Book Review Defending Inerrancy Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation
Inerrancy is one of the hot button issues of our generation. The early church fathers to the 16th century Protestant Reformers across Europe and up to the present day evangelicals have all affirmed verbal plenary inspiration and the total inerrancy of the Word of God.
Clement of Rome (A.D. 80-100) stated that the Scriptures contain nothing “unrighteous or falsified in them” (1 Clement CLV. 2:3) and Augustine (A.D. 394) stated that the Scriptures contain nothing “false” (Cited by James Olive Buswell, Outlines of Theology, 24.) John Calvin believed that Scripture was the “inerring standard” (John D. Hannah, ed., Inerrancy and the Church (Chicago: Moody, Press, 1984), ix.). In 1949 the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) was founded and had a singular doctrinal statement at its founding that affirmed inerrancy: “The Bible alone, and the Bible in its entirety, is the Word of God written and is therefore inerrant in the autographs.” The 20th century inerrancy debates came to a head when scholars and pastors, including Carl F.H. Henry, James M. Boice, J.I. Packer, John MacArthur (Sr. and Jr.), Francis Schaeffer, Paige Patterson, Robert D. Preus, and W.A. Criswell, gathered together during October 1978 to finalize the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
Today, as scholars mix evolution with Christianity and question the historical personhood of Adam, evangelicals need to be reminded of the importance of the doctrine of inerrancy. By providing a coherent defense of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy in their Defending Inerrancy Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation, Norman L. Geisler and William C. Roach do exactly that.
Defending Inerrancy presents a defense of total inerrancy, the view that the Bible is inspired and true including the history, geography, dates, names and every single word. The book examines the history of the inerrancy controversy, recent challenges to inerrancy, and a reexamination of inerrancy that includes an examination into the nature of God, truth, language, hermeneutics and inerrancy. Perhaps the best description of the book is as a historical-theological defense of inerrancy. The authors engage the Scriptures, but their primary defense comes from an examination of church history.
Defending Inerrancy is a much-needed book for our time and will be a helpful book for the serious Bible student, seminarian, Pastor and scholar. We cannot ignore the implications of rejecting inerrancy; this book will explain why. I recommend you read this book to gain understanding on the issue of inerrancy from a historical-theological perspective.
Authors: Norman L. Geisler and William C. Roach
Publisher: Baker Books (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Baker Books review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”