Friday, July 31, 2009

My essay topic for theology class

Freshies, like myself, are required to write a 4000 words essay for Theology I class. Our lecturer gave a list of topics as suggestion, but we are also free to choose our own topic.

This afternoon I've decided to pick one of the suggested list. It comes in the form of a question, "What do we mean when we say that the Bible is the Word of God?"

I've spent the entire afternoon reading two related articles on this subject. Both are published in Themelios vol.34, issue 1:

The Embattled Bible: Four More Books
by Robert W. Yarbrough

How Far Beyond Chicago? Assessing Recent Attempts to Reframe the Inerrancy Debate
by Jason S. Sexton

I find the second article especially helpful with its wide-ranging of cited resources. There is one interesting article cited which is a PhD thesis submitted to St. Andrews University by Jeffrey Oldfield.

In my essay, I have no ambition to solve or even to stir a deep discussion on the inerrancy issue. I will just be sketching the tip of the ice-berg by highlighting the important questions (if possible, also some tentative and brief notes on possible guidelines) surrounding our conception of the nature of the Bible.


歪歪 said...

2"What do we mean when we say that the Bible is the Word of God?"

hmmm we speak the word that say by god... so.. we are the god's assistant.... we help the 'god' to transfer his/her msg....
**AWW~ pls forgiving my childishness... lol.. it;s just the word from my mind.. hope you don't mind~hehehe**

study hard is good, but must know to rest!! ^^ good luck!

Sze Zeng said...

Hi 歪歪,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Yes, it's something like what you said. The question is really on how can a book be called as "God's word"?

reasonable said...

Dr Roland Chia's question: "What do we mean when we say that the Bible is the Word of God?"

Who are the "we"? :)
Which group of evangelicals is the "we"?

Random thot:

The bible IS the WoG? or,

The bible CONTAINS the WoG? or/and,

The bible approximates/points to/reveals d WoG? or/and

The bible IS ABOUT the Word of God?

If d bible is WoG, and if WoG is Jesus... then...

IS as in "Jesus IS the door"? (John 10.9)

Larry Vern said...

You might want to consult the
positions of Pinnock, Bloesch, Ramm
& Barth on the subject.

reasonable said...

"You might want to consult the
positions of Pinnock, ...."

There is an early fundamentalist Pinnock and there is a later escaped-from-fundamentalism Pinnock. :)

James Barr should also be interesting.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Larry Vern,

Thank you for the leads. That's a lot of material to chew on!

I'll look into them :)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi reasonable,

It is interesting you pointed out Pinnock's shift. It is a thorny issue!

reasonable said...

If I am not mistaken, James Barr also personally shifted, also personally escaped from fundamentalism.

This James (James Barr) like to attack the other James (James Innell Packer i.e. J.I. Packer) for the latter's teachings on scriptural inerrancy :)

Relevant works:
The Scope and Authority of the Bible
Escaping From Fundamentalism