A Biblical Case for Total Inerrancy [Review]

Title: A Biblical Case for Total Inerrancy ~ How Jesus Viewed the Old Testament
Author: Robert P. Lightner
ISBN: 0-8254-3110-7
Copyright: 1978 by Kregel Publications pgs.184

Biblical inerrancy is an underrated and therefore an undertaught doctrine in churches today. The biblical doctrines of inerrancy, inspiration, and infallibility form the foundation for what comes after theologically speaking. In other words what we believe concerning the biblical inerrancy will determine what we believe concerning all other doctrines, including the nature and character of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Atonement and other doctrines that are critical to the faith.

For the Bible believing Christian inerrancy is a cornerstone of what we believe concerning the word of God. If it is not understood, misapplied or ignored all together theological error will no longer be restrained.

I believe modern Christianity has drifted away from its moorings in this regard and has allowed extra biblical sources to replace the authority and place of the inspired scripture in faith and practice. This is creating all kinds of pandemonium in the church and has lowered the force and weight of scripture

What is biblical inerrancy? In short, it means, without error or true in the sense that we normally speak of, true sentences, true doctrines, true accounts, and true principles.

Here is just one of the many confessions/statements on the subject of inerrancy. The Chicago Short Statement is a worthy read as well.

1689 Baptist Confession of Faith – The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. ( 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalms 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Proverbs 22:19-21; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19,20 )

The book in the review is an extremely easy read. I am currently working through Geisler’s work on inerrancy – Defending Inerrancy – and it’s moving along slowly. A lot to digest with a bunch of sources named and interesting lines of the thought I’ve not encountered before. So this is a nice entry-level work before getting into a more involved ones.

There are a lot of positives about this book one in particular was the consistency seen throughout with that of the title – How Jesus Viewed the Old Testament. Extensive scripture quotations were used with little no philosophical rambling. This is, in my opinion, the way scripture should be interpreted and applied, SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE.

The author’s stated purpose was twofold –

First to emphasize what Christ taught concerning the scriptures overall and then that which  Christ taught concerning the Old Testament and how Christians should approach it.

While referencing a plethora of scriptures the author covers four aspects of Christ’s handling of scripture. These chapters cover –

  1. The Use of Scripture in the Saviour’s Teaching
  2. The Origin of Scripture in the Saviour’s Teaching
  3. The Inspiration of Scripture in the Saviour’s Teaching
  4. The Authority of Scripture in the Saviour’s Teaching

Chapters 5 and 6 deal with an apologetic (defense) against Neo-Orthodoxy and Neo-Liberalism and then closes out.

Overall it was a good book, plenty of references and cross-references between the New and Old Testaments and not too expensive on Amazon. Be sure to check it out!

You all have a good day!