The Divine Authenticity of Scripture: Retrieving an Evangelical Heritage, By A. T. B. McGowan
The Divine Authenticity of Scripture
  • Length: 229 pages
  • Published: May 21, 2008
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 2879
  • ISBN: 9780830828791

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Evangelicals have taken extraordinary care in formulating and articulating a high view of Scripture. And yet the doctrine is not without its inadequacies and its internal critics--both past and present.

Reviewing the evangelical discussion and formulations over the past century and more, particularly in the Reformed tradition in North America, Andrew McGowan is not content with the present state of the question. The way forward is to reach back within the European evangelical tradition, particularly to the work of the Dutch Reformed theologian Herman Bavinck. The prescription is to anchor the doctrine of Scripture in the work of the Spirit, the divine spiration of Scripture. And the contested idea of inerrancy should be replaced with an informed concept of the infallibility or authenticity of Scripture.

The Divine Authenticity of Scripture is not simply a book that argues an academic case for reformulating a thoroughly evangelical doctrine of Scripture. It keeps the pastoral dimensions of the question in view and relates the doctrine of Scripture to the church's confessions and preaching.

"Andrew McGowan has rendered a notable service to evangelical doctrine by calling us to reconsider our understanding of the nature of Scripture and directing our attention to the contribution offered by such revered figures as James Orr and Herman Bavinck. He steers a wise course between the dangers of an unthinking fundamentalism and a skeptical liberalism, and suggests that terms such as spiration and infallibility express concepts that are basic to a sound doctrine that will have practical relevance to the preaching of Scripture."

I. Howard Marshall, Honorary Research Professor, University of Aberdeen

"A thought-provoking evaluation of the ongoing debate between the non-inerrantist and the inerrantist positions."

Norman L. Geisler, Bibliotheca Sacra, January - March 2010

"I can recommend this book highly as a text that needed to be written. It says so many of the things that post-Conservative evangelicals are thinking about scripture, inerrancy, and infallibility."

Danny Zacharias,, July 1, 2008


1. Introduction
2. Reconstructing the Doctrine
3. The Enlightenment and Liberal Theology
4. Fundamentalism and Inerrancy
5. Infallibility: an Evangelical Alternative
6. Scripture and Confession
7. Preaching Scripture
8. Conclusion

Index of names


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A. T. B. McGowan

The Rev Professor Andrew McGowan is minister of Inverness East Church of Scotland, professor of theology in the University of the Highlands and Islands, and honorary professor in Reformed doctrine at the University of Aberdeen. He was the principal of Highland Theological College from 1994 to 2009. Professor McGowan chairs the Theological Commission of the World Reformed Fellowship, he is president of the Scottish Evangelical Theology Society, and he is chairman of Rutherford House. Professor McGowan’s most recent books are Always Reforming: Explorations in Systematic Theology, editor; The Divine Spiration of Scripture: Challenging Evangelical Perspectives; and The Person and Work of Christ: Understanding Jesus. Andrew is married to June and has three sons.