Liberalism’s downgrading of the Bible is stirring worldwide evangelical dissent

An issue that will not be submerged is the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Although liberalism would like to assume that the classical view of Scripture as the infallible Word of God shares the demise attributed by some to God himself, this view remains very much alive.

The progressive departure of liberalism from Scripture is an enlightening chapter in theology. Although the older forms of liberalism followed radical criticism in its undermining of biblical authority, they still appealed to Scripture in formulating their position. But the new theology of Bishop Robinson and others of the Cambridge school seeks its ground in the philosophical and extra-biblical thought of Tillich and the anti-supernaturalism of Bultmann, while the death-of-God vagary represents an about-face from Scripture in its complete repudiation of what the New Testament says of Jesus’ unique relationship to his God and Father. Moreover, unrest within the United Presbyterian Church, a denomination having deep roots in the Bible, has centered largely on the dissatisfaction of many thousands with what the proposed “Confession of 1967” stated about Scripture and its authority.

As all this goes on, evangelicalism is rallying to a high view of the Word of God and its inspiration. Thus the recent Wheaton Missionary Congress boldly stated in its Declaration, representing the consensus of missionary leaders and nationals from seventy countries behind whom stand some 13,000 missionaries: “In line with apostolic precedent, we appeal in the many issues that confront us to the Bible, the inspired, the only authoritative, inerrant Word of God.” Almost concurrently there came from ...

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