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The Divine Authenticity of Scripture: Retrieving an Evangelical Heritage [Paperback]

By A. T. B. McGowan (Author)
Our Price $ 21.25  
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Item Number 92612  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   229
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.69"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2008
Publisher   IVP Academic
ISBN  0830828796  
EAN  9780830828791  

Availability  142 units.
Availability accurate as of Jan 23, 2018 09:07.
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Item Description...
IVP Print On Demand Title Andrew McGowan examines the evangelical understanding of the nature and use of Scripture. McGowan emphasizes the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to Scripture, and argues that we should speak of "spiration" rather than inspiration of Scripture.

Publishers Description
Evangelicals have taken extraordinary care in formulating and articulating a high view of Scripture. And yet the doctrine is not without its inadequacies and its internal critics--both past and present. Reviewing the evangelical discussion and formulations over the past century and more, particularly in the Reformed tradition in North America, Andrew McGowan is not content with the present state of the question. The way forward is to reach back within the European evangelical tradition, particularly to the work of the Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck. The prescription is to anchor the doctrine of Scripture in the work of the Spirit, the divine spiration of Scripture. And the contested idea of inerrancy should be replaced with an informed concept of the infallibility or authenticity of Scripture. The Divine Authenticity of Scripture is not simply a book that argues an academic case for reformulating a thoroughly evangelical doctrine of Scripture. It keeps the pastoral dimensions of the question in view and relates the doctrine of Scripture to the church's confessions and preaching.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Theology > General   [4167  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Convinced Of Our Common Heritage  Jun 10, 2008
'Without God's self-revelation, we could know nothing of him.' p 18

'When we attempt to define our doctrine of Scripture, then, we must do so in the context of this self-revelation of God. The Scriptures are the record of the revelation that God has given the church.' p 21

'If that claim to supernatural revelation from God falls, the Bible falls.'
James Orr, The Fundamentals: A Testimony of the Truth

Have evangelicals forgotten the Sola Scriptura of the Reformation? Granted: the normative role of Holy Writ in determining doctrine and conduct, belief and practice has not always been easy. It has, nonetheless, been attended to by great teachers of the Christian faith, and been equally and haplessly deconstructed by lesser men - none more guilty than the liberal theology of the Enlightenment.

'We must now pause and note that the orthodox doctrine of Scripture, set in the context of an understanding of God's self-revelation, remained largely unchallenged for around 1700 years of Christian history. That, however, is no longer so. Most theologians in the modern period have rejected this classic expression of the doctrine.' p 50

Peripheral to the abandonment of the doctrine of Scripture in the academy: 'Indeed, some of the mid-twentieth-century movements in theology went much further in their abandonment of the orthodoxy of the church's creeds and confessions.' p 61

Benjamin Breckenridge Warfield and John Gresham-Machen were not fundamentalist, yet the doctrine of Scripture was most ably defined and defended by these North American theologians at a time crucial to its development or, abandonment. On the Continent, equally true and no less of importance were men whom God had raised up for this same purpose. Professor McGowan demonstrates that the historical debate is one worthy of re-consideration, and no less attention should be paid to the work of Dutchman Herman Bavinck and the Scotsman James Orr. These theologians were indeed effectual in communicating their estimate of their high view of Scripture, yet their voices still have remained, for the most part, unheard and unheeded.

Professor McGowan pleads that the modern church may come to learn to enhance its vocabulary of Holy Scripture, as we surely cannot expect to remain unaffected by the language development and cultural momentum this side of Y2K. The thesis of opting for infallibility over inerrancy, which McGowan makes clear to be 'that inerrancy is not a biblical doctrine but an implication drawn from another biblical doctrine, inspiration' (p 115) may polarize the evangelical community, again - providing Iain H Murray the opportunity of a sequel.

'The Reformers and those who followed in their tradition, wanted to emphasize that all of their teaching was drawn from Scripture.' p 27 Definitely, especially considering the Catholic history of obscurantism. The presuppositions of Bavinck and Orr as presented by Professor McGowan, are, however, an invaluable part of the evangelical heritage, and deserving of equal theological reflection. McGowan reckons with another prominent Dutch theologian, Gerrit Berkouwer, informing us that he, more than any one else, mimicked Bavinck. 'Berkouwer also rejected the notion of inerrancy.' pg 161 Related subjects such as inerrancy and cessationism might not form part of the Dutch heritage. In North America the old Princeton 'inerrancy' position appears to have gained the ascendancy, especially in orthodox Presbyterian minds, and would seem to be unassailable. 'The difficulty, of course, is that biblical inerrancy is indispensable to theological orthodoxy.' Boice & Ryken, The Doctrines Of Grace: Rediscovering The Evangelical Gospel p 63. And the memory of the attempt made by Jack Rogers and Donald McKim that the real culprits were the old Princeton theologians and the late Calvin Seminary professor, Louis Berkhof, will not be easily eradicated.

This then is the debate revisited, a modern proposal for its defense, with a fresh invitation to evangelicals to truly stand in unity, to guard the flock, and to prayerfully guard the deposit given it. Has Christ not commanded us so in His holy Book?

'It is not always recognized how vitally concerned the Protestant Reformation was with matters of biblical interpretation. Over against patristic and medieval schemes of multiple senses, the Reformers, realizing that nothing less than the gospel itself was at stake, insisted that the text had but one true sense - and they were intent on determining that sense.'
Richard B Gaffin Jr, Redemptive History & Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings Of Geerhardus Vos

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