Chapter One: The Nature of the Impasse

Evangelicals at an Impasse: Biblical Authority in Practice
by Robert K. Johnston

Chapter One: The Nature of the Impasse

Evangelicalism is currently thriving. Its churches are growing faster than their liberal counterparts; its seminaries have expanded to the point of overflow; its liberal arts colleges are successfully fighting the otherwise national trend toward insolvency; its books are widely read. People are taking note of evangelicals in a way that has not been the case heretofore in this century. Newsweek even dubbed 1976 "the year of the evangelical," and Time gave the evangelicals its cover story in the December 26, 1977 issue. For evangelicals, these are heady days.

But evangelicalism is also in a time of crisis. Recently retired Christianity Today editor Harold Lindsell, in his much publicized book The Battle for the Bible, chronicles certain of the tensions presently shaking the evangelical world.1 He would have us know that many "evangelicals" have forfeited their right to use that title any longer. For within such diverse but traditionally orthodox groups as the Missouri Synod Lutherans, the Southern Baptists, the Evangelical Covenant Church, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Evangelical Theological Society, there are those who no longer hold to Scripture's inerrancy. I will analyze Lindsell's definition of evangelicalism and deal with his defense of inerrancy at some length in chapter II. Here, however, it is enough to note Lindsell's contention that American evangelicalism is at a watershed in its history.

Carl F. H. Henry's recent volume, Evangelicals in Search of Identity, contains a more thoughtful and more tentative diagnosis of the crisis. The jacket of his book suggestively pictures a lion caught in amaze. Given the mounting tensions and internal disunity in the orthodox camp, the evangelical movement has become for Henry "a lion on the loose that no one today seriously fears."2 The diversity which Henry, as one of modern evangelicalism's founders, laments has been noted more positively by Richard Quebedeaux in his book The Young Evangelicals- Revolution in Orthodoxy.3 In this book Quebedeaux offers a typology for the conservative wing of the Protestant church, differentiating Separatist Fundamentalism (Bob Jones University, Carl McIntire) from Open Fundamentalism (Biola College, Hal Lindsey), Establishment Evangelicalism (Christianity Today, Billy Graham) from the New Evangelicalism (Fuller Theological Seminary, Mark Hatfield), and all of these from the Charismatic Movement which cuts into orthodox, as well as ecumenical liberal and Roman Catholic constituencies.

In their own separate ways, Lindsell, Henry, and Quebedeaux give common witness to the growing division on every front. Lindsell's focus on "inerrancy" spotlights the most persistent example of conflict. But contemporary evangelicals also seem to be a house divided on other theological issues they address-consider their discussion on the role of women, their definitions of social ethics, and their responses to homosexuality. It is simplistic to claim as some have that division over these other contemporary issues has arisen because of confusion over the nature of inspiration (i. e., the inerrancy question). No, the crisis is more fundamental. The question of inerrancy is but one trouble spot among many. Along with social ethics, homosexuality, and women's place in the family and church, the issue of inerrancy is essentially the question of how the evangelical is going to do theology while holding to Biblical authority.

Put most simply, the issue is this: how do evangelicals translate their understanding of Biblical authority from theory into practice? The crisis, in other words, is over basic theological method. How does one correlate exegetical insights with an appreciation for one's theological tradition, while remaining open to instruction from contemporary culture? Evangelicals claim to be Biblical Christians. Yet presently they are finding it impossible to agree on what exactly the Bible means for contemporary men and women on an increasing spectrum of theological topics. Here is the rub.

Who Are Evangelicals?

Jesus loves me this I know, For the Bible tells me so.

[children's hymn, Anna B. Warner]4

In trying to delineate this crisis, it is helpful first to define evangelicalism, for the phenomenon has been variously described using psychological, sociological, and theological terms. As I use the word in this book, it refers to that group of over forty-five million Americans and millions more worldwide who believe in (1) the need for personal relationship with God through faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ, and (2) the sole and binding authority of the Bible as God's revelation.5 "Evangelical" is, first of all, a theological term, though its adherents may also have derivative sociological and psychological traits. The word "evangelical" distinguishes that group in Christendom whose dedication to the gospel is expressed in a personal faith in Christ as Lord and whose understanding of the gospel is defined solely by Scripture, the written Word of God. In the words of Carl Henry: "Evangelicals are to be known in the world as the bearers of good news in message and life -- the good news that God offers new life on the ground of Christ's death and resurrection in the context of a biblically controlled message."6 Evangelicals identify with the orthodox faith of the Reformers in their answers to Christianity's two fundamental questions: (1) "how is it possible for a sinner to be saved and to be reconciled to his Creator and God?" (the answer: sola gratia, sola fide); and (2) "by what authority do I believe what I believe and teach what I teach?" (the answer: sola scriptura).7


