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Recent Interpretations of Biblical Parti:


A Neoorthodox Historiography under Siege

J o h n D. Woodbridge

Many Americans are caught up in a "personal rights" craze. At least that is the opinion of a federal judge who hears and sees much as he travels from one federal court to another. Americans are ready to resist any authority whatsoever that hampers or restricts "rights of free expression." Pollsters seem to confirm the accuracy of the judges reading of the national pulse. 1 Undoubtedly the protection of personal rights is very important. It is as American as apple pie. But the present fascination for the defense of personal rights has an unsettling dimension: the refusal to acquiesce before the laws of government or the teachings of churches, or the instruction of educational institutions if they cross personal feelings or judgments. Many Americans are inclined to do what is right in their own eyes. TWo illustrations maybe cited. Internal Revenue Service officials bemoan an epidemic of tax cheating that has swept the land. And Roman Catholic clergy know only too well that many of their flock ignore the teachings of their church about artificial birth control. Not that all Americans are law-breakers or disloyal. But as the federal judge put it, there is reason to wonder if in fact a moral majority exists. Or perhaps it might be better to ask if a majority exists which agrees on afixedset of ethical principles.
Biblical Authority in a "Me Decade"

It might seem odd to begin a series on the topic "Recent Interpretations of Biblical Authority" with these all too brief com3

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ments about the present cultured scene. Nonetheless this does seem appropriate. There is reason to believe that in part the virulent rhetoric and criticism issuing from some opponents of biblical authority stems not so much from the emergence of any remarkable new data to which they are privy but from a more broad-based anti-authoritarian impulse within the land. For on the intellectual side of things, biblical authority has fared reasonably well within the last 20 years or so. 2 In the field of church history a number of scholars are confirming what evangelicals have long argued: until the 18th century the Christian churches in Europe generally maintained a commitment to biblical infallibility. By contrast, a neoorthodox construction that suggests that biblical infallibility was created in the late 16th and early 17th centuries is less persuasive today than it was for scholars in the 1940s and 1950s. In biology, a number of scholars are experiencing gnawing doubts about what was an assured given of "educated" people a few decades ago: the theory of evolution. They reckon that an insufficient amount of time has transpired to allow for the emergence of diverse species encountered today.3 The lack of evidence to sustain patterns of slow evolutionary development is forcing scientists such as Steven Gould at Harvard University to propose radical modifications of current hypotheses. 4 Many Americans who say they believe in evolution probably do not have a good understanding of the rapidly shifting contours of evolutionary theories. The intellectual challenges against the evangelical view of Scripture, then, do not seem to be as massive as they were in the not-too-distant past. Nonetheless they remain substantial and should not be treated lightly. In the broader culture they continue to erode Americans' confidence in the Scriptures. Well-trained Christian apologists are needed to answer them. If the intellectual tide is not moving as forcefully against the Bible today as it did a generation ago, why are attacks on those who want to uphold biblical teachings apparently intensifying? Undoubtedly Bible believers have not always been circumspect in their actions and words. But one of the principal reasons for todays onslaughts against biblical authority has to do with a previous point: many Americans want to live their lives according to their own fancies. A "Gospel of Self-Fulfillment" swept through the United States in the 1970s and helped nurture the spirit of a perverse narcissism. 5 Anne David, professor of sociology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, puts the matter bluntly: "Our culture

