Friday, January 15, 2010

Enns on the Erosion of Inerrancy

Peter Enns has reviewed Greg Beale's The Erosion of Inerrancy in Evangelicalism in the latest Bulletin of Biblical Research. Art Boulet has reproduced the entire review at his blog (with permission). A wise blogger once pointed out that Beale "purports to be defending the Bible, but he is of course defending his doctrine of Scripture, and at times it becomes clear that he is determined to defend his doctrine of Scripture even from Scripture itself." Enns notes that very same approach as the greatest weakness of the book.

The most serious problem with Erosion, which is the source of every difficulty that burdens the book, is likely from Beale’s point of view the book’s great strength. Beale assumes the very point that many evangelicals call into question, namely, that one particular evangelical understanding of inerrancy, promulgated in CSBI, is the non-negotiable standard by which any differing assessments should be judged. Beale does not countenance the possibility that the current level of unrest among evangelicals, leading to its doctrinal formulations being so widely scrutinized, suggests that perhaps a re-evaluation of these commitments is in order through patient listening and scholarly dialogue.

By assuming the inviolability of his position, Beale’s argument is like that of a defense attorney out to defend his client at any and all costs, rather than a scholar weighing evidence.

If you are interested in the issue of inerrancy and the authorship of Isaiah (among other issues), I recommend you click through to read the entire review. It's quite thought-provoking, and, in my opinion, Enns has provided a dead-on accurate assessment of Beale's book.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sadly losing more and more respect for Beale as this all keeps unfolding.