Biblical Authority

It is, in particular, the second of evangelicalism's two tenets, i. e., Biblical authority, that sets evangelicals off from their fellow Christians.8 Over against those wanting to make tradition co-normative with Scripture; over against those wanting to update Christianity by conforming it to the current philosophical trends; over against those who view Biblical authority selectively and dissent from what they find unreasonable; over against those who would understand Biblical authority primarily in terms of its writers' religious sensitivity or their proximity to the primal originating events of the faith; over against those who would consider Biblical authority subjectively, stressing the effect on the reader, not the quality of the source -- over against all these, evangelicals believe the Biblical text as written to be totally authoritative in all that it affirms. Although almost all Christians claim Biblical authority in some qualified sense, evangelicals posit Scripture as their sole authority.

Modernity's anti-authoritarian bias as well as the rise of a negative critical perspective toward Scripture has brought this evangelical claim under attack in some quarters. But, counters John R W. Stott, to accept such a position "is neither a religious eccentricity, nor a case of discreditable obscurantism, but the good sense of Christian faith and humility. It is essentially `Christian' because it is what Christ Himself requires of us.... it is Christ's view of Scripture."9 The fact evangelicals want other Christians to face is that Jesus, the Son of God incarnate, accepted Scripture as divinely authoritative. Moreover, he not only challenged others with the absolute authority of Scripture; he also submitted wholeheartedly to it personally. Again, he commissioned apostles to teach in his name and promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is these apostles who have given us the New Testament. If we are to have confidence that Christ is the bearer of the good news of the gospel, must we not also trust him in regard to his claim for the authority of Scripture?

Perhaps evangelicalism's most common argument concerning Biblical authority runs as follows: If one will grant the general reliability of the New Testament documents as verified historically, then, as the Holy Spirit uses this witness to create faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, the Christian comes to accept Jesus Christ as authoritative. Because on investigation of the text it is noted that Jesus accepted Scripture as his sole and divine authority (admittedly Jesus' pronouncements and actions were not framed in the context of the twentieth-century debate on authority, but his trust in Scripture still seems incontrovertible), Christians similarly believe the Bible to be basic to their faith and life. Moreover, Christians are given assurance of this fact by the Holy Spirit.10

Inspiration and Interpretation

The claim of Biblical authority stands central within evangelical theology. It is buttressed by the Scriptural corollary of Biblical inspiration. In a fundamental sense, to speak of Scripture's authority is to make a statement about God who inspired it. Seen in light of its foundations, the doctrine of Biblical authority is not first of all a statement about Scripture; it doesn't say that Scripture has this or that quality (though there are "evidences" supporting its inspiration), but that God the Holy Spirit did something-he spoke by the prophets and apostles (2 Pet. 1:21; 2 Tim. 3:16). As Geoffrey Bromiley notes, "There can be no proving of inspiration just as there can be no proving of God."11 Rather, we dare to say Scripture is the supreme norm, for we believe that God gave it, that he attested to it in Christ, and that he uses it by his Spirit in the lives of women and men today.

Among evangelicals, the commitment to the inspiration of Scripture, a corollary to its belief in Biblical authority, has led some like Harold Lindsell and Francis Schaeffer to consider a particular formulation of the doctrine of inspiration-a belief in the inerrancy of Scripture-as synonymous with a high view of Biblical authority. Conflating Biblical authority, inspiration, and inerrancy, they have turned "inerrancy" into evangelicalism's dogmatic bench mark.12'I But to view "inerrancy" as the ground for judging evangelicalism is to reverse Biblical priorities. It is to confuse the evangelical's primary commitment to sola scriptura with a secondary commitment, a particular theory of the result of inspiration. "Inspiration" is that supporting Biblical tenet which grounds Scriptural authority; "inerrancy" is an inference from Biblical inspiration which many, but not all, evangelicals have traditionally supported. To make "inerrancy" the watershed of evangelicalism is to reverse the order of priority of authority, inspiration, and inerrancy. Even such spokesmen for Biblical inerrancy as Bernard Ramm, Carl Henry, and Clark Pinnock (i. e., those willing to make that inference) recognize that this is an unwise theological reduction.13 For it is to confuse one of several possible tests of evangelical consistency with the test of evangelical authenticity.

