Pieper, Francis. Christian Dogmatics: Volume 1. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1968.
Chapter B8, “A Brief Critique of Modern Theology in so far as It Denies the Inspiration of Scripture”
Pieper distinguishes between “old” theology and “modern” theology in that the “old” theologians commit to be governed by the Scripture while the “modern” ones place themselves as judges of the Scripture. Pieper’s assessment of the reasoning says that the modern theologians (he cites several) want to examine the Bible to see what is true. From John chapter 8 he suggests that those scholars are not God’s people at all. Underlying this, he says, is a rejection of Christ’s vicarious satisfaction. To defend themselves, the modern theologians introduce a number of problematic arguments.
1) It was later generations of dogmaticians who invented the idea of Scripture as God’s infallible Word.
2) Luther may not have considered the Bible as God’s Word.
3) Dogmaticians view Scripture as mechanically dictated.
4) Inspirationists think the Bible fell from heaven as it stands today.
Pieper contradicts these assertions in brief. He views God’s Word as reliable, in agreement with the historic Church.
Chapter B9, “The Consequences of the Denial of the Inspiration of Holy Scripture”
Pieper shows that, at least for a time, modernist Protestant theologians would assert that the Scripture was of paramount importance. However, as their denial of the supernatural inspiration took hold, they had a self-contradictory stance. The Bible was the authority when it was right. This finally places the scholar in the position of judge over the Scripture, leading to one’s own faith providing the norm. This, says Pieper, results in several problems, which he describes.
1) Human illusion replaces Christian truth.
2) Faith no longer exists, as it is not based on the Word of God (Romans 10).
3) Christian prayer, which is rooted in Christ’s words, is no longer practiced.
4) There is no victory over death (John 8:51).
5) Our mission based on Matthew 28:19 is futile.
6) There is no unity of the faith which is rooted in God’s Word.
7) God, who only approaches us through the Word, becomes invisible.
8) Christian wisdom from above is replaced by the wisdom from this world.
Pieper closes with an extended quote of C.F.W. Walther, recognizing that modernist denial of the inspiration strips Christianity of all that is Christian.