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The Doctrine of the Word of God (A Theology of Lordship) Hardcover – October 27, 2010
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"I thank God for raising up John Frame in our day. We are the wiser, the more biblical, and the healthier because of it. And because he has written so deeply and so well about such great truths about a great God, this will, I believe, be the testimony of generations to come." --John Piper, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis
"John Frame's course on the doctrine of the Word of God had a profound influence on me as a student at Westminster Seminary in 1971, and it has significantly affected my understanding of theology for my entire life." --Wayne Grudem, Phoenix Theological Seminary
"The fourth volume in John Frame's Theology of Lordship series, The Doctrine of the Word of God, is the best of themand that is high praise." --D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
About the Author
John M. Frame (A.B., Princeton University; B.D., Westminster Theological Seminary; M.A. and M.Phil., Yale University; D.D., Belhaven College) is the J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and the author of many books, including the four-volume Theology of Lordship series.
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In this particular volume, the last of the four volume ‘Theology of Lordship’ series, Frame deals comprehensively with the Doctrine of the Word of God. This you probably expected from a book of this length and with a title such as, The Doctrine of the Word of God (DWG). But, I mention that because, as Frame points out, there is a reason he named the book that instead of something like, ‘The Doctrine of Scripture.’ That is, Frame deals with the whole of God’s revealed Word, and not just Scripture. He discusses God’s Word as spoken in the creation of the world, to Adam and Eve, to Noah, Abraham, Moses, and the Prophets. He also deals with God’s Word-acts throughout the history of Israel, and most profoundly in Christ. He shows how every step of the way in the history of redemption, the main impetus driving along the narrative is God’s self-revelation and man’s response. God’s word’s always comes with power and authority, and they demonstrate His presence with His people and among His creation. This is an example of God’s ‘transcendent imminence,’ as Frame calls it, which has very important implications for our knowledge of God. That is, God is both unknowable in that we can never fit God into our head, yet He is also known, for God can and does condescend to us, and does truly make Himself known. But, more on this later.
Overall, Frame gave an excellent treatment of God’s Word—it’s authority, power, presence, necessity, sufficiency, inerrancy, infallibility, etc. Though, I must say, despite Carson’s endorsement of it as the “most profound” in the series, I thought that Frame’s first book in this series, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (DKG), was a more profound read. Don’t misunderstand me, though, you should own and read carefully all four volumes in his Lordship series. However, in DKG we learn that True knowledge and godly wisdom is obedience to God—that is, it is absolute allegiance to God’s Word in all areas of our lives. Frame makes the point, as Bonhoeffer did in his The Cost of Discipleship, that faith is obedience and obedience is simply faith. You cannot have faith without godly obedience, and, on the other hand, to live a life of holiness and godly obedience is to live by faith. What Frame says is very similar to Bonhoeffer, though Frame puts it into the knowledge and obedience categories—that is, knowledge in submission to Christ’s Lordship. True knowledge of God is knowledge that recognizes and submits to God’s authority, trusts in His power, and delights in His presence. The knowledge of a Christian—that is, True knowledge—is knowing in submission to God’s Lordship over all of our life, the world, and reality.
So, in DKG we learn that God is Lord over our lives, and therefore, that our knowing and our living are inseparable, and both happen in submission to God’s Word. The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of the Christian Life, and The Doctrine of the Word of God are all expanding on what was already said in The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God. And, perhaps why I thought it to be more profound is that is showed clearly how each of these Doctrines are wedded together into a beautiful whole, and what God has joined together let no man separate. However, this moves us into the DWG, for it is the foundation of Christian knowledge. Submitting to God’s Lordship in the area of knowledge, or what I call servant epistemology, is to bring our thoughts captive to the Word of God. As servant’s of the Lord, we live our lives wholly from God’s Word. When I say ‘live from’ here, I mean that we take God’s Word as our ultimate authority, or standard for living and acting, our only means of access to God’s own thoughts. Frame calls this the Normative perspective—that is, the Word of God, in all of its forms, is our norm, our perfect standard for knowledge and practice. There is no question: if the God who created heaven and earth, who created you and me, and made us rational and relational beings—if that God ever revealed Himself to us, then worship and obedience could be the only logical response of creatures before the Creator. And that God did in fact create the world, and created us in His image, means that He created us to know Him. The fact that we are intelligent creatures, that we can think and reason, and that the world is intelligible and reasonable, and that we are relational and communal, points further to a God who is there, yet not just there, but also who made us to know Him. God designed us to know Him. God makes himself known to us though His Word, and the only rational response to God’s self-revelation is love, worship, and obedience. What other option could there possibly be?
