The next chapter in God’s Word in Human Words is entitled “Constructive Responses to Biblical Criticism”. Kenton Sparks finds a rich collection of attempts by scholars to deal in a positive way with the problems historical analysis of the Bible has raised.
First he brings up Karl Barth’s neo-orthodoxy. Barth fully accepted the validity of the historical-critical insights into the text. Yet Barth, for the most part, set them aside to focus on the theological purpose of the Bible. The Bible is not about history. Rather it contains God’s revelation of Jesus Christ. Part of God’s sovereignty is that he chooses how to reveal himself. He chose to do it through human instruments. It is not for us to tell God he should have used a more perfect, inerrant way.
Brevard Childs, who built on Barth, introduced canonical interpretation. He saw that historical-critical scholarship added depth to our understanding of…
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