The focus of theological discussion among evangelicals concerning Biblical authority has naturally gravitated to a consideration of the doctrines of inspiration and revelation, i. e., to a discussion of Scripture's source. The Bible's authority is God's authority.14 Its authority is grounded in the fact that the Bible is God's Word. But since it is God's Word, an adequate concept of authority must also take cognizance of how that word is heard. The authoritative message, in other words, must not only have an adequate source in revelation; it must also be made efficacious through its reception. Scripture's authority must not only be tied to its inspiration; it must also be related to its interpretation.

Long neglected or underplayed in evangelical circles, matters of interpretation (hermeneutics) are increasingly being recognized as crucial to the maintenance of a viable evangelical doctrine of authority. As Clark Pinnock recognizes, "The area in which a maturing of our evangelical understanding is most urgently needed is the interface between inspiration and interpretation."15 Pinnock is calling for the evangelical church to move beyond mere theory to the point where the Bible's sole authority actually functions to authorize theological formulation. It is the concrete working out of Biblical authority in theological matters, not its theoretical discussion, that ultimately counts. Given a lack of clarity in the interpretive process, precise refinements regarding the theoretical structure of inspiration and authority lose much of their relevance. From the doctrine of God, we must turn in our discussion of authority to the matter of Biblical hermeneutics and questions of theological formation. As Geoffrey Bromiley says, "The Bible is infallible and authoritative. But if there are different possibilities of interpretation, where is one to find that which is infallible and absolute?"16

It is precisely this problem that is plaguing contemporary evangelicalism. Here is its crisis. How can we translate Biblical authority into practice in our constructive theology? In a perceptive editorial in Themelios, an evangelical journal distributed through Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship to theological students, Dick France bemoans the fact that evangelicals are "prone to local and changing theological fashions." Our commitment to the authority of Scripture is too often our commitment to the authority of the interpreter. He complains we do not have any adequate idea about interpreting the Bible for ourselves. "We have taught and learnt the answers rather than the method of finding them" Too many evangelicals do not know, France claims, the basic principles of Biblical interpretation.17


Evangelicals at an Impasse

The result is that evangelicals are currently at an impasse over the interpretation of major theological matters. "Where is it written?"an appeal to Biblical authority-seems at present to be an inadequate basis for providing theological unity. Evangelicals, all claiming a common Biblical norm, are reaching contradictory theological formulations on many of the major issues they address -- the nature of Biblical inspiration, the place of women in the church and family, the church's role in social ethics, and most recently the Christian's response to homosexuality. If evangelicals cannot discover a way to move more effectively toward theological consensus, can they still maintain in good conscience their claim to Biblical authority as a hallmark? Will their distinctive position regarding Biblical authority not die the death of a thousand qualifications?

The Adiaphora

A traditional defense by evangelicals against the charge of theological inconsistency and contradiction has been to classify all disputed theological areas as adiaphora, i. e., "things indifferent" to Scripture and thus of secondary importance. The claim is made that the Bible is still authoritative, for on the fundamentals of the faith - -what C. S. Lewis labels "Mere Christianity" -- there is unanimous judgment. It is charged that it is only among those who have not maintained the principle of sola scriptura that doctrinal differences on central areas of the faith have surfaced. Evangelicals might differ on forms of worship or modes of baptism, but these cannot be regarded as fundamental to the faith. John Stott quotes Richard Baxter on this point: " 'In necessariis unitas, in nonnecessariis (or dubiis) libertas, in omnibus caritas 'That is `in fundamentals unity, in non-fundamentals (or "doubtful things") liberty, in all things charity.' "18

