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Thy Word Is Still Truth: Essential Writings on the Doctrine of Scripture from the Reformation to Today Hardcover – October 28, 2013
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"This excellent volume is a much-needed resource. It stands as a bulwark against every form of the question 'Did God really say?' The excerpts and essays drawn from Martin Luther to the present represent an immense reservoir of diverse reflections from Reformed confessions to the advent of contemporary biblical theology. . . . Its strength is not its coverage of the last half century but its ample demonstration that today's Reformed Christians find themselves, on this subject, within a heritage rich in theological reflection and powerful synthesis. To lose sight of this heritage or to stand aloof from it is to impoverish our souls and to distance ourselves from the God who 'looks' to those who are contrite and humble in spirit and who tremble at his Word." --D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois
"We have needed this book for a long time. In Thy Word Is Still Truth, Peter Lillback and Richard Gaffin have drawn together the comprehensive witness of the church on behalf of the total truthfulness and inerrancy of Scripture. No serious reader can doubt the case for inerrancy made so consistently and clearly in these pages, and no serious defender of Scripture can be without this vital volume that amounts to the most massive arsenal of documentation for the inerrancy of Scripture ever assembled in a single book." --R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
"A massive array of extracts from major writers over five centuries, demonstrating both the breadth, strength, clarity, humility, and rootedness of international Reformed bibliology according to its historic confessional self-understanding, and also the insightful energy with which Westminster's own scholars have labored to vindicate the Reformed position as catholic Christian truth. The book excels as a resource for study and a witness to Westminster's integrity." --J. I. Packer, Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia
About the Author
Richard B. Gaffin Jr. is professor emeritus of biblical and systematic theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
Peter A. Lillback is president of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
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When I see articles on the Bible in national magazines and in newspapers I rarely read them because they are always questioning (and the same questions are recycled about every ten years). Isn't it interesting that those who read the Bible the least usually question it the most and those who read it and study it the most- love it the most and are the most impressed with it? This book feeds you by taking you to many writers over the ages who defend the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Some articles are easy to read and some will tax you but there is nothing in it not worth being included.
It can be used as a reference book and referred to every now and then or as a daily theological read. By reading 4 pages a day one can read the whole book in a year.
This is a very special book worth buying and studying. This is certainly one of the best books I have purchased in the past ten years.
I’m not going to give a detailed overview of the contents of this book, since you can find that here on Amazon using the "look inside" preview. A basic outline of the book is as follows:
Part 1: “Sola Scriptura: The Reformers’ Rediscovery of the Written Word of God” This section gives several Reformers’ views of Scripture (Luther, Zwingli, Bullinger, and Calvin).
Part 2: “The Reformed Confessions” This section includes the the wording of various 16th and 17th century Reformed confessions as they explained the doctrine of Scripture. It was nice to see, for example, the Irish Articles and the Scots Confession, just to name two.
Part 3: “Early Reformed Interpretation” Here there are about 50 pages of writings of what the Reformers said about interpreting Scripture (Calvin, Bullinger, Knox). As a side, I wonder why Jonathan Edwards was included in this section, since he isn’t “early Reformed” and since there are Reformed theologians who are more helpful than Edwards on this topic.
Part 4: “The Doctrine of Scripture in Reformed Orthodoxy” This part gives selections of four Reformed scholastics’ views of Scripture. Again, I’m wondering why Edwards makes this section as well, since he’s not a Reformed Scholastic properly speaking. I would have also liked to see more Puritans here, such as Thomas Watson.
Part 5: “The Doctrine of Scripture in the Scottish and Dutch Legacy” This fine section gives some great excerpts of Dutch and Scottish theologians as they wrote on Scripture.
Part 6: “Other Nineteenth Century European Contributions” Here there are a few lesser known contributions to the doctrine of Scripture, such as Louis Gaussen and Adolphe Monod. Charles Spurgeon is also in this section; although I appreciate Spurgeon’s sharp focus on the gospel, I’m not sure he’d be on my “must read” list when it comes to the Reformed doctrine of Scripture.
Part 7: “The Doctrine of Scripture in the Theology of Old Princeton” As you may have guessed, here you’ll find writings of men like Hodge and Warfield.
Part 8: “The Theology of Scripture of the Founding Fathers of Westminster” Again, this is pretty straightforward: Machen, Wilson, Van Til, and others make this list.
Part 9: “The Birth of Biblical Theology” This part of the book gives writings from men like Vos and Clowney along with Silva and Gaffin.
Part 10: “The Authority of the Old Testament and New Testament Canon of Scripture” This section is a bit more focused, as it emphasizes the authority of Scripture with articles written by Young, Stonehouse, and Gaffin.
Part 11: “Challenges to the Reformed Doctrine of Scripture” This part contains writings that deal with a few attacks on Scripture in the last 75 years or so. Here you’ll read articles from Waltke, Dillard, and Ferguson, for example.
Part 12: “The Westminster Controversy” This brief section contains documents from the 2008 Westminster Theological Seminary (in Philadelphia) dispute when Peter Enns left the seminary. Actually, I think it’s safe to say that this book, Thy Word Is Still Truth, was put together as later response to that controversy, as the editors mention in the introduction.
If you’ve read the main historic Reformed discussions of Scripture, you’ll have already read about 30-40% of this book (i.e. Turretin, Bavinck, Berkhof, and the Confessions). However, this shouldn’t hinder you from getting this book, since it does contain many other writings on Scripture that you may not have read (Bullinger, Knox, Cunningham, A. A. Hodge, etc.).
For those of you who want a mini-Reformed library on the doctrine of Scripture contained in a single volume, this one is for you. It is true that almost everything in this book has been published previously elsewhere, but it is handy to have them all in one book. And to top it off, there are very extensive indices (topical and scriptural). Even though you probably won’t sit down and read Thy Word Is Still Truth straight through, it contains many excellent resources that will stimulate your studies for years to come. I’m thankful that the editors and publisher put so much work into this volume. I’m sure it’ll benefit Christ’s church in the upcoming years. And it’ll help us to stand firmly upon the precious Word of God, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.