Book Review — Confessing the Scriptural Christ against Modern Idolatry

bookadvertRev. Philip Hale’s new book, “CONFESSING THE SCRIPTURAL CHRIST AGAINST MODERN IDOLATRY: Inspiration, Inerrancy, and Truth in Scientific and Biblical Conflict” is a must read for every serious LCMS theologian, whether pastor, professor, synodical official or layman.

Rev. Hale exposes how the “battle for the bible” in our Synod is far from over, by citing alarming statements made by current professors at both our seminaries, especially in the exegetical departments. If you think that man asserting himself as the authority over God’s Word was a problem resolved after the “walk-out”, think again. Destructive higher and lower criticism of God’s authoritative Word abound in our Synod today, both in the seminaries and in the parishes served by men trained by them. You will be scandalized, or should be, by hearing exactly how God’s words are being treated within our Synod.

Rev. Hale, in a most scholarly and childlike way, shows how one cannot adopt the modern and post-modern pseudo-scientific and atheistic suppositions and retain a faithful confession of the authoritative written words of God Almighty. He also faithful calls the LC-MS to repentance, which probably explains why he didn’t use an established publisher. While he gives a straightforward and fair critique of the errors, he also gives a faithful alternative—simply confess God’s words as the divine revelation and authority that they truly are, regardless if sinful man agrees or not. It will encourage you to be bold and confess the One Author of Scripture and all His words, even if you are mocked and labeled intolerant and narrow-minded. Like Luther, following the example of our Savior, we ought to make no plastic apologies, but consider it blessed to suffer for sake of God and His Word.

You can order his book for a reasonable price at Amazon ($14.99, or Kindle for $4.99).

About Pastor Clint Stark

Pastor Clint Stark is from Dallas, Texas. He is married with five young children. His undergraduate degree is from The University of Texas at Austin. During college he was converted to Lutheranism from the Southern Baptist creeds. After college he taught high school Spanish and coached basketball. He was graduated with an M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN in 2007. He has been an LCMS pastor for a decade, and is currently pastor of St. John Lutheran in Frisco, TX. He enjoys smoking meat and spending time with his family.


Comments

Book Review — Confessing the Scriptural Christ against Modern Idolatry — 12 Comments

  1. “….the laxity of ecclesiastical and institutional bureaucrats to take their disciplinary responsibilities seriously.” John Warwick Montgomery

    Church discipline: It has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world, but it has to be.

  2. His brother is a member of my flock. Received copy before I went to Convention. Plan to begin reading it Monday. Saw it made front page of CN.

  3. I just ordered two copies – one for me – and one to share with my fellow congregation members. I heard this young man defend orthodox practices at the ACELC conference in Austin. While others were trying to be funny and entertaining, high church, or liberal, this church scholar searched for quotes from our confessions, our church fathers, and Scripture on his laptop to defend orthodoxy. He gained my utmost respect at this conference, and that of my friends who attended with me. I am so excited to read his book!

  4. I am near completing my read of this great book. It is a must read for every confessing, fundamental, orthodox, believer in the inerrancy and inspiration of Holy Scripture. A great rebuke and refutation of the modern, progressive, historic-criticism crowd who are willing to place their reason above the authority of God’s Word. A direct rebuke of those within the LCMS who claim orthodoxy, but deny it with their criticism of Scripture.

  5. Just got it yesterday and read a few chapters. What I read is excellent. From just a few chapters I can recommend it without reservation.

  6. I’m about 2/3rds through the book now. In my opinion, it is the best defense of the inerrancy and Divine authorship of scripture I have ever read. Again I can absolutely recommend that every confessional pastor should read this book.

  7. Received my copy this past weekend and about 1/2 way through my first read. Awesome. Great bookend to Rev.
    Preus’ The Inerrancy of Scripture.

    For some reason I wasn’t aware Rev. Hale was Associate Pastor just minutes from my house!

  8. This week I finished reading Pastor Philip Hale’s “Confessing the Scriptural Christ…”

    The book has given me a renewed appreciation for the authority and divine inspiration of God’s Word. And thankfulness that I have faithful pastors and that I grew up under parents, teachers and pastors who respected and upheld the authority and inspiration of God’s Word.

    How God’s Word is handled in the LCMS is serious business. Do our pastors, teachers and laity respect the Word as inspired, authoritative and coming directly from God or do we judge it against history, science, our reason and intellect?

    I recommend the book for others; it uncovers how God’s divinely inspired Word is attacked by methods, modernism, historical criticism, science, unbelief and Satan.

    Thank you Pastor Hale!

    “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,..” 2 Corinthians 10:5

    God’s Blessings in Christ Jesus,
    Ginny Valleau

  9. In the comments to another article on BJS, a reader quoted the following from page 282 of Hale’s book:

    “Past use of the text within the LCMS has been in the propositional style exegesis, where the text presents divinely-inspired propositional statements devoid of historical setting, context or pragmatics”: Of course, the critical scholar will attempt to bridge the historical gap-to speak holier words than the Holy Spirit. Scripture is merely as an uninspired, human word will never say anything definite. “Scripture is not a legal text from which we extract value.”18

    He then asked, “So my question is, first, is this a correct quote?”

    Several have looked and cannot find ““Scripture is not a legal text from which we extract value.” where cited by Hale, nor on the page before or after. I have looked and cannot find it. Hale has been asked, but has not answered.

    Even if we could find where that second quotation comes from, and even if it were part of a single discussion of a whole matter so that combining them into a paragraph is not simply collaging together for an effect never intended by Dr. Kloha, the two quotations do not support Hale’s interspersed conclusions.

    Quotation 1 – “”Past use of the text within the LCMS has been in the propositional style exegesis, where the text presents divinely-inspired propositional statements devoid of historical setting, context or pragmatics.”

    Quotation 2 – “Scripture is not a legal text from which we extract value.”

    From those two quotations, how does one get to Hale’s conclusions?

    Conclusion 1 – “Of course, the critical scholar will attempt to bridge the historical gap-to speak holier words than the Holy Spirit.”

    Conclusion 2 – “Scripture is merely as an uninspired, human word will never say anything definite

    The conclusions are non sequiturs.

    How does one square that with the many places where Dr. Kloha has said the opposite from Scripture being merely an uninspired human word that never will say anything definite?

    I had been reading Hale’s book already when that discussion took place but had not yet gotten to page 282. Seeing this instance where one has to go behind the text of the book to check the footnotes for accuracy, and where one is presented with a facial non sequitur that functions as calumny against Dr. Kloha, I am not sure whether I might have to check the footnoting generally as I read the book. Every book probably has one or two such mistakes, so perhaps this is not very significant insofar as the general reliability of the book. But I suppose spot checking other footnoting of authors both praised and criticized in the book would be useful.

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