But there are two problems with such a position. First, it is difficult to decide what the "fundamentals" are. Are matters of predestination, church and state, and eschatology secondary in importance and thus not to be insisted upon? Admittedly, these matters are secondary to one's understanding of Jesus as Savior, but are they secondary to the issue of Biblical authority? Are we to reduce the fundamentals of the faith to the bare bones of "Jesus is Lord"? In terms of Christian theology an affirmative answer is disastrous. Is eschatology, for example, of any less interest within Scripture than the doctrine of the authority of Scripture itself? It would be hard to support such a viewpoint Biblically. Similarly, can one's doctrine of human nature (which lies behind all discussion both of homosexuality and of women's place in the family and church) be considered of secondary interest within Scripture? Hardly. A similar judgment needs to be made concerning the doctrine of social ethics, and the doctrine of inspiration. As the following chapters will document, differences of opinion are surfacing within the evangelical community on these theological matters. Yet if evangelicals desire a Biblical faith, they must recognize that such issues are of central importance for a Biblical understanding of the Christian faith. It is not merely on peripheral issues, such as matters of church government, that we disagree.

A second problem with the adiaphora claim is the difficulty in defining with theological precision even those areas which relate centrally to the claim that Jesus is Lord. Well known are the disputes over the nature of the atonement. Are there allowable differences as to the nature, not the fact, of the bodily resurrection? Is Lindsell correct in his assertion that Willi Marxsen's denial of the bodily resurrection denies him the possibility of being a Christian, even though, as Beegle states, Marxsen is "absolutely convinced that Jesus of Nazareth is living and calling him to faithful service"?19 Many evangelicals are more hesitant than Lindsell to pronounce judgment in regard to Marxsen's faith, however inconsistent they might believe his theological position to be. Matters of interpretation and theological construction are central at this point in order to arrive at a full understanding of the basic assertions of the gospel. We risk missing some of the richness of our faith as well as offending fellow Christians by pretending that interpretation is not an issue in the evangelical church.

C. S Lewis

Paul Holmer, in his recent book on C. S. Lewis, presents an interesting variation on the adiaphora

Argument claiming that Lewis"s "Mere Christianity" is not "theological" at all. Holmer writes, "Lewis moves out of the theological and out of the philosophical and into the ordinary language of everyday life." Thus, "he does not say a word calculated to help anyone to decide between denominations or rival theological views, but he does seek to get us to believe in God and Jesus Christ." He disputes the fact that "all apprehension and knowing of Christian things is via the theology or the second-level discourse."20 It is here claimed that the issue is not one of sorting primary and secondary theological matters, but rather of sorting out and bracketing the theological issues which are secondary from primary Christian reflection. Even granting the wider intentions of Holmer's remarks (a variation of the adiaphora argument), they remain misleading, for they suggest it is possible to discuss Christianity nontheologically. Surely, there is a direct experience with Christ that takes place pre-critically. But matters of interpretation and theological formulation are necessarily at the heart of any statements about this experience of Jesus Christ.

The issue for evangelicals, in fact, finds one of its foci precisely at the point of interpreting Jesus -- his attitudes toward Scripture, women, society, and so on. Moreover, Lewis's view that there is human distortion in the imprecatory Psalms, and his view that the male is authoritative over the female in church and family (because the male symbolizes God's presence) are well known and by no means universally affirmed among evangelicals.21 They are theological judgments arising from hermeneutical considerations. Lewis would have been willing, I am sure, to admit this fact and perhaps to bracket out such issues from his "Mere Christianity." But the same hermeneutical considerations are also present in his formulations about the virgin birth, the resurrection, miracles, evil, and so on. Lewis might have been a lay theologian without formal training in certain matters, but he was, nevertheless, a theologian.

To reflect on issues of the Christian faith is to do theology. And it is this fact that evangelicals too begrudgingly admit. There seems to be prevalent in many evangelical circles the wishful posture that "theologies" are what non-evangelicals believe, while evangelicals accept only the "truth." Such a bias has kept evangelicals from working out their methods of theological formation and now threatens to undermine their commitment to Biblical authority as well. The matter of interpretation can no longer be ignored.

