Friday, April 18, 2008

The Divine Spiration of Scripture

The Divine Spiration of Scripture is authored by A.T.B McGowan, Honorary Prof. of Reformed Doctrine at Univ. of Aberdeen. At the same time, he is
the Principal of the Highland Theological College, Adjunct Professor of Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary and a Visiting Professor of Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in the USA. He also serves as Vice President of the World Reformed Fellowship. (his appointments at all these hyper-Reformed institutions means that he is outrightly Reformed top-down, left-right, in-out!!!)
The book is his evaluation of the doctrine of Scripture among Evangelical circles. Although McGowan being from the tradition of the Reformed, his book is being nonsensically and negatively criticized by other Reformed people like John R. de Witt. Just a note, de Witt's review was published by Banner of Truth press, the publisher that specializes in publishing century(ies) old books.

Anyway, in the book, McGowan thinks the term 'inerrancy' is not a biblical term and not required in confessional document (p.105-106). That alone would have set the inerrantists on wild fire. When I got to know that McGowan, the Vice President of the World Reformed Fellowship, thinks that inerrancy is irrelevant to Christian faith, I naturally feel 'justified' and at the same time anticipate to see the red faces of Reformed people like de Witt and those from Reformation21. It's amusing to see them being irritated...hahaha..

Alright, you are encouraged to read McGowan's book because he
  • reconsiders the place of Scripture in theological systems, and argues that it should be relocated, in order to emphasize that it is an aspect of God's self-revelation and the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • revisits the vocabulary used to articulate the doctrine, with some proposals for new terminology.

  • examines the important differences between two evangelical positions, 'inerrancy' and 'infallibility', with some further proposals for strengthening an evangelical doctrine.

  • addresses two key issues – the relationship between Scripture and our creeds and confessions, and how Scripture is preached in the context of the life of the church.
And seldom there are Reformed theologians who will explore this subject so constructively. If you are still not convinced, go grab it for no other reason that it annoys inerrantists like de Witt!


Kar Yong said...

I regret in not taking up your offer to visit SKS while I was in Singapore.....

Would have loved to pick up this book as well...

Is "inerrancy" your next target...? hahaha

Sze Zeng said...

Ya, they have a few copies there. "Inerrancy" is a naughty word. And as a bible-believing Christians, we have to get rid of it :)