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Entries in Zaspel (2)


Incapable of being broken

Fred Zaspel discusses B.B. Warfield's view that the inerrancy of Scripture is foundational to the Christian faith. This faith is above all a revealed faith. If we question the revelation, what does that mean? Zaspel says:

"... rejecting the verbal inspiration of Scripture would imply that any given teaching may be safely neglected or repudiated. If Scripture is the word of men merely and not the word of God, then whatever value it may have, it cannot be trusted absolutely in any matter.

... if inspiration is disproved, we are left questioning not only the various doctrines of Scripture, but whether Scripture itself is an objective ground of faith. For Warfield it is all or nothing. Either Scripture is verbally inspired and therefore entirely truthful in all its parts, or we are left without a sure guide for faith and without a reliable Christ or apostolate.

Warfield reminds that Christ himself had this attitude toward Scripture:

If we are to occupy the attitude toward Scripture which Christ occupied, the simple "It is written!" must have the same authority to us in matters of doctrinal truth, of practical duty, of historical fact and of verbal form that it had to Him: and to us as truly as to him, the Scriptures must be incapable of being broken

I am often perplexed by others would want to follow the lead of famous bloggers who can draw the crowds and inspire the indignant, but who sneer at this principle of inerrancy. How likeminded can we be with those who reject verbal inspiration? At best, we are speaking past one another.

But then, many would consider Warfield outdated and would disregard him. However, Warfield is not the only theologian who taught verbal inspiration. And the attack on Scripture is just as fierce today as it was is his day.


Many long processes of final convergence

Fred Zaspel discusses B.B. Warfield's view of inerrancy and inspiration, specifically the role of human agency in transmission of the Scriptures. They were not just dropped into the minds of a willing participant, and then blindly scribbled down. There was an intimacy between writer and God:

The intimacy of relationship with men by which God gave us his Word, moreover, assumes a "complex of processes" by which God actively assured the result. The various books of the Bible were not produced suddenly by miraculous act or fiat or handed down complete out of heaven. They are the result of many long processes in final convergence. Before the writing of history there was the preparation of the history to be recorded. And before the writing there was the preparation of the writer himself -- his religious experiences; revelations of divine truth; his education; his physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development; his gifts and biases and vocabulary; and so on. God did not decide finally to give his Word and choose men at random, any of whom would do for the conveyance of that Word. No, before giving a series of letters to the churches he first prepared a Paul -- called from his mother's womb -- to write them; and in preparing Paul, God made him all that would be necessary for the writing of these letters. To provide us with th psalms, God first prepared a David. In his providence God first provided a fervidly impetuous Peter, a tender and saintly John, a practically wise James, each of whose personalities dominate their writings. All these considerations contribute to the many "marks of human authorsip" so evident in Scripture. And so the idea of inspiration entails not only the final product but the entire process by which god gave us his Word through human agents.