Date of Award
Man has always and everywhere sough to know about God. Though his mind has been corrupted and blurred by sin, he has, nevertheless, recognized that his eternal destiny is in the hands of his Creator. This recognition has at the same time brought with it a heart-craving for some assurance that God is pleased with his life and is determined to provide for his eternal wellbeing. Evangelical Christendom has always maintained that such an assurance may be realized by a prayerful study of the Bible. Furthermore, Protestantism has traditionally claimed the Bible as the unique depository of Revealed Truth concerning God's revelation of Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Any investigation will bear out the fact of traditional Protestantism's implicit confidence in the authority of Holy Scriptures. Protestantism has from the beginning been vigorous and productive almost in exact proportion to the degree that it has regarded the Bible with due respect. At the same time, whenever the Bible has lost its paramount position in the Protestant faith, the vitality of the Reformers' faith has deteriorated into an empty and cold formalism which has nothing to offer hungry souls.
The problem which confronted us in this study was this: Is an infallible and authoritative Bible to be regarded as an indispensable element in the Christian faith? Just how important are the Scriptures to man's knowledge of God and His designs for men? The first part of this study was therefore primarily a problem of epistemology. It dealt with the role of the Scriptures in relation to man's necessary religious knowledge. The second part of this study was primarily one of authority, though it was still vitally related to the first part of this study.
In each chapter the method of procedure was to present the most representative views relative to the subject under consideration in that particular chapter. These views have been critically evaluated as to their attitude to the Scriptures. Contemporary trends of thought were given special attention. Research included a study of works which were especially pertinent to the subject and which find popular acceptance either in the conservative or in the liberal camp.
Knoepfle, Clarence E., "The Indispensability of the Holy Scriptures" (1953). Western Evangelical Seminary Theses. 41.