Over the past several years I’ve read a number of books on inerrancy and reviewed almost half a dozen books on the topic. In all my reading and thinking about this topic, I’ve come to the conclusion that inerrancy will be one of the defining issues of the coming decade inside and outside the Church.
In the helpful book Solid Ground The Inerrant Word of God in an Errant World edited by Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer leading Reformed thinkers such as Drs. Packer, Sproul, and Ryken write to addresses the unfolding richness and perfection of the Bible. These essays are collected from the best addresses on the subject from the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology by eight of the top pastor-scholars of the past thirty years who share their insight and answers on the Word of God.
While the whole book is excellent, I especially thought chapters six (on the centrality of the Word through preaching in the Church) and chapter eight on preaching: the means of revival to be helpful and edifying contributions to the discussion on the doctrine of Scripture. The main idea Dr. Clowney communicates in chapter eight is how the power of preaching doesn’t come from the “energy of the flesh, it’s the power of the Word and Spirit” (154).
The focus of Christian preaching and teaching should be on preaching Christ and Him crucified in the power of the Holy Spirit. Preachers who are more interested in providing comic relief or entertainment to their hearers have failed to grasp the importance of preaching the Word of God in season and out of season. Preaching that God uses and that glorifies Him is preaching that is explicitly tied to and grounded in the Word He gave to His people. Preaching that fails to make the point of the Scriptural text the point of the sermon isn’t preaching but preaching that makes much of the preacher and not God.
The goal of Christian preaching isn’t just to give an information dump or lecture, but rather to preach the Word in such a way that believers and non-Christians are confronted with their own sin and the truth about what Jesus has done in His death, burial and resurrection. It is precisely such biblical preaching that is needed today because such preaching is the means God will use to bring revival to our land, and health and vitality to our local churches.
I recommend Solid Ground The Inerrant Word of God in an Errant World edited by Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer, because it’s a clarion call for the church to return to its central, long-standing, and vital connection that the Bible is the Book—the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.
Author: Edited by Gabriel N.E. Fluhrer
Publisher: P & R (2012)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the P & R book review bloggers 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.”