faith. Revelation precedes inspiration. There was religion before the Old Testament, and an oral gospel before the New Testament. God might reveal without recording; might permit record without inspiration; might inspire without vouching for anything more than religious teaching and for the history, only so far as was necessary to that religious teaching. Whatever theory of inspiration we frame, should be the result of a strict induction of the Scripture facts, and not an a priori scheme to which Scripture must be conformed. The fault of many past discussions of the subject is the assumption that God must adopt some particular method of inspiration, or secures an absolute perfection of detail in matters not essential to the religious teaching of Scripture. Perhaps the best theory of inspiration is to have no theory.
Warfield and Hodge, Inspiration, 8 ? ?Very many religious and historical truths must be established before we come to the question of inspiration, as for instance the being and moral government of God, the fallen condition of man, the fact of a redemptive scheme, the general historical truth of the Scriptures, and the validity and authority of the revelation of God?s will which they contain, i.e., the general truth of Christianity and of its doctrines. Hence it follows that while the inspiration of the Scriptures is true, and being true is a principle fundamental to the adequate interpretation of Scripture, it nevertheless is not, in the first instance, a principle fundamental to the truth of the Christian religion.? Warfield, in Presb. and Ref. Rev., April, 1893:208 ? ?We do not found the whole Christian system on the doctrine of inspiration? Were there no such thing as inspiration, Christianity would be true, and all its essential doctrines would be credibly witnessed to us? ? in the gospels and in the living church. F. L. Patton, Inspiration, 22 ? ?I must take exception to the disposition of some to stake the fortunes of Christianity on the doctrine of inspiration. Not that I yield to any one in profound conviction of the truth and importance of the doctrine. But it is proper for us to bear in mind the immense argumentative advantage which Christianity has, aside altogether from the inspiration of the documents on which it rests.? So argue also Sanday, Oracles of God, and Dale, The Living Christ.
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