Authority Of Scripture

Authority, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Inter-Varsity Fellowship, London, 94 pp. 3s) and “Fundamentalism” and the Word of God, by J. I. Packer (Inter-Varsity Fellowship, London, 191 pp., 4s. 6d.) are reviewed by Donald Guthrie of the London Bible College.

Both these books deal with the problem of the Christian’s ultimate authority, although they treat it from rather different points of view. Dr. Lloyd-Jones has an essentially practical aim, whereas Dr. Packer’s plan is more systematic. The former book contains the substance of three addresses and retains the characteristics of the preacher’s style. It deals with the authority of Jesus Christ, of the Scriptures, and of the Holy Spirit. The author shows that evangelicals base their doctrine on Christ’s doctrine of Scripture. The only alternative to accepting on this basis the full authority of Scripture, is to acknowledge the uncertain authority of “modern knowledge” and “human ability.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones sees the issue as a clear alternative between Christ and the critics. Those who class themselves among the critics will find many challenging statements in this little book. In his chapter on the Holy Spirit the author shows special interest in the phenomena of revivals in which the authority of the Spirit is particularly manifest, and he makes a strong plea for more earnest prayer that the Spirit might again manifest his power in the Church.

Dr. Packer’s book performs several invaluable services for evangelicals. He makes clear that the manner in which the word “fundamentalism” is often used by liberal critics is not only misinformed but positively misleading. He points out that a different situation exists in Britain and America, since in the former the word ...

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