Recent Articles

The Openness Proposal and the Doctrine of Scripture

We now turn to investigate whether the open theist construal of the divine sovereignty-omniscience and human freedom relationship has any logical bearing on the doctrine of Scripture. Is the openness proposal able to uphold a high view of Scripture or will it undermine it? Given the openness proposal of God’s relation to the world, does it have any bearing on what we may or may not affirm about Scripture? It is to these questions that we now turn and I will attempt to address these questions in two steps. First, I want to think through the open theist’s view of the divine sovereignty-freedom relationship as it relates to the doctrine of inspiration. Second, I want to investigate the openness proposal regarding divine omniscience in relation to the subject of predictive prophecy.

1. Divine Sovereignty, Human Freedom, and the Concursive Theory of Inspiration

Is the Bible Really Inerrant?

The question before us is not only of crucial importance but difficult to address fully in a brief article. There are so many facets to it that have to be reflected upon carefully in order to give an adequate answer. So the approach I will take is first to address four preliminary questions before I turn briefly to the issue at hand.

Why should we affirm biblical inerrancy?

Evangelicals and Inerrancy: Contemporary Developments

In a previous article, I provided a brief history of how a fracture developed among professing evangelicals over the issue of inerrancy beginning in the mid-1960s and continuing into the late 1970s.  By 1977, with the publication of Biblical Authority by Jack Rogers, it was clear there were two opposing sides of the debate.

     In response to these mounting challenges, the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy held its first international summit conference on the weekend of October 26-28, 1978, in Chicago, Illinois. Here, approximately three hundred evangelical scholars, pastors, and laymen of diverse ecclesiastical and denominational backgrounds gathered to discuss and hear presentations on the issue of inerrancy.[1] 

When Did the Fracture over Inerrancy Occur Among Evangelicals?

Prior to the early to mid-1970s, the doctrine of inerrancy was opposed mainly by those outside the evangelical camp.  To illustrate: In 1986, while reflecting on an article that noted the changing consensus within evangelicalism and its view of the Bible, D. A. Carson observed, “until fairly recently, the infallibility or inerrancy of Scripture was one of the self-identifying flags of evangelicalism, recognized by friend and foe alike.”[1]  By the time of Carson’s writing, it was clear that such a consensus was “rapidly dissipating.”[2]

Yet, there were earlier hints that a division was forming among evangelicals with regard to how those within the movement understood the nature of the Bible’s authority. Writing in 1967, J. Barton Payne reported, “Doubts about Scripture’s veracity . . . are no longer limited to convinced doctrinal skeptics. . . .They are currently voiced among theologians generally classified as evangelical, among men who look to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”[3]  Harold J. Ockenga, writing in 1980, noted a similar development.[4]  Yet, in his book Beyond the Battle for the Bible (1980), J. I. Packer positioned the starting point for much of the current discussion about inerrancy around a work published in 1963 by a confessing evangelical, Dewey Beegle.[5] 

The Chicago Statement

9/17/2014 | Stephen Nichols

Errors & Contradictions in the Bible

9/15/2014 | Tim Challies

Inspiration, Inerrancy, Preservation

9/1/2014 | Dr. James White

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