God’s Word has always had enemies, but in recent years the inspiration and authority of Scripture have been attacked with renewed vigor. Respected scholar D. A. Carson has written widely on the nature of Scripture over the past thirty years, and here presents a timely collection of his work in two parts.
In part 1, Carson selects essays written on such themes as how to interpret the Bible, recent developments in the doctrine of Scripture, unity and diversity in the New Testament, and redaction criticism. Presenting a theologically balanced and confessional perspective, Carson defines the terms of a number of debates, critiques interpretive methods and theories, and suggests positive guidelines for future action.
Part 2 presents critical reviews of nine books dealing with the inspiration and authority of Scripture. Though substantial in content, Carson’s detailed reviews will foster careful thought and perspective in those who are relatively new to the debates surrounding biblical inspiration and authority.
This volume is a diverse collection that will prove to be a helpful resource to both seasoned pastors and scholars and those who are just starting serious study of the Bible.
Table of Contents:
Part 1: Essays
1. Approaching the Bible
2. Recent Developments in the Doctrine of Scripture
3. Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: The Possibility of Systematic Theology
4. Redaction Criticism: On the Legitimacy and Illegitimacy of a Literary Tool
5. Is the Doctrine of Claritas Scripturae Still Relevant Today?
Part 2: Reviews
6. Three Books on the Bible: A Critical Review
7. Three More Books on the Bible: A Critical Review
8. Review of Jeffery L. Sheler, Is the Bible True?
9. Review of Alan G. Padgett and Patrick R. Keifert, But Is It All True?
10. Review of Roland Boer, Rescuing the Bible
D. A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he has taught since 1978. He earned a doctorate in New Testament Studies from Cambridge University. He is an active guest lecturer, and he has written or edited more than forty books. He and his wife, Joy, have two children and live in the north suburbs of Chicago.
“This book is a road map of pathways to pursue and pitfalls to avoid in handling Scripture. D. A. Carson would be the first to agree that God himself upholds his written word, the Bible. But God uses means. In recent decades, Carson’s voice has been among the most forthright, consistent, rigorous, faithful, and compelling in serving the vital divine end of testifying to Scripture’s veracity. This book guides readers to the priceless destination of confidence in God’s Word through refutation of its critics and commendation of its truth.” - Robert W. Yarbrough , Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
“D. A. Carson is one of the most prolific and profound biblical scholars of our generation. Perhaps it is not far-fetched to predict that his Collected Writings on Scripture will become a classic as an evangelical defense of Holy Scripture’s authority. Carson courteously but persuasively reveals the weaknesses of arguments designed by critics to discredit or render obsolete the historic teaching of the Western Christian churches, namely, biblical inerrancy. This book is a masterful, must read for those persons who want to understand better the nature of Scripture’s authority. The volume may very well take its place as a benchmark study, side by side with Inspiration (1881), the influential essay penned by A. A. Hodge and B. B. Warfield.” - John D. Woodbridge , Research Professor, Church History and History of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
“D. A. Carson is for this generation what B. B. Warfield was for his—the scholarly stalwart for the doctrine of Scripture, possessed of prodigious skills both as an interpreter of Scripture and as a biblical and systematic theologian, critically engaging the most significant arguments of the day and upholding the historic position of the Christian church and the Bible’s own self-attestation. Everything that comes from his pen is worthy of careful attention. Given the current state of the doctrine of Scripture (in theory and practice) in evangelical academia, this is an important and timely volume. Seminarians and pastors alike need to be abreast of present trends in this vital subject. The classic essays and critical reviews in this book offer a bird’s-eye view of the past thirty years of the discussion, as well as world-class scholarship and discernment in articulating rejoinders to sub-biblical theories while positively presenting a faithful view of the inspiration and authority of the Scriptures and their entailments.” - J. Ligon Duncan , Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi
“With tedious regularity, the doctrine of Scripture comes under attack again and again, and while many of the arguments used are familiar and hackneyed, each generation adds its own twists and turns to the cries of criticism. Thankfully, the church has always had eloquent defenders of the truthfulness of the Scriptures and of the God who inspired them. In our time, Don Carson is one such figure; and in this volume, the reader will find many of his most significant essays on Scripture. Scholarly, reverent, carefully argued, and generously footnoted, these pieces all make important contributions to current debates; and taken as a whole, they admirably expose the problems of the revisionism offered by certain voices within the church while pointing readers to a better way.” - Carl R. Trueman , Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary; author, The Creedal Imperative and Luther on the Christian Life
“I’ve always admired Don Carson’s ability to minister so effectively in two different worlds. On the one hand, he’s one of the sharpest-thinking, best-respected minds in the realm of New Testament scholarship. On the other, he’s one of the clearest, most down-to-earth preachers I’ve ever heard. He simply has a remarkable ability both to grasp and to communicate complex issues understandably. This collection is a classic demonstration of that ability.” - Donald S. Whitney , Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality, Senior Associate Dean of the School of Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
“As a young theological student I wrestled with the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. No one helped me more to understand what Scripture teaches about itself than D. A. Carson. His insightful essays and incisive reviews preserved and shaped my doctrine of Scripture. I rejoice to see some of those older essays (along with some new essays and reviews) presented together in one place in this volume, for the issues of yesterday are not dramatically different from what we face today, and Carson’s words continue to speak powerfully to our contemporary situation. Fidelity to Scripture and rigorous reasoning mark this volume, reminding us that the words of Scripture are the very words of God.” - Thomas R. Schreiner , James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“The breadth of these essays is matched by their depth. When reading Carson’s survey of the scholarly landscape, you know it’s coming from a leading member of the guild; when reading his discerning counsel about how to navigate both spurious and legitimate challenges concerning the nature, authority, and interpretation of Scripture, you know it’s coming from a pastoral heart. This is pure gold.” - Michael Horton , J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; author, Calvin on the Christian Life
“The Bible is both true and precious to the Christian, as the psalmist reminds us: ‘Your commands are my delight. Your statutes are forever right’ (Ps. 119:143–44). In this wide-ranging set of essays, D. A. Carson reminds us of these two most important facts. Combining remarkable erudition and keen insight with pastoral sensitivity and an emphasis on the value of Scripture for Christian living, Carson impresses upon us that the Bible is the true word of God and that it is the delight of a believer in Christ. Pastors and church leaders will benefit—both intellectually and spiritually—from digesting these essays. Read them, for your good and for the good of Christ’s church.” - Shawn D. Wright , Associate Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“I have read some of these pieces before in other formats, but they are all excellent and worthily reproduced in one easily accessible volume. The article on N. T. Wright’s view of Scripture is worth the price of the whole. Carson displays eminently his characteristics of intellectual insight and graceful poise, matched with a forensic surgical skill at identifying the weaknesses of those with whom he disagrees. Coming from one of the preeminent evangelical biblical scholars of his generation, Carson’s thoughts on Scripture repay study, reflection, and modeling. The church is the better for his work. Not only are our minds filled when reading this book, but our hearts are moved to worship as a God-centered approach bleeds through every page.” - Josh Moody , Senior Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent