well-written and heavily documented chapters are based on sermons originally preached by the author, who is pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelp...

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