Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous
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D. A. Carson, ed. The Enduring Authority of the Scriptures. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016. xvi + 1,256 pp. Hardback. ISBN 978–0802865762. $65.00.
The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures (TEACS) is the third volume in a sort of informal trilogy that began in 1983 with the publication of Scripture and Truth, and continued in 1986 with Hermeneutics, Authority, and Canon (both volumes edited by D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge and published by Zondervan). After thirty-one years, and a host of new issues concerning hermeneutics and the authority of Scripture, it was time for a fresh evangelical contribution to the discussion—hence, TEACS. Having authored or edited some fifty books, Carson (research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and president of The Gospel Coalition) is well-qualified to edit such an anthology that brings together thirty-five essays from thirty-seven of the brightest minds within evangelical scholarship.
The purpose of TEACS is to offer evangelicals a comprehensive, go-to resource that not only addresses the nature and authority of Scripture in a scholarly, yet approachable manner but goes after “the jugular” of the most popular attacks on the authority of Scripture (see e.g., Carson’s helpful “Summarizing FAQs,” in Chapter 36). Carson notes the importance of both the formal (authority of Scripture) and material (right understanding of the gospel) principles in evangelicalism. TEACS focuses on the formal principle (p. xv) yet reveals how inextricably linked both of these principles are—that the church should never be bifurcated from Scripture into a sort of cold, spiritless “Bible of the academy,” which Carson traces back to the seventeenth-century writings of Johann Michaelis and the “social and political goals” of “progressive conservative Enlightenment interests” (p. 4).1
Structurally, TEACS is divided into seven sections (Introduction, Historical Topics, Biblical and Theological Topics, Philosophical and Epistemological Topics, Comparative Religions Topics, Thinking Holistically,
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and Frequently Asked Questions) covering a wide spectrum of topics (history, biblical theology, canon, inerrancy, philosophy, comparative religions, etc.) and provides useful indices for ancient and modern names, subjects, and Scripture references. Given the book’s title, the Biblical and Theological Topics section is highlighted in TEACS. This section consists of fourteen essays and occupies nearly a third of the book.
As with any anthology, some essays ar...
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