WTJ: Warfield and Inerrancy

12 May 2010 by Wes Bredenhof

The Spring 2010 issue of The Westminster Theological Journal has a number of articles that caught my attention.  One of them is Paul Helm’s “B.B. Warfield’s Path to Inerrancy: An Attempt to Correct Some Serious Misunderstandings.”  Helm is specifically responding to some of the claims about Warfield made by A. T. B. McGowan.  Among those claims:  “The focusing on inerrancy was the result of their adoption in their theology of a quasi-scientific theological method which was ‘rationalist’ in character” (25).  I’m not going to outline Helm’s argument, but here is his conclusion:  McGowan’s “assertion that Warfield’s account of God’s relation to the production of inerrant Scripture is ‘rationalistic’ is without foundation” (41).  Helm does go on to note that Warfield’s account may be problematic insofar as his method results in a “book whose inerrancy is established on inductive grounds,” and is, therefore, “only very probably inerrant” (42).  Worthwhile reading.

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