After positing the presence of adiaphoral issues that must be judged tolerantly, James Packer makes an interesting charge. It is also very arguable, says he, that "in each of these cases [of adiaphora] unexamined assumptions brought to the task of exegesis, rather than any obscurities arising from it, . . . [are] really at the root of the cleavage."22 The trouble, in other words, is that presuppositions are too often read into Scripture rather than being read out of Scripture. Packer is surely correct on the majority of theological disputes, even within evangelicalism. Evangelicals must learn the art (science?) of theological formation so that their desire for Biblical authority can be enfleshed.

Present Theological Dangers

In the concluding chapter we will look at the nature of theological construction in light of the issues presently surfacing in the evangelical community. But prior to that discussion, a word about theological method will be helpful.

In the unfolding and presentation of Scripture's message, the evangelical interpreter must always keep God's Word central to all theological formation. Theology, that is, is a wrestling to unpack the Biblical witness. But this should not be interpreted to mean that historical-critical exegesis is alone the method of theology. For theology is more than a scientific assessment of the text; the Biblical texts must also be received as address (they are God's word to us) and made relevant by application (they are God's word to us). Such a theological program has been a constant process in the life of the church through the ages. To facilitate this process, theologians have found it necessary to bring (1) to the insights of ongoing exegesis, (2) the previous reflection of the listening church mediated through the church fathers and the church's doctrinal decisions. Moreover, (3) theologians have sought to understand the church's obligation to teach in terms of contemporary society. Thus, theology, even that theology which seeks to adhere to the principle of sola scriptura, becomes in practice the dynamic blending of Biblical, traditional, and contemporary sources. The Bible remains the decisive authority, but its word freshly applied and freshly experienced is only heard through exegetical, historical, and contemporary channels.

The danger of continuing to neglect matters of theological construction is that without being mindful of theology's built-in system of checks and balances, any one of the three traditional sources for theological reflection can be unintentionally absolutized, and the authority of the Word of God thus compromised. Such a threat to the vitality and integrity of the church's faith and life is discernible within the evangelical community today. Not understanding the necessary interworking of traditional, Biblical, and contemporary sources (even in a theology that seeks Biblical authority as its ultimate norm), certain evangelicals have fallen prey to a new form of "traditionalism"; others have retreated to a "Biblicism"; still others have found themselves in theological bondage to contemporary standards. An illustration of each of these errors will perhaps clarify my contention.

Clark Pinnock, in a perceptive paper entitled "The Inerrancy Debate Among the Evangelicals," warns that men like Francis Schaeffer and Harold Lindsell "tend to confuse the high view of Scripture with their own interpretation of it, so that unless one agrees with their reading of the text he may be described as an unsound evangelical or no evangelical at all."23 Pinnock is suggesting that elements of the evangelical community are presently confusing Biblical truth with certain traditional interpretations of the Biblical record which they accept. Far from expressing genuine respect for Biblical authority, they have let an established order of religion make use of Scripture for its own purposes, albeit under the canopy of extreme respect for the text. Becoming fixed on a traditional line of interpretation, such evangelicals have removed "from God's word in Scripture [perhaps we could better say, from God's word as Scripture] its power to revolutionize the existing order."24

A sterilizing "formalism" is one present danger; a defensive "Biblicism" is a second. Carl Henry, in an interview on Lindsell's The Battle for the Bible, charges Lindsell with having a reactionary, unscholarly viewpoint toward Scripture in his attempt to defend its authority:

Dr. Lindsell regards the historical-critical method as in itself an enemy of orthodox Christian faith. He seems totally unaware that even Evangelical seminaries of which he approves are committed to historical criticism, while repudiating the arbitrary, destructive presuppositions upon which the liberal use of the method is based. Surely Dr. Lindsell does not want the seminaries to take an uncritical, unhistorical approach to the Bible!25

But this seems exactly Lindsell's agenda. For him, questions concerning the dating of Daniel, the historicity of Jonah, or the authorship of Isaiah are decided doctrinally, apart from historical-critical evidence in the text.26 Similarly, because of his desire to hold to a high view of Scripture, Lindsell sometimes confuses Scripture's poetic language with scientific assertion. Referring to Job 38:7, for example, which speaks of the morning stars singing together, he asserts that the book of Job is inerrant for "scientists now tell us that in the air there is music that comes from the stars."27 Though wanting to let Scripture speak authoritatively to the church, he undercuts his intent by denying a grammatical-historical method its place.

