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Archive for August 22nd, 2017

This is a guest review by Alf Cengia.  He is a friend who reads this blog and his website can be found at Zeteo316.  Check it out.

The Inerrant Word: Biblical Theological and pastoral Perspectives. Edited by John MacArthur and Foreword by R. C. Sproul. Published by Crossway (Hardcover 399 pages).

Purchase: Crossway | Amazon

This is another important book I picked up from our Church Bookstore. I’m particularly drawn to these apologetics because of my former Roman Catholic background, a stint in a “Christian” cult and New Age years. What connected all these experiences was a downgrade of God’s Word. As most of us understand, this has happened throughout history. Today God’s Word is being questioned by some professing Christian leaders who are capitulating to the culture. John MacArthur writes:

The Bible is treated like Silly Putty, pressed and reshaped to suit the shifting interests of popular culture. ~ The Inerrant Word (page 26)

MacArthur states that the most dangerous attacks against God’s word have come from the evangelical community. He lists: “seminary professors, mega church pastors, charismatic charlatans on television, popular evangelical authors, Christian psychologists, and bloggers on the evangelical fringe.”

Iain Murray’s contribution (How Scotland Lost Her Hold on the Bible – A Case Study of Inerrancy Compromise) is an excellent case study of how God’s word can be gradually downgraded by ambivalent language. Murray demonstrates why claiming that Scripture contains God’s Word isn’t good enough.

The problem with saying that Scripture contains the Word of God is that it doesn’t affirm that Scripture is the Word of God. You may mean that it contains God’s Word; but also items which aren’t affirmed by the church, and thus open for debate. Homosexuality and same sex marriage would be two examples.

Murray uses the example of a bag of groceries. You can tell someone that it contains potatoes. You might even mean that the bag ONLY contains potatoes. But you might also mean that it contains other items. This chapter was one of my favorites as it is especially relevant to cultural challenges in the church today.

Another favorite was Alistair Begg’s Let the Lion Out, based on 2 Tim 4:1-5 and Charles H. Spurgeon. Just preach the Word! Ferguson’s The Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures was another gem in a lost list of important contributions.

The book is comprised of four main parts:

  1. Inerrancy in the Bible: Building the Case
  2. Inerrancy in Church History: Showing the Precedent
  3. Inerrancy in Theological Perspective: Answering the Critics
  4. Inerrancy in Pastoral Practice: Applying to Life

Each section has a number of chapters by a selection of evangelical scholars and ministers including: John Frame, Matt Waymeyer, Michael Vlach, Alistair Begg, Sinclair Ferguson, G. K. Beale, Abner Chou, William Barrick and more.

The Inerrant Word highly recommended reading for all Christians.

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