Friday, March 21, 2014

Pieper, 1968. Chapter B6, “On the History of the Doctrine of Inspiration”

Chapter B6, “On the History of the Doctrine of Inspiration”

Pieper gives a brief history of views on inspiration. Christ and the apostles considered the Scripture to be identical with God’s Word. This was also the uniform view of the Fathers. Luther, along with the symbolic books of the Lutheran Reformation, also equated the Scripture and God’s Word. There were some Lutheran scholars in the 1600s who were not as strong on inspiration, considering it to pertain only to holy things. This view, however, did not become widespread until the blossoming of the Enlightenment. Modern theology, following Schleiermacher, almost uniformly denies inspiration, preferring some form of self-consciousness. One way or another they assume some view of inspiration which is equated with self-consciousness on the part of the author. Many authors view multiple levels of inspiration and hence validity within the Bible.

Pieper then summarizes views of inspiration within different creeds. The Roman Catholic Church has normally held to inspiration but some theologians have departed. Arminians allow errors and base much theology on enthusiasm rather than Scripture. Calvinists tend to confess a high view of Scripture but subject it to reason. Thankfully, says Pieper, most Arminians and Calvinists will accept Scripture rather than the logical requirements of their doctrines, especially in times of trial.

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