A third danger to evangelical theology brought on by inadequate reflection at the point of methodology is theology's tendency to reflect current opinion rather than Biblical truth. Without a creative dialogue between the three components of any constructive theology, it is easy to fall into bondage to contemporary needs and concerns. Thus, the women's liberation movement in America has been compelling enough to some evangelicals to cause them to jettison, or at least radically qualify, Pauline authority on the subject. Virginia Mollenkott, for example, in her article "Evangelicalism: A Feminist Perspective," defines herself as a feminist, one willing "to implement the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes." She states that she has been unable to accept the "separate-but-equal double talk" of traditional evangelicalism. Thus, all the Pauline texts supporting female subordination must be rejected as "the record of Paul's struggles with his rabbinic socialization" (which understood women to be inn ferior to men). At times Paul does not transcend this erroneous perspective in his writing, but Mollenkott believes this "does not impugn our faith in the inspiration of the New Testament."28

But by allowing that there is a "human element" (and by this she seems to mean a falsehood) in the divinely inspired Bible, Mollenkott has undercut her intent to let Scripture be authoritative. She has let the "good reasons" of feminism judge the Pauline texts. In chapter III we will need to look further at this issue in order to see whether an irreconcilable conflict exists between feminism and Paul's "rabbinic" texts. But whether the conflict is actual or only apparent, Mollenkott is convinced of it. Thus, rather than place the insights of contemporary society in dialogue with Scripture and tradition in a way that maintains Biblical authority, she has compromised the sole authority of Scripture by qualifying it from feminist perspectives.


Constructive Evangelical Theology

The task of theology is a risky one, but one that no longer can be neglected in the evangelical world. For God's word to be authoritative, it must function authoritatively in practice. Donald Dayton, in his review of James Barr's book Fundamentalism, which attacks British evangelicals' theological claims, concludes: "Without fully affirming Barr's stance, we can still hope that this book will help make clear the bankruptcy of reigning evangelical paradigms of biblical authority and thus accelerate the search for more adequate ways of conceiving the authority of the Scriptures."29 Dayton is correct in noting the current problem in evangelicalism concerning Biblical authority, but wrong in asserting the inadequacy of evangelicalism's paradigms. It is not the theoretical underpinnings of Biblical authority that are in error, but the evangelical community's inability to translate theory into practice. It is not the notion of inspiration that is erroneous, but the inattention to matters of interpretation.

In the following chapters, I will chronicle this current impasse in evangelical theology. Chapter II will focus upon the nature of inspiration as it is presently being debated. Chapter III will concentrate on the role of women in the church and family. Chapters IV and V will highlight the divisions over notions of social ethics and homosexual ity. With each issue, I will attempt to acquaint readers with the nature of the current problem by delineating the differences presently surfacing and by then clarifying the issues involved. By doing this, my hope is to point evangelicals beyond their current impasse by suggesting where ne theological input is surfacing-whether from exegetical, contemporary, or traditional sources.

This book is a plea on two fronts: First, for an irenic and loving spirit within the evangelical community as controversies are debated. If the theological task cannot be carried out prayerfully and with a real sense of community, all will be the losers. If the modernistfundamentalist controversy of our past has taught us anything, it is the tragic consequences of polarization. Second, this book is a plea for consensus-building in theological formation. Only as the evangelical church continues to strive for unity on major theological issues can it continue to claim Biblical authority as a foundational principle. Can we continue to overlook theological inconsistency, maintaining our own "party line" by the exclusion of other voices?

In the sixth and concluding chapter, we will look at this task of theological formation in some detail, seeking to learn from the contemporary discussions on theological issues that previous chapters have documented. Can the discussion on women, for example, provide the evangelical church a test case in theological construction? Can the other current issues function similarly? It is with this question in mind that I turn to address what has been evangelicalism's most persistent controversy-the nature of inspiration.


1. Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976)

2. Carl F. H. Henry, Evangelicals in Search of ldentity (Waco: Word Books, 1976), p. 96.

3. Richard Quebedeaux, The Young Evangelicals: Revolution in Orthodoxy (New York: Harper & Row, 1974). Cf. his The Worldly Evangelicals (New York: Harper & Row, 1978) for a slightly different classification

4. Anna B. Warner, "Jesus Loves Me" in The Little Golden Book of Hymns, ed. Elsa Jane Werner (Racine, Wis.: Western Publishing Co., 1976), pp. 6-7.

