Warfield and Berkouwer: The Evangelical Attitude toward the Bible

On the differences between Warfield and Berkouwer, P. Rees speaks wisely, “is it not right to say that there is a difference between the evangelical attitude toward the Bible and an evangelical’s views about the Bible? Go back to Warfield and Berkouwer. Their views of how to construe the Bible’s matchless revelatory quality and authority are not precisely the same… But their attitude toward the Bible is identical – God’s Word that shines in our darkness, the unerring pointer to the One ‘who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven…” (Biblical Authority, edited by J Rogers, p. 13, emphasis original).

The difference between Berkouwer and Warfield lies not at the point of emphasizing the unbreakable connection between origin and authority but at the point at which divine and human activity are related to each other.

Both Berkouwer and Warfield emphasize the divinity and the humanity of the Scriptures.

Their differing interpretations of the relationship between Scripture’s divine and human aspects are closely related to their differing interpretations of the boundaries set by Scripture for theological reflection.

The decisive question for Berkouwer as well as Young and Warfield is this: What does the Bible teach? In discussing their views, it is important to emphasize that differences in precise interpretation should not be permitted to obscure the shared concern with affirming Biblical authority.

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