Posted On May 6, 2017

The Scripture Cannot be Broken: Twentieth Century Writings on the Doctrine of Inerrancy

by | May 6, 2017 | Hermeneutics: The Art and Science of Biblical Interpretation

Ever since the serpent in the Garden of Eden asked Eve, “Hath God said”, Scripture has been under attack. Unfortunately, this attack is not merely coming from outside the walls of Christianity. Increasingly, the questioning of the inerrancy of Scripture, in particular, has reared its ugly head within the Christian blogosphere, and also within many so-called “Christian books”— written by pastors who claim to preach the gospel. Perhaps more than ever, it is vital for believers to understand why Scripture is the Word of God, why it is the authority in all matters of life, and most importantly, why it can be completely trusted as the foundation for truth. The Scripture Cannot be Broken: Twentieth Century Writings on the Doctrine of Inerrancy, edited by John MacArthur, is an excellent collection of essays that addresses this vital issue.

Building on the work of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, the essays provided in this timely book look at the historical elements of inerrancy, engage what Scripture has to say about itself, explore the issue of inspiration, outline what inerrancy is all about, concluding with a brief yet important look at biblical infallibility. Each essay is thorough, well-written, biblically rooted, and well worth taking the time to read.

Dr. John MacArthur is a champion of engaging the issue of biblical inerrancy as attested by the recent Inerrancy Summit that was the focus of the 2015 Shepherd’s Conference. Gathering pastors and church leaders together to discuss biblical inerrancy reveals the continued importance of ensuring the challenges to this all-important doctrine are addressed. The Scripture Cannot Be Broken is appropriately edited by Dr. MacArthur and each contributor to this effort does a marvelous job of engaging and outlining in a lucid, yet approachable, manner to why believers should understand what inerrancy is all about and why it is so important to hang our proverbial hat on this doctrine.

I appreciated that the entire spectrum of this doctrine is addressed, notably beginning with the historical basis for this doctrine to include the various controversies that faced theologians throughout the years. One can quickly see that attacks against the inerrancy of Scripture are really nothing new. Challenges to inerrancy will continue to present themselves and the conversations that continue to swirl around a number of topics related to Scripture and the repeated attempts by liberal scholars to diminish the historicity and authority of Scripture will not cease. It is absolutely essential that believers remain cognizant of these attempts and books such as this one perform a valuable function in providing believers with the tools to understand such attacks, and the means to combat with historical fact, and (most importantly) from the pages of Scripture itself those who seek to treat Scripture as nothing more than a collection of moral stories.

This is a book I highly recommend to be in the collection of all believers, but especially as a resource for pastors and Bible College/Seminary students. Regardless of whether one is a scholar engaging liberal attempts to push against the foundation of biblical inerrancy, or whether one is a layman who may run across someone who has questions about this issue, we have to understand and be able to elaborate why God’s Word is inerrant and what that means. The outstanding essays provided in this book will go a long way to informing and empowering the body of Christ to declare that God’s Word is indeed inerrant, and how to cogently and powerfully defend the doctrine of inerrancy.

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