Carl Henry begins volume 2, chapter 2 of his 6-volume magnum opus as follows:
Divine revelation is given for human benefit, offering us privileged communion with our Creator in the kingdom of God.
“God who reveals himself in sovereign freedom does so first and foremost for his own glory. While divine revelation is indeed ordained for human benefit, it primarily unveils God’s glory through the disclosure of himself and his numerous purposes and objectives.”
Why did God inspire Scripture? I don’t care what your theory of inspiration is as much as I care about why you believe God allowed, wrote, dictated or worked within the canonical process to give us the Bible?
Given the way we all sin against God, each other and His creation, it is not a stretch to argue that what we all deserve is punishment but in an act of grace, we receive divine revelation.
God’s purpose in revelation is that we may know him personally as he is, may avail ourselves of his gracious forgiveness and offer of new life, may escape catastrophic judgment for our sins, and venture personal fellowship with him. “I … will be your God, and ye shall be my people” (Lev. 26:12, kjv), he declares. His revelation is not some impersonal mass media commercial or routine news report of the “state of the invisible world”; it is, rather, a personal call and command to each individual. God discloses priceless good news. Because of it human beings everywhere at this very moment have the prospect of peace and hope, of purity and happiness. Not forever to be sure, but for the moment redemptive rescue remains an immediate possibility for every race and for every land, for Jew and Arab, Chinese and Russian, and Latin and North American.
The recent Rob Bell controversy has raised a number of questions about salvation. Yet, as Henry points out with text after text after text, it is clear that Jesus saves His followers from something more than an empty life here and now—one cannot read Paul and come to a different conclusion.
It is clear to me that the Bible is given, at least in part, to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus and set forth how one might come to share in the Kingdom through the life, death and resurrection of Christ. If this is so, would God muddle such an important message so that conflict interpretations are equally valid?
Even if our eternal fate were not at risk and Scripture is simply a guide to walk in God’s ways here and now (for all eventually will be saved), is not our life here and now important enough to justify reliable instruction for all those interested regardless of education?
In short, if Henry is write that Scripture is given by God for our benefit to His glory then how can progressives like Bell affirm the inspiration
We will turn to the specific question of salvation as it relates to Scripture in the next chapter but given the current climate in “evangelicalism,” I wanted to raise the question now.