A Neoorthodox Historiography under Siege

promotes a type of pathological (disturbed) narcissism We have a lot of grown-up 2-year-olds out there expecting to be happy 'now.'" 6 Millions of Americans heeded the siren-like message of the "Gospel of Self-Fulfillment. " Now they sense that obeying the Bible's teachings would rain on their narcissistic parade. Their s u s p i c i o n s are correct. Scripture does indicate t h a t Christians are to love others; it denounces pride and greed; it condemns sexual exploitation, including homosexuality, the chic sin of the 1980s; it portrays marriage as sacred; and it infers that the putting to death of a n u n b o r n infant grieves the Savior. God's Word repudiates manifestations of the perverse narcissism that has its iron grip on the minds and bodies of many people today. In 1976 Tom Wolfe shrewdly christened the present times "The Me Decade." Understandably those persons whose lifestyles are challenged by Scripture are tempted to discredit its authority. Some go so far as to deny that the God of the Bible is really the true God. Is not this line of thought familiar? People are saying, "The God I a m interested in is the God of love a n d freedom. He or she does not judge anyone for their deeds. He or she is tolerant. He or she allows all to find their way to heaven by following their own paths. Certainly the Bible is a worthy piece of literature, b u t don't let anyone tell me that I should live according to its teachings. And no church or individual should seek to incorporate its moral precepts into the laws of the land." What would become of America's liberties if this gambit succeeded? Not surprisingly many who think this way think of defenders of biblical authority as narrow, bigoted, and given over to totalitarian schemes that would make George Orwell envious. They see themselves as the defenders of personal ethics based on an individual's rights of free expression. Their own ethical commitments often create their discomfort with the concept of biblical authority. Intellectual problems a n d concerns for personal rights are sometimes evoked as a screen for a basic unwillingness to heed God's Word. But evangelicals should not become smug; they too do not always submit to God's Word even though they uphold a high view of biblical authority. This approach to the problem of explaining in part the motivations behind recent attacks on the Bible's authority is reminiscent of Charles Hodge's perception of why individuals were accepting theories of evolution in the 1860s when they had rejected them in the 1840s. 7 Hodge, a theologian at Princeton Seminary, wrote:

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How then is it, that what was scientifically false in 1844 is scientifically true in 1864? When a drama is introduced in a theatre and universally condemned, and a little while afterward, with a little change in the scenery, it is received with rapturous applause, the natural conclusion is, that the change is in the audience and not in the drama. 8 Hodge argues that the evidence for evolution had not improved since the 1840s when the anonymously written Vestiges of Creation appeared and Americans and Englishmen generally refused to entertain the theory. But in the 1860s many Anglo-Saxons were accepting it. What h a d changed their m i n d s ? Hodge proposed that the denial of design by Charles Darwin's theory was "the main cause of its [evolution's] popularity and success." 9 Hodge believed that this denial permitted Darwin's radical disciples to find confirmation for what they h a d already denied on other grounds: the existence of God. 1 0 They sought a n intellectual justification after the fact for their earlier rejection of theism. The premise behind Hodge's analysis is intriguing: a person will sometimes accept a n intellectual option not because evidence for the position h a s suddenly become more convincing, b u t because the position appears to legitimatize prior moral and spiritual commitments. If this premise of Charles Hodge is correct, it is reasonable to expect that strong attacks on the Bible's authority will emerge in days ahead. These challenges will be m o u n t e d not so m u c h because new arguments make the attacks warranted, b u t because those who want to escape the Bible's teachings can do no better than to try to discredit it. The conflict over biblical authority will sometimes reflect deep-seated spiritual struggles far more t h a n surface intellectual exchanges apparently indicate. If the anti-authoritarian impulse grows in strength, many Americans will find it intolerable for any person or group to claim that their faith is the only way, a n d that there are ethical absolutes. Evangelicals who proclaim without hesitation that J e s u s Christ is the Way, the Truth, a n d the Life will become the great iconoclasts of this age. Like the early Christians who were accused of atheism because they did not believe in the pagan gods of the day, these evangelicals will be considered atheists because they do not bow down to the contemporary gods of moral relativism a n d epistemologica! skepticism. They m u s t be explained away. Evangelicals must be made to look like obscurantists who simply do not understand the cultural forces that have shaped their thinking. Or in a

A Neoorthodox Historiography under Siege

worse scenario, they will be portrayed as fanatics who have all the trappings of Muslim fundamentalism. Neither characterization is particularly pleasant. How should evangelicals respond to this type of caricaturing and rhetoric? They should refrain from responding in kind. They should seek the Lord's help in attempting to answer firmly but graciously those who deny the Bible's authority in any form. Evangelicals should also speak with both firmness and charity to some of their Christian brethren who are apparently prepared to let personal judgments and reason determine a canon within a canon of Holy Writ and to deny the infallibility of God's Word.
Recent Views on Biblical Authority

A good number of scholars believe that the evangelical stance on biblical authority is untenable not only from a biblical point of view but also from a historical perspective.11 They would utterly reject the notion that the refusal to acquiesce before biblical authority has anything to do with spiritual matters. Rather, some would say, those who reject any form of biblical authority or for that matter the idea of biblical infallibility do so in the name of intellectual honesty. This claim should not be dismissed out of hand. Even though the acceptance or rejection of biblical authority does depend on the persuasive work of the Holy Spirit, inquirers' objections should be answered. The Holy Spirit may use carefully conceived responses in His persuasive activity. More specifically, many scholars who object to the evangelical view of biblical authority believe that the doctrine of biblical inerrancy constitutes a departure from the beliefs of the Reformers and the early church. These scholars share a common conviction that conservative evangelicals (whom they sometimes dismiss as fundamentalists) are innovators who erroneously imagine that their position about Scripture reflects what Christians in the past thought about the subject. For several neoorthodox historians the roots of biblical inerrancy extend back to the late 16th century at the earliest, for Jack Rogers and Donald McKim to the late 17th century, for Bruce Vawter to what he calls "the scientific age and the age of rationalism," and for several contemporary historians to the early days of fundamentalism. 12 Why are critics of biblical inerrancy intent on cutting off conservative evangelicals from the Reformers and the church fathers? Their strategem is an old one. In the history of theology doctrinal

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innovation has generally been associated with heterodoxy. Victories were claimed if one theological party could demonstrate that their antagonist's beliefs were novel. This is the import of Eck's barbed questions to Martin Luther: "Martin, how can you assume that you are the only one to understand the sense of Scripture? Would you put your judgment above that of so many famous men and claim that you know more than they all?"13 Now Luther did give the famous reply that unless he were convinced by Scripture, and plain (regenerated) reason, he would not change his mind. And Luther did deny the ultimate authority of popes and councils because they have contradicted each other.14 And Luther did note that his conscience was captive to the Word of God. Nonetheless on occasion this same Martin Luther also parried the type of questions Eck asked by arguing that his beliefs recaptured those of the early church. He by no means viewed the early church fathers as infallible, but he did not want his teachings to depart from theirs unless the Scriptures dictated. Martin Luther did not want to be viewed as an innovator in any definitive sense. Rather he portrayed himself as one who was recovering the gospel. He charged the Roman Catholic Church itself with innovation. According to Luther's reckoning, this had occurred about 300 years before his own day. In the 17th century French Protestants followed the same line of argument against Roman Catholics who had alleged the perpetual character of their own beliefs.15 In their apologetic duels with each other, both Roman Catholics and Protestants often concurred that if a doctrinal formula was successfully tagged as a theological innovation, its orthodoxy was doubtful. Various opponents of biblical inerrancy have attempted to exploit this principle. Johann Semler tried to do so in the 18th century as did Samuel Coleridge in the 19th. Contemporary opponents of biblical inerrancy have taken the same tack. If they make the charge of innovation stick, they believe they have taken a major step forward in their struggle to trivialize the belief or discredit it completely.
A Neoorthodox Interpretation of Biblical Authority

Several interpretations of the history of biblical authority seek to portray the evangelical stance on biblical authority as innovative. The first is what might be called a neoorthodox interpretation. This historical analysis is widely accepted in Germany. To question it is to question an "assured result of scholarship."

A Neoorthodox Historiography under Siege

Even though Karl Barth's star began to fall from the theological heavens of Europe in the 1950s, the interpretation of the history of biblical authority by his disciples h a s remained a guiding light for many historians who have written on the subject. According to this construction the existential faith motifs of the 16th-century Reformers began to be swallowed u p in the writings of secondgeneration Protestants. They say t h a t whereas the Reformers believed that Christ was the Word of God, their disciples like Theodore Beza, Philip Melanchthon, and Lambert Daneau began to identify the Word of God with the Bible as well and to fall into bibliolatry. Whereas the Reformers defined faith as trust, their disciples began to identify faith with intellectual assent. Whereas the Reformers assumed God's existence as a given, their disciples, influenced by a r e s u r g e n t Aristotelianism, attempted to prove God's existence by constructing theistic proofs drawn from natural theology. Whereas t h e Reformers viewed the Scriptures as a h u m a n , fallible book which witnesses to the true revelation of Christ, their disciples perceived the Scriptures as a revelation in itself.16 Using syllogistic logic, they argued that because God is the author of t r u t h a n d He is likewise the author of the Bible, it follows that the Bible is infallible and inerrant. Whereas the Reformers were open at least in principle to the type of higher biblical criticism that 20th-century critics practice, their disciples rejected attempts to study the Scriptures in this way out of concern to have a fixed, certain word. Whereas the Reformers did not believe that the Bible necessarily presented the t r u t h about the natural world and history, their disciples argued that it did. Given this general analysis, Ernst Bizer, one of the prominent spokespersons for this kind of "neoorthodox" construction, called on his readers to overcome the nascent rationalism of the late 16thc e n t u r y P r o t e s t a n t s a n d to r e t u r n to t h e t e a c h i n g s of the Reformers. 17 The Neoorthodox Historiography Found Wanting This version of a neoorthodox historical construction is a large edifice. It will n o t suddenly collapse. Barth's disciples p u t it together very carefully.18 Moreover, orthodoxies of historical interpretation are difficult to dig out, especially when they are designed to sustain a theological system as this one apparently is. On the other hand, the first major cracks in the substructure of the edifice


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have appeared within the last 10 years or so. Respected nonevangelical scholars have begun to chip away at the synthesis. In 1981, Jill Raitt, for example, wrote with jackhammer blows: General studies of the period 15601600 are few in number and tend to reflect either a denominational bias, or a preestablished, and usually derogatory, thesis about the relation of these years to the period of the Reformation. According to this thesis, the rich insights of Luther and Calvin, their powerful use of the vernacular, their impatience with scholasticism, all are seen to fall into the pit of Protestant scholasticism because of the lack of first-rate minds in the latter half of the sixteenth century. Latin again prevails, scholastic forms of debate govern style, and the fresh wind of the Gospel promise dies away in a desert of propositions. Recently, a number of scholars have challenged this facile set of generalizations. From their detailed studies of the theologians of the late sixteenth century have come new insights . . . . 19 Fatio, of the University of Geneva, asks this question about Lambert Daneau, who is frequently portrayed as an archetypical Protestant scholastic: Why, then, should scholars criticize the rational framework to which he resorted as a corruption of the existential discoveries of the Reform? It would be better to recognize it as a pedagogical support favoring the presentation of ideas easily put to use and corresponding to the process of scholarly transmission and the establishment of the Fatio specifically criticizes Ernst Bizer's interpretation of Lambert Daneau in this regard. In a word, Bizer's "neoorthodox" historiography, which according to Raitt was widely accepted "as late as ten years ago," 2 1 is u n d e r siege. It is difficult to know what bearing the critics' attacks will have on the viability of neoorthodoxy as a theological system. Neoorthodox apologists h a d made it one of their ringing claims that their teachings recaptured the beliefs and emphases of the Reformers. That claim is more doubtful today in the academic community than it was 10 or 20 years ago. How strong is the siege against the neoorthodox historiography? It is becoming fairly formidable, if judged by the names of respected scholars who are lending their names to it. In 1981, David Lotz of Union Theological Seminary, New York City published an article on Luther's view of biblical authority in which he launched a bold frontal attack: Scripture for Luther is God's Word since it has God the Holy Spirit as its ultimate author. One may not invoke Luther's authority in defense of such familiar formulas as "Scripture witnesses to the Word of

A Neoorthodox Historiography under Siege


God," or "Scripture becomes God's word when heard in faith," or "Scripture is the record of God's revelation". . .. These formulas have their provenance in modern theology chiefly in Protestant neoorthodoxy. They can be attributed to Luther only by reading them back into his theology in an anachronistic, hence erroneous, fashion. 22 Lotz also assumed that Luther believed in biblical inerrancy. 2 3 Steinmetz of Duke University Divinity School declares that he has recently revised his interpretation of the relationship between late 16th-century Protestants and the Reformers: The tendency to deplore the return of Protestant thinkers to Aristotelian metaphysics and to regard the reintroduction of scholasticism as an abandonment of the insights of the Reformation may, after all, prove to be historically naive and to rest on a misconception of scholasticism and the Reformation itself.24 These evaluations by Lotz and Steinmetz are important. They cannot be ignored by the wider academic community. One may expect other distinguished scholars to join the ranks of those who find the neoorthodox historiography to be deficient. Recent research is also making it more evident that Calvin and Luther upheld the doctrine of biblical infallibility. Nonevangelical scholars such as Edward Dowey and H. Jackson Forstman had pointed this out several decades ago. 2 5 Nonetheless so strong has been the staying power of the neoorthodox historiography in American scholarship that to this day many scholars have been reluctant to accept their analyses. Several of the most recent studies of the Scriptures in the Reformation do not lend support to a neoorthodox reading of this matter, however. Bentley h a s noted how daring Erasmus was on one occasion in his biblical studies: At one point he [Erasmus] even ventured the daring suggestion that the original authors of Scripture themselves introduced error into their work. At Matt. 2:6 the evangelist reversed the meaning of prophecy quoted from Mie. 5:2. In his note to this passage Erasmus attributed the error to a slip of the memory, unlike earlier commentators, who had strived mightily to explain away the evangelist's mistake. 26 Bentley, who is not a defender of biblical inerrancy, paints the context for Erasmus's proposal. He makes it clear that the proposal cut across the grain of Christian thought in the early 16th century by inferring that a n original author of Scripture could have made a mistake.


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Further research confirms the accuracy of Bentley's contention. 2 7 Before Martin Luther and J o h n Calvin p u t quill to paper as Reformers, conservative Roman Catholics believed that the Vulgate Edition of the Bible was infallible. When Erasmus pointed out textual errors in the Vulgate, generally blaming these errors on mistakes of textual t r a n s m i s s i o n or faulty translations, conservative Roman Catholics like Maarten Dorp responded that Erasm u s might inadvertently overthrow the Catholic religion. Several scholastic doctrines of the church depended on the wording of the Vulgate text. If the wording were defective, these doctrines could not stand. T h u s on the eve of the Reformation many Roman Catholic theologians believed in the infallibility of the Vulgate. Moreover, it was inconceivable to them that any Christian would let Erasmus get away with a n even worse move, attributing an error to an original writer of Scripture. J o h n Eck scolded Erasmus on his suspect treatment of Matthew 2:6. Listen, dear Erasmus: do you suppose any Christian will patiently endure to be told that the evangelists in their Gospels made mistakes? If the authority of Holy Scripture at this point is shaky, can any other passage be free from the suspicion of error? 28 Quite simply, Eck could not imagine that any Christian would allow for error in the Scriptures. Moreover, he summoned the great Saint Augustine to testify that a real error in Scripture would have devastating consequences for its authority. 2 9 Into this theological environment fell the writings of Martin Luther, J o h n Calvin, a n d other Reformers. Though Roman Catholics accused these men of badly misinterpreting Holy Writ, they did not apparently ever charge them with saying that an original writer of Scripture made a n error. That charge would have been an irresistible one if there h a d been the slightest grounds for making it. Even the slippery E r a s m u s (Luther called him a n eel) in his hardfisted debates with Martin Luther over free will acknowledged that the Reformer reverenced Holy Scripture. 3 0 And interestingly Erasm u s himself reversed his controversial interpretation of Matthew 2:6 because it was so offensive to his contemporaries. 3 1 When this theological context is placed beside the formal statements of the Reformers that they upheld biblical infallibility, only one conclusion follows: like Augustine, the Reformers Luther, Calvin, and Bucer believed that the Bible was without error. And unlike several evangelical commentators of today, the Reformers averred that the denial of infallibility had serious implications for