Frame writes, “If there is any disagreement between God’s words and our own ideas, He must prevail. And if we should be so arrogant as to judge what He says, He must prevail in our judgment.” God’s words necessarily have power and authority over all things. God is not limited by our weakness, so that He cannot reveal Himself to us. Those who claim that there could be no knowledge of God because of human limitations or because of God’s utter transcendence, do so based on unbiblical presuppositions. In fact, it is human limitations and weaknesses that make revelation necessary. Yes, God in his fullness is beyond the grasp of human knowledge, and He is certainly beyond the reach of un-aided human reason. However, if God is who the Scripture says He is, and we are what Scripture teaches us that we are, then knowledge of God is not only possible, but a reality. God is not bound by our limitations. God made us for this very purpose, that we might know Him and love Him—He created the universe to display His glory, power, authority, beauty, majesty, etc. Human language did not arise accidentally, but because God himself made us to have fellowship with one another and, most importantly, with Himself. In the garden, God spoke to Adam, and Adam responded. This was God’s perfectly wise plan. When God reveals himself to us, He does so truly, though not exhaustively. We cannot know God fully, but that does not mean that we cannot know God truly. What God chooses to reveal of himself is necessary and sufficient for us to know Him. And because He alone has exhaustive knowledge of all things, including Himself, then what He reveals to us is perfectly true and certain. Thus, we can and do know God truly if we, and only if we, submit to His authority, stand in awe of His powerful control over all things, and rejoice in His personal fellowship and communion. This is only possible if our hearts and minds have been illumined by God’s self-revelation in His Word through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.
Frame writes, “Scripture is necessary for our Spiritual lives, in that without it we have no spiritual life, and it is sufficient in that if we have trusted Scripture we have spiritual life…Scripture is necessary and sufficient not only to our life in general, but to every aspect of it.” The necessity of Scripture fits under the normative perspective, for it says that it is necessary for any knowledge and, in that, it must be believed and obeyed, which puts it under God’s absolute authority. The comprehensiveness of Scripture focuses on God’s power and control over every aspect of our lives—through His wise providence, God sees to it that Scripture comes to bare on each and every aspect of out lives, and this falls under the situational perspective.
Sufficiency speaks of God’s intimate presence with us—the existential perspective—for it brings us into the fullness of delight and satisfaction of true spiritual communion with God. It is sufficient to guide us into all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we “may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Therefore, Frame states, “we need not hunger or thirst for any other words from God.”
Frame Defines the Sufficiency of Scripture like this: “Scripture is sufficient to provide all of the ultimate norms, all of the normative premises, that we need to make any ethical decisions . Scripture contains all the words of God that we need for any area of life, and all ultimate norms came from Divine words” (p.231). Frame goes to Jesus’ encounter with the Sadducees as an example of how Scripture is sufficient in itself to show us the truth, but its meaning lies in the application of the truth to our lives. That is, Frame says, the meaning is the application. The Sadducees in the first century denied that there was a resurrection from the dead, but they did so, according to Jesus, due to a faulty understanding of the relevant texts, or more severely, an unwillingness to apply the truths to their own situation. Frame writes, “the Sadducees problem was not that they didn’t know the text, but that they were unwilling or unable to apply it to the current discussion of the resurrection. Jesus teaches them that to the extent that one cannot [or does not] apply the Scripture, he is actually ignorant of Scripture. Knowing scripture cannot be separated from knowing it’s application,” (p.231)
Scripture is sufficient in that it provides a perfect foundation for all the rest of life. A Christian is one who is committed to the authority of God’s Word and who meditates in it day and night, that it’s words may dwell in him richly. We live totally from the Word of God, we reason based on it’s norms, we act based on it’s commands, we see and understand based on what it teaches us about God, the world and ourselves. Christian’s do indeed have an entirely different epistemological foundation for all of our thinking, knowing, and acting—it is God’s holy and perfect Word. Wisdom is learning to discern right from wrong, based on what God has revealed, and having the courage to do what is right. It is the skill of living a godly, holy life in a world that is hostile to all those who live such a life—as Paul says, “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” We can do this only by committing ourselves to God’s Word, allowing it to saturate our hearts and minds, and as we do this, as we grow in our knowledge and obedience to God’s word, we will learn how to better understand God’s word and, thus, how to better discern good from evil, and in turn, know how to live in every situation we face in a manner that is pleasing to God. We must stand firm on God’s Word, for it is our only source of truth, and our only means of growing in our knowledge and obedience to Christ. We cannot compromise by allowing the world’s ideas, philosophies, and psychobabblers to shape the way we think and act. God’s Word is necessary and sufficient, and more than that, it is Truth.
Living in adherence to God’s Word—living in obedience—is what true knowledge and wisdom looks like. That is what good works are made of. Good works, the works that faith preforms, are standing firm on the authority of Scripture, living on the basis of its norms, living in obedience to God’s will. Obedience is learning to think, speak and act on the basis of what God has revealed to us in His Word, and defending its truth and our hope, in both word and in deed. This means that we must know what God’s Word says, thus, we must be meditating on it constantly so that His words are always on our hearts and minds. We must also walk in light of what God has revealed, bearing the cross of discipleship, standing firm in truth despite the immense pressure from the world around us to compromise with the God’s authoritative Word. Peter tells us in 1 Peter, “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain form the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep all of you conduct [word and deed] among the [world] honorable [in line with God’s Word].” Why? “So that when they speak against you as evildoers [as they will surly do], they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” And, in the next Chapter, Peter goes on, “now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” Standing firm on the Word of God, living in obedience to it, is strange to the world. They hate it, but they hate it, as Christ says in John chapter 3, because they “loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.” That is, they hate holiness, they hate godliness, because it exposes them. They love living in the dark because their deeds are evil and they don’t want to be found out. The light of our lives, if we speak the truth and live the truth before the world, threatens to expose them. To be the salt and light of the world, as Jesus calls us to, will lead us into suffering an persecution. But, it will also lead us further and further into the presence of God. “All those who desire to live and godly life,” Paul says to Timothy, “will be persecuted.” However, “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, for the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:1-4) Striving for holiness will lead to suffering, and suffering will lead to sanctification, that is, transformation into Christ-likeness. The more we are like Christ, the more clearly we can see Him in truth and insight, and the more we will love all that He is.
Therefore, we must not compromise in out lives. We are called to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance,” To “loose our lives for [Christ’s] sake,” and to boldly take up our crosses daily to follow Him. There is no room for us to do or say or believe what the world wants us to, that is “living in sensuality, wild passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and rebellious idolatry, with respect to these things, they [act] surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and so they malign you.” “Therefore,” Peter says, “let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” All of our good works are like little candles lit up in a dark world. Living faithfully, speaking truth truthfully, that is what being salt and light in a dark world is. It is living in such a way that the watching world will see in us the beauty of Christ’s holiness, the reality of Christ’s authority, and the joy of Christ’s fellowship. We will be hated, and even called evil, for being faithful to Christ and standing on the truth of Scripture, but we have confidence that we speak and live the Truth, and that is actually the loving, compassionate and self-less thing to do. For most people we meet, our lives, our character, our faithfulness, are our apologetic. The world sees us and hears us. If our lives and our actions do not match up with what we preach, if they do not align with God’s Word, then why would anyone believe us?
Therefore, as Christians, we have the only source of absolute truth in the entire world, the Word of God. We are called and obligated to bring our whole lives into submission to God’s will because God is Lord of heaven and earth. God has lovingly and graciously revealed himself to us, and we have that revelation in the Scriptures. Thus, the Scripture is the ultimate foundation of our lives. In our hearts, we honor Christ as Lord, and bring every thought captive to obey Him, and we will be persecuted for it, hated and maligned. But, we must not compromise. The life of faith is a life lived in obedience to God’s word. That is wisdom, that is true knowledge. The Word of God is the foundation for all of our life. Let us not neglect it. Let us call the church back to its only source of knowledge and communion with God.
In conclusion, Frame writes:
“People often claim to have a personal relationship with Christ, while being uncertain of the role of scripture in that relationship. But the relationship Christ has established with His people is a covenant relationship, and therefore, a verbal relationship, among other things. Jesus’ words today are found only in Scripture. So, if we are to have a covenant relationship with Jesus, we must acknowledge Scripture as His Word. No Scripture, no Lord. No Scripture, no Christ.”
