Ugly Mother of Modern Unbelief


Higher criticism, like the ape-people story, is a fabrication patched together by rebels.

The “potent cause of modern unbelief” (Herbert) is not belief in Biblical infallibility, but a century of disbelieving it.

Dissatisfaction with the traditional view of revelation was not created by the rise of Biblical criticism. Criticism was born out of its denial. For in its modern form, criticism is for the most part grounded upon naturalistic presuppositions which reflect scepticism in the supernatural content and preparation of the Bible. Existential theology capitalises on the blur created by negative criticism around the Bible and attempts a salvage operation amidst the wreckage.

The result, however, is the rescue of nothing specifically Christian. Instead the loss of sola scriptura only leads us to a new sacerdotalism (the church is the matrix of the “tradition”), a new clericalism (the expert applies his existential gnosis to Scripture for us), and a new mystical agnosticism (a faith tailored to survive even if God is not there).

—Clark H. Pinnock, A Defense of Biblical Infallibility, 1967, p. 7. My Hebrew teacher studied Greek with Pinnock, who had a parrot trained to recite the Lord’s prayer in Greek. In recent years, Pinnock has sadly embraced open theism.

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