A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
Editor’s Note: Today we continue our series of “bonus” summaries covering all thirty-six chapters of the monumental volume, The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures (D.A. Carson, ed.).
Chapter 6: Wesleyan Theology and the Authority of Scripture: Historic Affirmations and Some Contemporary Issues
by Thomas McCall
(Summarized by Mark Coppenger)
McCall repudiates the ruling claim that Methodists didn’t care about biblical inerrancy until they were corrupted by Fundamentalists and Calvinists and that current indifference or hostility toward inerrancy is in the sweet spot for Methodists, who hate divisive and censorious distractions from the work of evangelism, spiritual formation, and social justice. We’ve already quoted Wesley on this matter in the previous chapter summary, so we can move to such voices as Thomas Ralston’s, who called modern German scholarship “a hot-bed of infidelity in this insidious guise” and who declared, “What the Bible says, God says; what the Bible declares to be true, is true; what it declares to be right, is right; what it declares wrong, is wrong. What it teaches is to be believed”; and Samuel Wakefield’s, who defined the Bible’s inspiration as “that extraordinary influence of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind by which men are qualified to communicate to others religious knowledge without error or mistake.”
Even those not disposed to applaud inerrancy acknowledged the 19th-century allegiance to the “high technical [aka biblical inerrancy] theory” (Henry C. Sheldon, 1906). Indeed, contrary to the false narrative, this commitment to inerrancy came before the Fundamentalist-Controversy, and, besides, inerrancy professions came from those who repudiated Calvinism.
Some Methodists have appropriated what. . .[To continue reading this summary, please see below....]
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The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures