For some decades now it has been a vogue to disparage the confession that the Scriptures are the very Word of God with the claim that since the Bible is made up of “propositional truth” it cannot constitute the living, dynamic, existential, and therefore real Word of God—which is, it may be added when this claim is made, exclusively Jesus Christ himself. The claim has a certain plausibility, the line of reasoning being apparently something like the following: the Bible is full of statements; there is something fixed about a statement; much that is fixed is inert and dead; but the real Word of God is “living and active.” The claim has also notable conveniences. No particular assertion need be faith fully adhered to as a word of God. It is also fraught with fearful liabilities. For instance, even in regard to Jesus Christ, what single definite promise can he be said with assurance ever to have made? Or, for that matter, how can we be sure that even he deserves to be called the Word of God? It is a cardinal truth that the Scriptures cannot be known apart from Christ. But it is just as true that Christ cannot be known apart from the Scriptures. Fantastically presumptive is the readiness of the past one hundred years and more to delineate Christ, both popularly and academically, right out of the blue of fancy and prejudice.
The claim is also sophistical, and it is its sophistry that I would like to expose.
Actually, better words than “propositional” can be used in this connection. By common usage, that is “propositional” which can be entertained for assent or denial, such as a list of resolutions for debate. But though interminable lists of propositions for debate can be formulated out of biblical material, the Bible itself is ...1
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