I had been a Christian, by the grace of God, for seven years, being transformed while in college. I had only a small exposure to nominal Christianity via my background in a liberal, mainline denomination. I knew only the most basic outline of the facts about Christ that I gleaned from each Sunday's liturgy. I believed that George Washington was the first President of the United Sates, that Mickey Mantle was my favorite baseball player, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. And none of them made any difference to my daily life.
Then God intervened in my life out of the blue in 1969 and I was a different person. I had heard the gospel, been transfixed by its message and relevance, and was given grace to savingly trust in Christ alone for salvation. When I told my local priest that January afternoon that God had transformed my life and that I had been "born again" and was now trusting in Christ for my salvation, he told me that such teaching was dangerous and hoped I would "get over it". A former campus chaplain, he said that he had seen people really "messed up" by this kind of teaching. As I left his office that day, I knew he was not a safe guide for my spiritual life and perhaps he was the "messed up" person. (He left the ministry in the next few months to become a stock broker and make more money!)
In God's providence, at the time God chose to save me, I had been taking an obligatory religion class at my liberal arts college. My professors (from such prestigious schools at Yale, Princeton, Harvard Divinity School and the University of Chicago Divinity School) taught us that the Bible was unreliable. The Old Testament in particular was a collection of myths, pious sayings, ragged history, and outright fabrications.
At best it recorded the highest aspirations of pious Jews. I can remember sitting in class that Fall, yet to be converted, but wondering why these men had chosen a job of debunking what they were paid to teach. Why didn't they just go out and get real jobs positively standing behind SOMETHING!
My conversion in early January left me still a month until finals and time for a restudy of the Old Testament
materials. How amazed I was as a new Christian, now indwelt by the Holy Spirit, to read the Old Testament with new eyes. I certainly did not understand all that I was reading but I begin to understand a lot and I was given an inner witness by the Holy Spirit that this was the very Word of God. I grew to despise the liberalism that had kept the gospel from me when I was growing up and then attacked the Bible in class in college. To later find Bible believing Christians, and churches and student ministries beyond my college was a windfall beyond words. (After my conversion and subsequent spiritual growth, I recognized that I had seen first hand what "wolves in sheep's clothing" looked like.)
Back to 1976 and THE BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE. Now that I was involved in student ministries, I had begun taking classes in an evangelical institution and began to learn that the "battle for the Bible" goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. When the serpent said to Eve: "Did God really say...?" and "No, you will not die..." and flatly contradicted God, the battle for the Bible was in full display right there at the beginning of human history. My studies showed me that almost every generation sees some attack upon the Word of God and its inspiration, truthfulness, clarity, sufficiency, and authority.
Battles for the Bible for the past 35 years have revolved around its clarity and sufficiency (do we need psychologists to fix us; prophets to give us newer words from God; the insights of anthropology to do missions, etc, etc.?) [A good example of a text addressing specious attacks on the Bible is Noel Weeks, THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE; Banner of Truth.)
That brings me to today and my reviews of three new books displaying and defending the greatness of the Word of God.
Kevin DeYoung, TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD (Why the Bible is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me); Crossway Books
What a gem Pastor (and soon to be doctor) DeYoung has given us. It is refreshing and it is clear, accurate, encouraging, stimulating and correct. Christians today need to be taught or to learn for themselves through reading this book that the Bible is "more sure" than our experiences, that we critique our experiences by the Bible, not vice versa; that the Bible is enough, that we don't need psychologists, prophets, anthropologists, gurus or tongues and interpretations of tongues. The Bible is sufficient.
The Bible is clear, final and necessary. It is the unbreakable Word of God. DeYoung exhorts us to stick with the Scriptures and not be moved from our full confidence in the Word of God. Plus it has an excellent Appendix of some 30 of the "best books on the good book". With a large study guide available from Crossway, it would make a great and important Sunday School class, group study or church officer training study. Highly recommended. And kudos to Crossway in having DeYoung popularize so many issues and making the teaching of the Bible plain and for the masses.
FOR INTERMEDIATE READERS:
John Frame, THE DOCTRINE OF THE WORD OF GOD
(A Theology of Lordship, Volume 4); P & R
Reformed readers have probably heard of Professor John Frame though they may not have read any of his hefty tomes on theology. Don't let the size of this volume (650 pages) deter you from faithfully reading through the whole volume for it would be a tragedy of a wasted opportunity. Frame has the gift of writing clear, everyday English while writing on all kinds of theological topics. This may be his best volume!
