It is only in modern times that leaders within the Christian Church have assailed the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible. Over the centuries, of course, enemies have not been lacking who have assailed it from without; but today it has become fashionable in many church circles to deny the inspiration of the Bible in the classical sense. The Bible is, indeed, now widely regarded as a book of human, not divine, origin—inspired only in the humanistic sense that the Hebrews, who wrote it, had a genius for religion, just as the Greeks had a genius for philosophy, and the Romans a genius for government. The evolutionary interpretation of reality, which has so powerfully influenced the thinking of the Western world, assigned the Bible, in its different parts, a place within the supposed gradual development of religion from the crude apprehensions of primitive man in his cave-dwelling to the refined concept of ethical monotheism of our day. This viewpoint inevitably accords the Bible a position of purely relative significance, in radical conflict with the high conception of it as the inspired Word of God addressing a unique revelation of truth to fallen (not rising) man, and therefore absolute in its significance.
Again, it is characteristic of the so-called neo-orthodox theology of our day, with its emphasis on “encounter,” to define the Bible as a word of man which may, at certain times and under certain circumstances become the Word of God to me: that is, God may speak or reveal some truth to me through it, so that at that point in my experience it, or some portion of it, functions as a Word of God to me. Correlative with this outlook are the conceptions of the Bible as not in itself the Word of God, but as containing the ...1
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