Monday, October 25, 2010

Insufficient Concepts of Biblical Inspiration

The liberal, neo-orthodox, neo-evangelical, and ultra-fundamentalist concepts of biblical inspiration fall short of the biblical concept.  For instance, according to the liberal model, scripture is an entirely human product.  In other words, the words of scripture are man’s words and are subject to the limitations of men.  However, scripture repeatedly affirms that it is the word of God that has come through human beings (2 Peter 1:20-21). 

The neo-orthodox model suggests that the words of scripture are inspired in the sense that they point to Christ but because they came through men they could not have been God’s words.  However, as noted in the passage from 2 Peter referenced above, the Holy Spirit superintended the process and carried the writers along (“men moved by the Holy Spirit”).  Further, in John 17:17 Jesus doesn’t describe scripture as being true, but rather as “truth”. 

The Neo-Evangelical model insists that either God inspired the concepts but the author put those concepts in his own words or that parts of the Bible are inspired (related to faith and practice) while others (science, history, etc) are not.  In contrast, Jesus and the apostles appeared to have the attitude that both historical (i.e. Jonah and the great fish) and scientific (i.e. God’s creation of Adam and Eve) were as true as anything else in the Bible and they therefore made no distinction between them and texts related to “faith and practice”. 

Finally, the ultra-fundamentalist concept of inspiration would be best described “mechanical dictation”, where the authors of scripture were no more than secretary’s taking a memo.  However, scripture indicates in numerous places that various authors used various means including their life experience (Hosea), methodical research (Luke, Acts), and supernatural revelations (Revelation).  These would not appear to be consistent with any sort of dictation theory.

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