Did God Really Say?

October 10, 2012 — 2 Comments

9781596383999

Overview

Did God Really Say? is a collaboration between Reformed, Westminster, and Covenant theological seminaries. As you can imagine, that makes this book a response from leading Reformed authors concerning the inerrancy of Scripture. Though relatively short (under 200 pages), several of the essays are shortened version of full length book treatments.

For instance, Michael Kruger’s essay “Deconstructing Canon: Recent Challenges To The Origins and Authority of The New Testament Writings” is more fully expanded in his Canon Revisited. Likewise Vern Poythress’ article “God and Language” is a rather condensed version of his In The Beginning Was The Word. Finally, John Frame’s contribution, “N. T. Wright and The Authority of Scripture” is a version of a book review that is published in his Doctrine of The Word of God.

In addition to those articles, Michael Williams discusses B.B. Warfield’s explanation of inspiration. In doing so he explains what B.B. Warfield did and did not really say when it came to inspiration and inerrancy. In another historical study earlier in the book, K. Scott Oliphint’s interacts with the Reformed creeds on the subject of the word of God. This helps set the context of the book nicely, though Oliphint can be a somewhat dense writer (as can be seen with his book God With Us, which covers similar territory).

The other articles in the book are Robert Yarbrough’s explanation of inerrancy’s complexities. This gives needed nuance to the discussion and goes a long way to clarify what exactly these authors are arguing for when they claim Scripture is inerrant. It also presents a plea for removing oversimplifications on both sides of the debate. Finally, the book concludes with an article by David Garner that lays out the practical issues surrounding the inerrancy of Scripture and what we are asking when we ask “Did God Really Say?”

Conclusion

In the end, this book represents a readable, yet scholarly response to some questions surrounding the inerrancy of Scripture. It does not settle the question for good, and for those who have already had the paradigm shift to a position denying Scripture’s inerrancy, it probably will not argue them back into the fold. However, it does present a very well argued case, and for readers who’ve started the questioning process, these essays help clarify issues that would needlessly lead someone to deny inerrancy.

Additionally, it gives readers with limited time an overview of the argument of two other much longer books (Kruger’s and Poythress’), as well as accessible discussions on the theological issues related to Scripture’s truthfulness and trustworthiness. As such, it is a great collection of current essays defending the inerrancy of Scripture from a thoroughly Reformed perspective. Readers who are questioning the doctrine as well as readers who’ve begun to deny it would do well to wrestle with what these writers have to say.

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Nate

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I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

2 responses to Did God Really Say?

  1. I’d be interested in taking a look at this but even the title cries, not conversation but condescension. Did God really say? I just hope they don’t equate those who deny the concept of inerrancy and their motives and methods with the serpent’s words. I say this because I have seen a lot of folks from those schools making that same claim.

    • I guess it depends on the tone you read into “Did God Really Say.” Some critics are actually asking that question, not in a serpentine tone though. I think for the most part, depending on where you fall on the issue, the other side comes off condescending. So for instance, I think Peter Enns oozes with condescension and isn’t really interested in conversation since he already knows he has it right (or at least that is the way he comes off to me as I read his blog and books).

      From what I read though, the general tone of the authors didn’t seem condescending to me, but then again, I’m more inclined to agree their position than I think you would.

      I would be interested to see how you read it, and maybe some further dialogue as well!

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