Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pieper, 1968. Chapter B7, “Luther and the Inspiration of Holy Scripture”

Chapter B7, “Luther and the Inspiration of Holy Scripture”

Modern theology has claimed the imprimatur of Luther as they deny inspiration and consider the Scripture as man’s word. Pieper traces this to a misunderstanding of the force of Luther’s arguments. He then traces Luther’s statement about Scripture as a whole, then some specifics. Luther speaks of all the Bible as inspired by the Holy Spirit, as having authority and reliability. The “human side” of Scripture extends to the fact that people wrote God’s Word in normal human language. He also holds that the Holy Spirit communicates with us about common and even unclean things for the purpose of doctrine, reproof, correction, and training. Luther considers the Scripture as that which is to be assumed as correct. As to chronological and other apparent discrepancies, Luther affirms the Scripture is right but that we may not interpret it rightly. He also allows for copyist errors, but not for fallibility. Modern theologians have pointed to Luther’s view of canonicity and comments about some books being more valuable than others. Yet Luther affirms that all the writings recognized as Scripture bear the authority of God. He would consider different portions useful to different ends, but all as inspired. Finally, Pieper observes that the modernist theologians tend to quote one another rather than forming a coherent opinion of Luther based on his work. This leads to a view of Luther which is unclear at best.

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