Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
JETS 15:2 (Spring 1972) p. 122
Biblical Revelation—The Foundation of Christian Theology, by Clark H. Pinnock. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971.) 256 pages with bibliography and index. $4.95. Reviewed by Robert L. Saucy, Talbot Theological Seminary, La Mirada, California.
In a day almost completely dominated by theological skepticism it is refreshing to read someone convinced that there is a sure foundation for faith. As the title indicates, this work concerns the question which is primary to every theology—its epistemological base. Pinnock is convinced, and it might be added, he presents strong evidence which should be convincing to others, that the only firm foundation for Christian theology is the revealed truth of God which has been preserved for us in Scripture.
The approach is biblical and theological, bringing together the doctrines of revelation, inspiration, and theology with the stated thesis that “our understanding of revelation radically affects our view of Scripture (its medium and witness) and, in turn, our conception of the character and role of theology” (p. 16). In the presentation of these doctrines there is a deliberate disclaimer to originality, in fact, a healthy warning is issued against valuing theology for its novelty. Rather the purpose is to adduce the reasons which underly the historic position in terms of the contemporary climate of thought.
The discussion opens with a brief survey of the crises of authority in modern theology which is seen to be the result of a rejection of biblical infallibility. “Having spun free from the controls of biblical revelation, theology has been reduced to wandering in the wastelands of subjectivity” (p. 13). The only way out is the recognition of a divine revelation which has been mediated to man in a form with meaningful truth content. The Bible teaches that this has been done through God’s historical acts and an accompanying interpretive Word. Each without the other would be inadequate; both are necessary for the conveyance of truth.
Inspiration refers to the miracle by which the Spirit preserves and conserves divine revelation. “The Bible is the witness to and the graphical residue of the divine act-word event, the locus in which God’s revealing activity now takes place” (p. 35). The historic position of verbal-plenary inspiration is maintained with the demand for inerrancy as the proper conclusion of an inductive study of the teachings of Christ and the other
JETS 15:2 (Spring 1972) p. 123
biblical writers on the Scriptures. Inerrancy must, however, be interpreted relative to what the text by objective analysis intends to teach. This, of course, requires some hermeneutical acumen, but Pinnock evidences the conservativeness ...
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