We wrapped up our discussion of inspiration by offering a possible model for the mode of a verbal plenary view of inspiration. We adopted the view proposed by Dr. Craig which employs a middle-knowledge perspective on the mode of inspiration. God knows what any man would freely do in any situation in which they are placed. “Thus,” states Dr. Craig, “by putting Paul in those circumstances which of course required…a whole series of ancestors and events leading up to that point, God can guarantee that Paul would write exactly what God wanted expressed to us.”
This week we continued our survey of the theories of inspiration. We saw that while a few of these theories (such as the eclectic view) have attractive qualities, the traditional Evangelical position is the verbal-plenary view of inspiration. However, the tension remains; how can we say that the Holy Spirit selected the very words of Scripture, while at the same time, the authors wrote freely, and in an unconstrained manner? This is the question to which we will turn our attention next week.
In our 7th week we discussed the biblical foundations for a doctrine of inspiration. Jesus’ promise of Holy Spirit’s guidance (John 14:26: 16:13a) suggests that he disciples would have the same divine superintendence upon their proclamations as the Old Testament prophets when they were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). This is why New Testament authors, such as Paul, were sure that their message was directly from God (Galatians 1:11-12; 1 Thessalonians 2:9-1).
We then began surveying the various theories of inspiration proposed throughout history. We discussed three theories including Natural Inspiration, Spiritual Illumination, and Conceptual (Dynamic) Inspiration. We will pick up on our survey and assessment of these theories next week.