The Responsibility of Doing Good Theology

The following is from the preface of Alexander Carson’s (1776-1844) book Characteristics of the Style of Scripture Evidential of its Inspiration. It serves as a good reminder to any of us who embark upon any theological endeavour, that what we are doing is no mere abstract trifle:

In reasoning from Scripture on the subject of inspiration, and on every other, it is of great importance that we never lose sight of the tremendous responsibility which we incur. It is no light matter to attempt to influence the belief of the people of God, with respect to subjects on which he has expressed his mind. It is a fearful thing to labour to misrepresent the divine testimony on any matter. It is bad to err, but it is worse to exert ourselves to pervert others. On the other hand, it is a delightful idea to be in any measure instrumental in leading forward the minds of the Lord’s people to a more full understanding of his word. Nothing but the conviction that I am pleading the cause of God and truth could console me in opposing so many distinguished writers on the nature of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures.

Alexander Carson, “Characteristics of the Style of Scripture Evidential of its Inspiration” in Works (Dublin/London/Edinburgh: William Carson/Houlston & Stoneman/Wm. Whyte, 1854), 3:x.

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