A Neoorthodox Historiography under Siege


the authority of the Bible. Luther said this about Gods precious Word: Whoever is so bold that he ventures to accuse God of fraud and deception in a single word and does so willfully again and again after he has been warned and instructed once or twice will likewise certainly venture to accuse God of fraud and deception in all of His words. Therefore it is true, absolutely and without exception, that everything is believed or nothing is believed. The Holy Spirit does not suffer Himself to be separated or divided so that He should teach and cause to be believed one doctrine rightly and another falsely.32 It does not appear that Luther, at least, fits the pattern of a person unconcerned about the truthfulness of the very words of Scripture. Calvin, who spent m u c h effort harmonizing biblical texts, does not fit the pattern either. 3 3 The neoorthodox characterization of the Reformers' thinking simply cannot account for their commitment to biblical infallibility. In s u m m a r y the neoorthodox historiography does not convincingly countermand the claim of evangelicals that their beliefs regarding biblical inerrancy are similar to the teachings of the Reformers. Even these brief comments should make this clear. But evangelicals should not adopt a spirit of triumphalism; the influence of the neoorthodox historiography is still pervasive. The Rogers and McKim proposal is quite indebted to it. Moreover, Ramm and Bloesch are projecting aspects of neoorthodox theology as defining characteristics of who an evangelical i s . 3 4 It would be ironic if neoorthodoxy becomes especially prominent in evangelical circles at the very time the historical interpretation which sustains it is under siege in the wider academic community. God's written Word which speaks of Christ the Living Word tells about man's salvation. The Bible also relates the truth when it touches on the natural world, history, and ethics. Evangelical Christians stand in the long line of Christian brothers and sisters who affirmed these same things. The evangelical view of biblical authority is not novel. It is very old. Therefore evangelicals ought to go forth in the Holy Spirit's power, not only proclaiming the truths of the Word of God, b u t also submitting themselves to its authority in daily life. And may the mind of Christ develop more fully in evangelicals' minds as they meditate on His precious Word. Editor's Note
This is the first in a series of four articles delivered by the author as the W. H. Griffith Thomas Memorial Lectures at Dallas Theological Seminary, November 6-9, 1984.


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1 In the fourth article in this series the findings of several pollsters regarding this trend will be cited 2 Probably t h e m o s t s e r i o u s challenges to biblical a u t h o r i t y m t h e last two decades have emerged in the area of hermeneutics a n d linguistic theory 3 For a valuable introduction to criticisms of Darwinism, see the article signed simply R a n d entitled, "Heresy in the Halls of Biology Mathematicians Question Darwinism,' Scientific Research (November 1967) 59-66 4 Steven Gould, "Massive Extinctions Helped to Determine Evolution of Species, Geologist Asserts, The Chronicle of Higher Education, J u n e 6, 1984, pp 5, 7 5 The fourth article in t h i s series will note the potential impact of this "Gospel of Self-Fulfillment on Americans attitudes toward ethics 6 Anne David, cited in U S A Today, July 7, 1983, 3 Also see Daniel Yankelovich, New Rules Searching for Self-Fulfillment in a World Turned Upside Down (New York Random House, 1981), Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations (New York Norton & Co ,1978) 7 Historians have suggested other interpretations to explain the acceptance of Darwinian t h o u g h t by t h e intellegentsia in the 1860s a n d 1870s 8 Charles Hodge, What Is Darwinism? (London T h o m a s Nelson a n d Sons, 1874), 145 9 Ibid , 146 10 Ibid , 150 11 For a discussion of the Bibles perspective on its own authority, see Wayne Grudem, "Scriptures Self-Attestation a n d the Problem of Formulating a Doctrine of Scripture, Scripture and Truth, ed Donald A Carson a n d J o h n D Woodbndge (Grand Rapids Zondervan Publishing House, 1983), p p 19-59 12 These sophisticated interpretations will be evaluated in this series 13 J o h a n n Eck, cited in Roland Bainton, Here I Stand A Life of Martin Luther (New York New American Library, 1950), 144 14 Regarding the c h u r c h fathers, Luther declared "But everyone, indeed, knows that at times they [the fathers] have erred as m e n will, therefore I a m ready to trust them only when they prove their opinions from Scripture, which h a s never erred (cited m Paul Althaus, The Theology of Martin Luther [Philadelphia Fortress Press, 1966], 6, 12, Weimar Ausgabe, 7 315) 15 See especially Remi Snoeks, L'argument de tradition dans la controverse eucharistique entre catholiques et reformes franais au XVII sicle (Louvain Editions J Duculot, 1951) 16 However, Karl Barth himself apparently acknowledged that the Reformers had upheld a belief in verbal inspiration (John Gerstner, "The View of the Bible Held by the Church Calvin a n d the Westminster Divines," Inerrancy, ed Norman Geisler [Grand Rapids Zondervan Publishing House, 1979], p p 389-90) 17 Ernst Bizer, "Fruhorthodoxie u n d Rationalismus, in Theologische Studien, Heft 71 (Zurich EVZ-Verlag, 1963), 6 3 18 An especially well-argued "neoorthodox" interpretation is Carl Ratschows, Lutherische Dogmatik zwischen Reformation und Aufklarung (Guters Gutersloher Verlagshaus, Gerd Mohn, 1964) 19 Jill Rait, "Introduction," in Shapers of Religious Traditions in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 1560-1600 (New Haven, CT Yale University Press, 1981), xix 20 Olivier Fatio, "Lambert Daneau,' in Shapers of Religious Traditions in Germany, Switzerland, and Poland, 1560-1600, 111 21 Raitt, "Introduction," xix, 29

