The Importance Of Using Properly Weighted Scholarly Material -- By: David Mappes

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 18:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: The Importance Of Using Properly Weighted Scholarly Material
Author: David Mappes


The Importance Of Using Properly Weighted Scholarly Material

David Mappes

Associate Professor of Theology
and Bible Exposition
Director of the MA in Biblical Apologetics
Baptist Bible Seminary
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

During the early years of the fundamentalist–liberal controversy, the defining issue entailed who had the correct view of truth and how respective camps could validate their view of the truth. The conservatives clearly prevailed. Today the issue is much more sophisticated and entails if truth can be known and to what extent and how it can be known. These issues today entail epistemology, ontology, the nature of Scripture and the very meaning of meaning.

In 1976 Carl F. H. Henry articulated serious problems with the postmodern views of linguistics and truth as he wrote:

Never in the past have the role of words and the nature of truth been as misty and undefined as now. Only if we recognize that the truth of truth—indeed the meaning of meaning—is today in doubt, and that this uncertainty stifles the word as a carrier of God’s truth and moral judgment, do we fathom the depth of the present crisis. . . . The breakdown of confidence in verbal communication is a feature of our times.1

In similar vein Al Mohler opines that:

I fear there are some who wish to say less, to embrace the themes of the postmodern movement and the postmodern mood in such a way as to create a new paradigm for evangelicalism. This new trajectory would be de–propositionalized, so epistemologically nuanced that it would have us embrace a queasy postmodern uncertainty about the very certainties that have defined the evangelical movement . . . . We would thus become liberals who arrive late and there would be no methodological controls at all upon what would be acceptable among us.2

If language is denied the ability to carry authorial meaning then the very notion of Biblical inspiration and doctrine itself is in jeopardy. In recent years, I have spent considerable time analyzing and responding to the post–conservative views of epistemology, ontology, the nature of Scripture and theological

method.3 The following chart and footnote sources4 provides a helpful comparison between postmodern assertions and an

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