Several trustworthy guides (e.g. J. I. Packer, Doug Kelly, and others) note that it may be the best current volume on the orthodox doctrine of Scripture. In the series, A THEOLOGY OF LORDSHIP, Professor Frame has already written on THE DOCTRINE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD (how do we know what we know and specifically, how does a human being come to have real and true knowledge of God). Then he wrote
on THE DOCTRINE OF GOD (who He is, what He is like and what that all means); and then THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. Professor Frame admits early on the all of these books are based upon the trustworthy and sufficient Scriptures and show the trustworthiness of Scripture as each doctrine is treated. This entire volume is meant to help the reader think through all the the Bible is and should mean to us.
The Chapter headings are as follows:
PART ONE: ORIENTATION
1. The Personal-Word Model
2. Lordship and the Word
PART TWO: GOD'S WORD IN MODERN THEOLOGY
3. Modern Views of Revelation
4. Revelation and Reason
5. Revelation and History
6. Revelation and Human Subjectivity
7. Revelation and God Himself
PART THREE: THE NATURE OF GOD'S WORD
8. What is the Word of God?
9. God's Word as His Controlling Power
10. God's Word as His Meaningful Authority
11. God's Word as His Personal Presence
PART FOUR: HOW THE WORD COMES TO US
12. The Media of God's Word
13. God's Revelation Through Events
14. God's Revlation through Words: The Divine Voice
15. God's Revelation Through Words: Prophets and
16. The Permanence of God's Written Word
17. God's Written Words in the Old Testament
18. Respect for God's Written Words in the Old
19. Jesus' View of the Old Testament
20. The Apostles' View of the Old Testament
21. The New Testament as God's Written Word
22. The Canon of Scripture
23. The Inspiration of Scripture
24. The Content of Scripture
25. Scripture's Authority: Its Content, & Its Purpose
26. The Inerrancy of Scripture
27. The Phenomena of Scripture
28. Bible Problems
29. The Clarity of Scripture
30. The Necessity of Scripture
31. The Comprehensiveness of Scripture
32. The Sufficiency of Scripture
33. The Transmission of Scripture
34. Translations and Editions of Scripture
35. Teaching and Preaching
38. Confessions, Creeds and Traditions
39. Human Reception of Scripture
40. The Interpretation of Scripture
42. Person-Revelation: the Divine Witness
43. Human Beings as Revelation
44. Writing on the Heart
45. Summary and Organizational Reflections
APPENDICES--There are 17 Appendices on top of this!
What a wealth of good things. I would commend church officers, seminarians, pastors and thinking lay people to read and master this book. Again, Frame writes to be understood, not to show off a turgid or academic prose. Laymen can understand this book.
Pastors and seminarians should understand this book.
FOR MORE ADVANCED READERS:
Peter Lillback & Richard Gaffin, eds.; THY WORD IS STILL TRUTH (Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture From the Reformation to Today); P & R
Another "Aha!" moment regarding the battle for the Bible came in 1980. I was in seminary and my professor, John Woodbridge, had a seminar class evaluating a then new book by Jack Rogers and Donald McKim, THE AUTHORITY AND INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE (An Historical Approach). The authors purported to show that the so-called modern idea of the "inerrancy" of the Bible was invented by professors at late 19th century Princeton Seminary (A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield). Their thesis was that the normative view of the church had been that the Bible had errors but not such that people could not be saved or grow. They told us that the church for nearly 2,000 years had always believed in an errant Bible. So the position of their seminary in California, which had changed to embrace the errantist position, was in the mainstream of church history.
The seminar class took the Rogers & McKim volume and looked up every footnote in the book. We could volunteer to back check chapters and I chose the ones on Charles Hodge (my thesis subject) and the Puritans (a growing love). How shocked I was to discover that the footnotes, by and large, were doctored! Quotes were trimmed to leave out contrary comments;
secondary sources were conflated with primary sources leaving a completely different impression of what the original author was saying, sentences from the middle of a paragraph were made to say something that the whole paragraph did not say, etc, etc. It was hash job!
