The Doctrine Of Inspiration Today -- By: Warren Vanhetloo

Journal: Central Bible Quarterly
Volume: CENQ 02:4 (Winter 1959)
Article: The Doctrine Of Inspiration Today
Author: Warren Vanhetloo


The Doctrine Of Inspiration Today

Warren Vanhetloo

Dean, Central Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary

Convocation Address, September 18, 1959

As we stand on the threshhold of our fourth school year and look back toward that date incorporated in our official Seminary seal, the year 1956 has great significance for us here at Central C. B. Seminary. Also, as we consider together the doctrine of inspiration, the year 1956 is again significant, for it was in the spring of that year that New Evangelicalism clearly announced itself. In a summation of the new evangelical theology in the March 1956 issue of “Christian Life,” the world was informed of many changes which were taking place among this group of New Evangelicals.

In the three years since that significant announcement, no period has been of more importance than recent months. Several changes have appeared within the realm of this new movement from many strongholds across America, A scholarly evaluation of the New Evangelical trends by one who is himself within the movement, Dr. Warren Young of the Northern Baptist Seminary in Chicago, was printed in the Winter 1959 issue of the “Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological Society.” Frequent reference to this summation must needs be included in this consideration this evening.

1959 has been identified as a year of changes rather than of clarification for several reasons. For one, last spring one of the Conservative Baptist leaders who in 1956 was very proud to be out front in the New Evangelical movement decided that such flag waving was not universally appreciated, and backed up to ask what this New Evangelicalism was all about and declare that he actually knew of no such movement, For another, just a few months after a national announcement of their position of leadership in the New Evangelical movement, an interdenominational seminary issued a directive that, since “New Evangelical” had too soon fallen into disrepute, other titles were to be found for this movement.

Such new identifications have begun to appear. For instance in the July 1959 issue of “Interpretation” the term “evangelical centrists” is employed. And this past week in the summer 1959 issue of the “Bulletin of the Evangelical Theological

Society” T. W. Bender of Northern Baptist Seminary in Chicago, discussing the term Fundamentalism, says: “John Ockenga has proposed the discarding of the term and ‘New Evangelicalismas a new appelation. This writer has been suggesting the term ‘Critical Conservatism.’”

Yes, Christians in 1959 must recognize the existence of an impressive rea...

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