F.F. Bruce on the Scriptures and the Christian Faith

The Scriptures

In this little-known article within a Symposium presenting key elements of the Christian Faith, F.F. Bruce writes on the importance of the Scriptures for the Christian. I came across this at Book Aid and noted that it was not included in many of the standard bibliographies of Bruce’s works. My thanks to F.F. Bruce Copyright International for this kind permission to digitise and host it.

F.F. Bruce, “The Scriptures,” Frederick A. Tatford, ed., The Faith. A Symposium. London: Pickering & Inglis Ltd., 1952. Hbk. pp.13-27. [Click to download this article as a PDF]

Three hundred years ago the Assembly of Divines at Westminster introduced their best-known summary of Christian doctrine, the Westminster Shorter Catechism, with the following three propositions: (1) ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever’; (2) ‘The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him’; (3) ‘The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.’

If it be true, as these three propositions declare, that the Bible is the only means by which we can know and achieve the true purpose of our being, then no special argument is needed to justify giving a statement of the Bible’s authority a prominent place in a symposium on the Christian faith. For the Holy Spirit speaking through the Bible is acknowledged by us, in common with all heirs of the Protestant Reformation, as the supreme judge by whom all questions of doctrine are to be adjudicated, and as the only infallible rule of faith and practice.

It might have been expected a priori that if God wished to communicate a knowledge of His will and character to men He might have done so in a series of propositions. But in fact He has not done so. We may draw up statements of doctrine and confessions of faith, article by article in logical sequence, and base them firmly on the Bible; but the Bible itself does not take this form. At first glance, the Bible is seen to fall into two parts of unequal length, known respectively by the not very illuminating names of the Old Testament and the New Testament. But if for the misleading word Testament we substitute the word Covenant, and then think of the Bible as divided into the Books of the Old Covenant and the Books of the New Covenant, we shall come to a much closer realization of what the Bible is. It is, in fact, a record of God’s revelation of Himself among men, culminating in the incarnation, death and exaltation of Jesus Christ His Son, and intimately bound up with the relations established by God with His covenant-people-the nation of Israel in earlier times, and the Christian community in the new age which was inaugurated by Christ. There is an organic unity between these two groups of people, in that Jesus (who i-s the very embodiment of God’s revelation) is both Israel’s Messiah and Head of the Christian Church, while His first followers represent both the last faithful remnant of the old covenant-people and the nucleus of the new covenant people….

Pages 13-14.

Foundation of Biblical Authority – James Montgomery Boice, editor

James Montgiomery Boice, ed., The Foundation of Biblical AuthorityI uploaded most of this book about 10 years ago in HTML. Technology has moved on since then, so I have re-scanned the material again to PDF and provided an option to download the entire volume as one file.

This books appears by kind permission of James Montgomery Boice’s widow.

James Montgiomery Boice, ed., The Foundation of Biblical Authority. London & Glasgow: Pickering & Inglis, 1979. Pbk. ISBN: 072080437X. pp.172. [Click here to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

Foreword: God Gives His People a Second Opportunity – Francis A. Schaeffer
1. The Church’s Doctrine of Biblical Inspiration – John H. Gerstner
2. Encountering Present-Day Views of Scripture – James I. Packer

3. The Witness of the Bible to its Own Inerrancy – Gleason A. Archer

4. Sola Scriptura: Crucial to Evangelicalism – R.C. Sproul

5. The Preacher and God’s Word – James Montgomery Boice

6. Evangelicals and the Doctrine of Inerrancy – Kenneth S. Kantzer

Preface: The International Council on Inerrancy

This volume is the first scholarly production of a new organization of pastors, professors, and Christian laymen: The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. Founded in 1977, after a year of careful conversations and planning, the ICBI has as its purpose the defense and application of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy as an essential element for the authority of Scripture and a necessity for the health of the church. It was created to counter the drift from this important doctrinal foundation by significant segments of evangelicalism and the outright denial of it by other church movements. At one of its early meetings, the Council adopted the following statement as an expression of its purpose. [Continue reading]