Thursday, August 4, 2011
It is extremely rare for me to recommend a book that I have yet to read, but I am going to venture into such rarity, concerning the above book (link to purchasing options). I have done so, based on the following three online reviews:
Dr. Peter Enns – “Have Evangelicals Made the Bible Impossible?
Dr. Tim Henderson – “Christian Smith: The Crumbling Foundation of Biblicism (Part 1)”
Kevin DeYoung – “Christian Smith Makes the Bible Impossible”
The first two reviews are favorable, whilst the third is hostile. Having not yet read the book myself, I am unable at this time to assess the reviews; however, I did find the following from Dr. Enns review to be cogent:
Smith’s central contention is that “pervasive interpretive pluralism” renders moot evangelical presumptions of the nature and authority of Scripture.
The above seems to duplicate the insightful reflections of Dr. A.N.S. Lane on this subject. I have provided the following from his pen on the right side-bar of this blog for over three years now:
It was this belief in the clarity of Scripture that made the early disputes between Protestants so fierce. This theory seemed plausible while the majority of Protestants held to Lutheran or Calvinist orthodoxy but the seventeenth century saw the beginning of the erosion of these monopolies. But even in 1530 Casper Schwenckfeld could cynically note that ‘the Papists damn the Lutherans; the Lutherans damn the Zwinglians; the Zwinglians damn the Anabaptists and the Anabaptists damn all others.’ By the end of the seventeenth century many others saw that it was not possible on the basis of Scripture alone to build up a detailed orthodoxy commanding general assent. (A.N.S. Lane, “Scripture, Tradition and Church: An Historical Survey”, Vox Evangelica, Volume IX – 1975, pp. 44, 45 – bold emphasis mine - LINK)
I have ordered this book, and hope to post some further reflections once I have read it (the Lord willing).
Grace and peace,