When the class came together and we discovered that the others had found the same discrepancies that each of us had found, we sat silently in amazement. The professor reminded us that we were all sinners and sometime professing Christians did unrighteous things to justify their conduct. So professors from a reportedly evangelical seminary, seeking to help keep their support base, rewrote church history to make
themselves seem kosher. (You can read the results
of this class in John Woodbridge, BIBLICAL AUTHORITY: A CRITIQUE OF THE ROGERS/McKIM PROPOSAL; Zondervan; 1982)
The battle for the Bible was still in process and now so-called evangelicals were adjusting the Bible to the dictates of contemporary scholarship. For the past 30 years I have seen the on-going skirmishes as once professed evangelicals lose their confidence in the Scriptures and jump ship, landing in all kinds of strange places with strange bed-fellows.
One of the newest books to thoroughly debunk the notion that the church has never believed in inerrancy is THY WORD IS STILL TRUTH. Several decades ago,
Westminster Seminary Old Testament scholar E. J. Young wrote, THEY WORD IS TRUTH. It strengthened a generation of young evangelical and Reformed scholars as to the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the Bible.
What Drs. Lillback and Gaffin have done is bring together the best sources from the 16th century Reformation down to today to show that Christ's church has always believed in a fully trustworthy and inerrant Bible.
Westminster Seminary had been embarrassed a decade ago when one of its Old Testament professors did not teach and publish in accordance with the Scripture or the Westminster Standards and had to be removed. The final section of the volumes shows what Westminster faced and how they are currently in line with historic, orthodox Reformation Christianity.
PART ONE: SOLA SCRIPTURA: THE REFORMERS'
REDISCOVERY OF THE WRITTEN WORD OF GOD
--what Luther taught
--what Zwingli taught
--what Bullinger taught
--what Calvin taught
PART TWO: THE REFORMED CONFESSIONS
--almost all the 16th and early 17th century
creeds and confessions
PART THREE: EARLY REFORMED INTERPRETATION
--from Henry Bullinger to Jonathan Edwards
PART FOUR: THE DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURE IN
--William Ames, John Owen, Francis Turretin and
PART FIVE: THE DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURE IN THE
SCOTTISH AND DUTCH LEGACY
--John Witherspoon, William Cunningham,
Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, Louis Berkhof,
PART SIX: OTHER NINETEENTH CENTURY EUROPEAN
--Louis Gaussen, Adolphe Monod, Ernst Wilhelm
Hengstenberg, and Charles Spurgeon
PART SEVEN: THE DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURE IN THE
THEOLOGY OF OLD PRINCETON
--Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge, Benjamin B.
Warfield, and Moises Silva
PART EIGHT: THE THEOLOGY OF SCRIPTURE OF THE
FOUNDING FATHERS OF WESTMINSTER
--J. Gresham Machen
--Robert Dick Wilson
--O. T. Allis
--Cornelius Van Til
PART NINE: THE BIRTH OF BIBLICAL THEOLOGY
(at WESTMINSTER SEMINARY)
--Ned B. Stonehouse
PART TEN: THE AUTHORITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
AND NEW TESTAMENT CANON OF SCRIPTURE
(AT WESTMINSTER SEMINARY)
--Edward J. Young
--Ned B. Stonehouse
PART ELEVEN: CHALLENGES TO THE REFORMED
DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURE
--E. J. Young
PART TWELVE: THE WESTMINSTER CONTROVERSY
PART THIRTEEN: CONCLUSIONS
This is no "ivory tower" dispute. This is no idle discussion by folks with too much time on their hands. I know what it is like growing up in a liberal denomination that has jettisoned confidence in Scripture and has nothing to say to a lost world. And the world has returned the favor by paying the church no mind.
The fate of Christ's church and the preaching of the gospel depends upon whether we have a sure Word of God. The churches of Europe were emptied in the late 19th century as the churches and preachers no longer believed "Thy Word is truth". Early 20th century Britain and modern America has seen the same things happen as denominations have lost 50 million adherents because their pulpits no longer blazed with "Thus sayest the Lord". When problems arise in Christian's lives today in these denominations, there is no longer a sure Word of God to turn to for answers.
Thank you Drs. Lillback and Gaffin and thank you to P & R for publishing so helpful a volume. May the Lord
bless it for the up-building of Christ's churches and the spread of the gospel.
Your Book Servant,
Pastor Steve Martin