21. Among the most vocal are Carlos R. Bovell, Inerrancy and the Spiritual Formation of Younger Evangelicals (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2007); Craig D. Allert, A High View of Scripture? The Authority of the Bible and the Formation of the New Testament Canon (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007); Kenton L. Sparks, God’s Word in Human Words: An Evangelical Appropriation of Critical Biblical Scholarship (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008); and A. T. B. McGowan, The Divine Spiration of Scripture: Challenging Evangelical Perspectives (Great Britain: Apollos, 2007). Sparks in particular paints contemporary defenders of inerrancy in very unflattering colors. Old Testament scholars such as R. K. Harrison, Gleason Archer, and E. J. Young are accused of sticking their heads in the sand to avoid dealing with the real issues raised by critical Old Testament scholars (133ff ) while New Testament scholars such as D. A. Carson and Douglas Moo are said to be guilty of deliberately dodging the issues of New Testament critics (167). Even greater disdain is heaped on Carl Henry, who had the misfortune of simply being a theologian and not a biblical scholar (138). However, the most reprehensible aspect of Sparks’s work is the facile labeling of all defenders of inerrancy as Cartesian foundationalists. Sparks declares Cornelius Van Til, and his presuppositional apologetics, to be Cartesian because Van Til underscored the importance of certainty, which to Sparks’s way of thinking automatically makes one a Cartesian (45). If that is the case, then we must place not only the Reformers and the church fathers in that category, but Christ and the apostles as well! Van Til was no Cartesian. His apologetical approach was rooted in classic Reformed theology, especially in the Dutch tradition of Kuyper and Bavinck, stretching back to the noted Dutch Protestant scholastic Peter Van Mastricht (1630–1706), who was an outspoken critic of all things Cartesian. As Richard Muller notes, “Mastricht’s consequent stress on the necessity of revelation for Christian theology (theology defined as ‘living before God in and through Christ’ or as the wisdom leading to that end) led to an adamant resistance to Cartesian thought with its method of radical doubt and its insistence on the primacy of autonomy of the mind in all matters of judgment.” Richard Muller, “Giving Direction to Theology: The Scholastic Dimension,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 28 ( June 1985), 185.

22. Attesting to this is the work by Jack Rogers and Donald McKim, The Authority and Interpretation of the Bible (San Francisc Harper & Row, 1979). Roger Olson, who has been beating this drum for some time now, openly dismisses the doctrine; see his “Why ‘Inerrancy’ Doesn’t Matter,” The Baptist Standard (March 26, 2006): 1–2. Dave Tomlinson, in a book that is popular in what is called “the emergent church,” offers a section titled “Inerrancy? A Monumental Waste of Time.” Tomlinson goes on to declare, “I have no intention of arguing against this doctrine; I simply marvel that anyone should think it plausible or necessary to believe in such a thing” (Dave Tomlinson, The Post-Evangelical [London: Triangle, 1995], 105). Finally, James D. G. Dunn, a leading scholar for the so-called New Perspective on Paul, echoes Briggs’s assessment by declaring inerrancy “exegetically improbable, hermeneutically defective, theologically dangerous, and educationally disastrous” ( James D. G. Dunn, e Living Word [Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988], 107).

23. See Stanley Grenz, Renewing the Center: Evangelical Theology in a Post-Theological Era (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), and the book he coauthored with John Franke, Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001). It was disappointing to see Grenz relying so heavily on the work of Rogers and McKim in assessing Warfield, and this despite the fact that Grenz alludes to the work of John Woodbridge and his devastating work Biblical Authority: A Critique of the Rogers/McKim Proposal (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982).