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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Authority of Scripture: Historical, Biblical, and Theoretical Perspectives Paperback – September 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"The book is an extraordinary foray into the question of inerrancy by many of its most able defenders and critics. It provides a very responsible in-house conversation." -- Sino-Christian Studies

"This collection of essays is a bold and high-quality reflection on how to hold to a 'high view' of Scripture once the notion of 'infallibility' is perforce given up. Since my entire life has been outside the orbit of the question of infallibility, much of this is new to me. I have learned a great deal from the judicious, disciplined, honest way in which Scripture is approached here. The wise foreword by William Abraham that functions as an overture is itself of enormous value and prepares the way for the thoughtful, critical, well-informed analyses that are to follow." -- Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary

"In recent years major questions about the nature of Scripture have been raised, questions which have given rise to academic and ecclesiastical warfare, with some urging continued defense of inerrancy and others advocating its complete abandonment. The time is ripe for the appearance of studies that explore this troubled landscape in new ways and try to explain how it all has come about. Carlos Bovell has assembled an impressive collection of essays that do just that. Major theological seminaries and major figures are treated in these interesting and thought-provoking essays. Anyone interested in the doctrine of Scripture and how it is debated today must consult Bovell's book." -- Craig A. Evans, Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia

"From the foreword and preface, one might imagine this collection of essays was mounting a sustained attack on the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture. To be sure, several contributors do reflect considerable dissatisfaction with the effects of certain common forms and uses of inerrancy. But other chapters are more nuanced, including a minority written by inerrantists who propose how the doctrine can be framed and used as more of a help than a hindrance in the academy and church. All who care about how best to articulate a high view of Scripture should benefit from this anthology." -- Craig Blomberg, Denver Seminary

From the Publisher

Foreword - William Abraham / Editor's Preface - Carlos R. Bovell / Historical Perspectives - No Creed but the Bible, No Authority Without the Church: American Evangelicals and the Errors of Inerrancy -- D. G. Hart / The Subordination of Scripture to Human Reason at Old Princeton -- Paul Seely / The Modernist-Fundamentalist Controversy, the Inerrancy of Scripture, and the Development of American Dispensationalism -- Todd Mangum / The Cost of Prestige: E. J. Carnell's Quest for Intellectual Orthodoxy -- Seth Dowland / Inerrancy, a Paradigm in Crisis -- Carlos R. Bovell / Biblical Perspectives - Inerrancy and Evangelical Old Testament Scholarship: Challenges and the Way Forward -- J. Daniel Hays / Theological Diversity in the Old Testament as Burden or Divine Gift? Problems and Perspectives in the Current Debate -- Richard Schultz / But Jesus Believed That David Wrote the Psalms -- Stephen Dawes / Some Thoughts on Theological Exegesis of the Old Testament: Toward a Viable Model of Biblical Coherence and Relevance -- Peter Enns / Inerrantist Scholarship on Daniel: A Valid Historical Enterprise? -- Stephen Young / The Implications of New Testament Pseudonymy for a Doctrine of Scripture -- Stanley E. Porter / Theoretical Perspectives - Issues in Forming a Doctrine of Inspiration -- Craig Allert / How Evangelicals Became Over-committed to the Bible and What Can Be Done about It -- J. P. Moreland / Biblical Authority: A Social Scientist's Perspective -- Brian Malley / Authority Redux: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science, and Theology --Christian Early / Scripture and Prayer: Participating in God -- Harriet Harris / "A Certain Similarity to the Devil": Historical Criticism and Christian Faith -- Gregory Dawes / Critical Dislocation and Missional Relocation: Scripture's Evangelical Homecoming -- Telford Work

Product Details

  • Paperback: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1608993477
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608993475
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,068,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The editor (Carlos Bovell) states that the aim of this collection of essays is to encourage conservative evangelical communities to talk more openly about the doctrine of biblical inerrancy because it is a stumbling block for some believers. The essays represent diverse viewpoints from scholars working in several different fields. "Each contributor was invited to discuss problems that arise as one incorporates knowledge gained from a specific area of specialization into an inerrantist framework for understanding scripture."

The book consists of three parts: (1) Historical Perspectives (five essays), (2) Biblical Perspectives (six essays), and (3) Theoretical Perspectives (seven essays)

Under Historical Perspectives, D. G. Hart presents some interesting insights on how the "doctrine" of biblical inerrancy played out for American evangelical Christians, concluding that "the doctrine of inerrancy was incapable of supplying evangelicalism with peace, unity, and purity." Paul Seely discusses Old Princeton's inconsistencies and missed opportunities because of their unwavering commitment to the notion that Scripture must always agree with scientific facts. Todd Mangum discusses the role of inerrancy in the modernist-fundamentalist controversy and in the development of dispensationalism. Seth Dowland describes the rise and fall of E. J. Carnell, who had attempted to develop an intellectually robust case for conservative Christianity but failed to produce a convincing defense of inerrancy. Carlos Bovell reappropriates Thomas Kuhn's account of scientific revolution to the current evangelical discussion of the nature and authority of Scripture, i.e., he integrates Kuhn's notion(s) of "crisis" and "extraordinary science" into the evangelical inerrantist context.
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Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Authority of Scripture: Historical, Biblical, and Theoretical Perspectives
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