Book Notice: Is Scripture Still Holy?

A.E. Harvey
Is Scripture Still Holy? Coming of Age with the New Testament
Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2012.
Available at Amazon.com

In this book, A.E. Harvey, Emeritus Canon of Westminster Abbey, looks at how one might re-conceive biblical authority given that modern society has, in Bonhoefferian terms, “come of age” and lives mostly independently of God. He attempts to ask if Scripture is still divinely authoritative, i.e., Holy, in a multi-faith and secular society. For Harvey a notion of revelation is implied by God’s act of creating the world. If God made the world, then presumably he intends to promote his will throughout that creation and to exercise influence over his creatures, though without infringing on their freedom. This revelation was a divine initiative inextricably mingled with human factors. For Harvey, Scripture is “Holy” because it has some measure of historical credibility on par with other ancient historical writings; it has a necessary intelligibility and consistency for a foundational religious document; it provides nourishment to the liturgical and devotional life of the faithful; it havslinguistic and imaginative depth; provides an ethical guide on moral questions; it provides a reliable relationship to the past and points us towards an inspiring future. This is not an “evangelical” book on Scripture, but it is a thoughtful and stimulating read and far superior to more recent liberal theologies of Scripture critiqued on this blog.


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