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22 David Lotz, "Sola Scnptura Luther on Biblical Authority, Interpretation 35 (July 1981) 263 23 Ibid , pp 267-68 a n d 268, 29 Lotz does argue, however, that Luther did not base his view of the Bibles authority on its infallibility b u t on its Christological focus 24 David Steinmetz, "Preface, in Reformers in the Wings (Grand Rapids Baker Book House, 1981) 25 Edward Dowey, Knowledge of God in Calvins Theology (New York Columbia University Press, 1952), pp 104-5, J a c k s o n Forstman, Word and Spirit Calvins Doctrine of Biblical Authority (Palo Alto, CA Stanford University Press, 1962), 65 Dowey is himself a proponent of neoorthodoxy 26 Jerry Bentley, Humanists and Holy Writ New Testament Scholarship in the Renaissance (Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press, 1983), 142 27 Bruce Benson, " E r a s m u s a n d the Correspondence with J o h a n n Eck (unpublished paper, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1983-84) 28 Ibid , 4 (Desiderius E r a s m u s , Collected Works of Erasmus, t r a n s R A Mynors and D F S Thomson, vol 5 The Correspondence of Erasmus [Toronto University of Toronto Press, 1976], p p 289-90) 29 Regarding Saint Augustine s view of biblical authority, see J o h n D Woodbridge, Biblical Authority A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal (Grand Rapids Zondervan Publishing House, 1982), pp 37-46 30 Ernst F Winter, ed , Erasmus-Luther Discourse on Free Will (New York Frederick Ungar Publishing Co , 1961), 59 31 Bentley, Humanists and Holy Writ, pp 204-5 It is difficult to know if E r a s m u s in his heart of hearts did believe in biblical infallibility Berndt Moeller h a s argued that he did, whereas J a c q u e s Chomarat h a s dissented from that opinion (see Woodbndge, Biblical Authority, 175, 10) 32 Martin Luther, cited in Robert Preus, "The View of the Bible Held by the Church The Early C h u r c h through Luther," in Inerrancy, 380 33 Dowey writes To Calvin the theologian a n error in Scripture is unthinkable Hence the endless harmonizing, the explaining and interpreting of passages that seem to contradict or to be inaccurate But Calvin the critical scholar recognizes mistakes with a disarming ingeniousness The mistake or the gloss is simply a blunder made by a n ignorant copyist" {Knowledge of God in Calvins Theology, 104) 34 Bernard Ramm's great appreciation for Karl Barth is m u c h in evidence in his work, After Fundamentalism The Future of Evangelical Theology (New York Harper a n d Row, 1983) Donald Bloesch writes "For example, it can be shown that I stand partly in both neo-evangehcalism a n d neo-orthodoxy, even though I belong mostly to catholic evangelicalism ' {The Future of Evangelical Christianity A Call for Unity amid Diversity [Garden City, NY Doubleday & Co , 1983], 165, 67)

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