5. Numerical estimates vary, but cf. "Back to That Oldtime Religion," Time, 26 December 1977, p. 53,

6. Carl F. H. Henry in "Interview: Carl Henry on Evangelical Identity," Sojourners 5 (April 1976):27. Cf. Richard J. Coleman, Issues of Theological Warfare (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), p. 27; Peter Toon, "The Nature of Evangelicalism -- An Anglican Perspective," The Reformed Journal 24 (December 1974:27; Virginia R. Mollenkott, "Evangelicalism: A Feminist Perspective," Union Seminary Quarterly Review 32 (Winter 1977):95.

7. John Stott, "The Evangelical View of Authority," Bulletin of Wheaton College 45 (February 1968):1.

8. Cf. Loraine Boettner, "Evangelical" in Baker's Dictionary of Theology, ed. E. F. Harrison (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1960), p. 200; and Clark Pinnock, "Three Views of the Bible in Contemporary Theology" in Biblical Authority, ed. Jack Rogers (Waco: Word Books, 1977), p. 60

9. John Stott, Understanding the Bible (Glendale, Calif.: Regal Books, 1972), p. 202.

10. Kenneth Kantzer, "Christ and Scripture," His 26 (January 1966):1620; James Packer

"Calvin's View of Scripture" in God's Inerrant Word, ed. John Montgomery (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1974),pp. 95-114; Edward John Carnell, The Case for Orthodox Theology (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1959), pp. 33-4

11. Geoffrey W. Bromley, "The Interpretation & Authority of Scripture,"Eternity, August 1970, pp. 12-20.

12. Francis Schaeffer, No Final Conflict: The Bible Without Error in All That It Affirms (Downers Grove, Ill.:Inter-Varsity Press. 1975), p.13 "it is the watershed of the evangelical world." Lindsell, The Barttle for the Bible, p. 210: "I do not for one moment concede, however, that in a technical sense anyone can claim the evangelical badge once he has abandoned inerrancy."

13. Carl F. H. Henry in "Interview: Carl Henry on Evangelical Identity," p. 27; Bernard Ramm, "Is `Scripture Alone' the Essence of Christianity?" in Biblical Authority, ed. Rogers, p. 112; Clark Pinnock, "Foreword" to Stephen T. Davis, The Debate About the Bible (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1977), p. 11.

14. Cf. Bernard Ramm, The Pattern of Religious Authority (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959).

15. Clark Pinnock, "The Inerrancy Debate Among the Evangelicals," Theology, News and Notes (1976, Special Issue), p. 13 (Pinnock's emphasis).

16. Bromiley, "The Inspiration & Authority of Scripture," p. 19.

17. Dick France, "It Is Written," Themelios 2 (May 1977):65.

18. John Stott, Christ the Controversialist (Downers Grove, Ill.: Inter-Varsity Press, 1970), p44. 19. Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, pp. 177-179. Cf. Dewey M. Beegle, Scripture, Tradition, and Infallibility (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973), pp. 60-63.

20. Paul Holmer, C. S. Lewis.• The Shape of His Faith and Thought (New York: Harper & Row, 1976), pp. 94, 97, 100.

21. C. S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms (New York: Harcourt, Brace 8t World, 1958), pp. 20ff. See also his God in the Dock (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 234fI:

22. James Packer, " `Sola Scriptura' in History and Today" in God's Inerrant Word, ed. John Montgomery, p. 56.

23. Pinnock, "The Inerrancy Debate Among the Evangelicals," p. 13.

24. James D. Smart, The Interpretation of Scripture (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1961), p. 183. Cf. Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans trans. Edwyn Hoskyns (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968), pp. 7-8.

25. Carl F. H. Henry in "The Battle for the Bible: An Interview with Dr. Carl F. H. Henry," Scribe, Spring 1976, p. 4.

26. Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, pp. 21, 136, 157, 204.

27. Ibid., p. 38.

28. Mollenkott, "Evangelicalism: A Feminist Perspective," pp. 95, 97-98.

29. Donald Dayton, "Annotations," Sojourners 6 (November 1977):36-37.