There is a common assumption that the Bible is full of errors and contradictions, and that its often unusual people and events render it useless for today. These teachings are fueled by critics, who seem to delight in raising questions about the Bible's truthfulness and integrity. Not that it is wrong to ask hard questions of the Bible, but those questions, nevertheless, must be addressed fairly and without bias. In Isn't the Bible riddled with Errors R.C. Sproul tackles the tough questions, and comes to some interesting answers.
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Review 1 for Can I Trust the Bible?
Date:June 9, 2014
This is the second book in his Crucial Questions series. Sproul’s approach to this question was not what I expected. The majority of the book provided a comprehensive look at the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. In the 1970s and 1980s, the inerrancy of Scripture was a prevailing dispute. Thus, a council consisting of renowned theologians and scholars assembled in 1978 to finalize 19 articles to defend the inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible as God’s revealed truth. Sproul essentially shares his own commentary on the Chicago Statement. The book has six chapters, each addressing specific articles of the statement. The Bible and Authority (articles 1-2), The Bible and Revelation (articles 3-5), The Bible and Inspiration (articles 6-8), The Bible and Inerrancy (articles 9-12), The Bible and Truth (articles 13-15), and The Bible and You (articles 16-19). He does touch on historical context for each to support his commentary. The information in the Chicago Statement is undoubtedly weighty theological writing, but Sproul breaks it down into bite-sized chunks of simplicity. Although I’ve been a believer for quite some time, I don’t recall ever being aware of this event or document. It was certainly interesting to learn about. My awareness of such will now provide a significant basis for future discussions surrounding the authority of the bible. I was slightly disappointed as I do not believe this would be a helpful book for a new or non-believer seeking foundational evidence for scripture’s inerrancy. Ultimately, we can present as much historical or scientific evidence as we want, but the Holy Spirit completes the work of revealing the power and authority of God’s Word.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
The raging controversy during the 1970s and 1980s was the inerrancy of Scripture. Theologians from the early church fathers to scholars today have affirmed that all Scripture is inspired and true, including the history, geography, dates, names and every single word. Men such as Carl F.H. Henry, James M. Boice, J.I. Packer, John MacArthur (Sr. and Jr.), Francis Schaeffer, Paige Patterson, Robert D. Preus, and W.A. Criswell gathered together during October 1978 to finalize the Chicago statement on inerrancy. Can I Trust the Bible by Dr. R.C. Sproul is the commentary of the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy.
The Chicago Statement on Inerrancy starts with five short sentences on Scripture’s divine origin, verbal, plenary inspiration and full and unmitigated inerrancy. The statement continues by offering nineteen articles of affirmation and denials explicitly laying out what the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy is saying (Affirmations) and what it is not saying (denials) about the doctrine of Scripture. In Can I Trust the Bible? Dr. R.C. Sproul elaborates on and defends not only the Chicago statement on inerrancy but provides historical context on why the issues of the authority, revelation, inspiration, inerrancy and truthfulness of Scripture matter and then concludes with explaining how a proper understanding of the Word of God is important to individual believers and the health of the local and corporate church.
Can I Trust the Bible is a very helpful, but short book about a very important document the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy. This is a great book for the new believer or the more seasoned ministry leader to learn more about the debates surrounding the doctrine of Scripture. Whether you are new to the debates surrounding the Bible or whether you are well read on the debates surrounding inerrancy, Can I Trust the Bible will help you to think through the doctrine of Scripture’s authority, inspiration, inerrancy and sufficiency. I recommend you read this book to be equipped on an issue fundamental to biblical Christianity.