Notes on Carson’s “Style of Scripture” – Part 1

The following are point-form notes that I’ve taken on Alexander Carson’s (1776-1844) work The Characteristics of the Style of Scripture as Evidential of its Inspiration that can be found in the third volume of his collected Works.

Preface (ix-x)

  • Carson expresses the pain he feels in having to critique fellow Christians on such a key doctrine as the inspiration of Scriptures
  • He believes that this is a doctrine that all Christians should be united on: “Might it not be expected that all would unite in exalting the perfection of our common standard?” (ix)
  • However, in spite of this pain, he is constrained to take up the task of defending truth
  • Those Christians that he critiques he loves: “my love to these in error is not abated” (ix)
  • He recognizes this doctrine, and the defense of it, as something that transcends denominational distinctions
  • He makes the startling affirmation that “though a Christian should reject everything which I hold, but the way of salvation through faith, in the righteousness of the Son of God, I will receive him, as I trust God, for Christ’s sake, has received me” (ix)
  • It is a serious matter to theologize and theologians have a great responsibility to not misrepresent truth or sway others into error
  • “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 and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures (x)
  • He again affirms that this question is “not a party question” (x)
  • The doctrine of Scripture is something that all Christians should unite on: “Let us all celebrate the perfections of our common standard—the Bible” (x)

 

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