The4thDave Recommends: “Scripture Alone” by Dr. James White

For the last few weeks in Sunday School, we’ve been discussing the doctrine of Scripture—what we as Christians believe about the Bible and its place in our lives. One of the resources I’ve been able to use for this discussion is Scripture Alone by Dr. James White.

Scripture Alone is a short volume that tackles some of the key debates about the Bible head-on, including questions like:

  • Where did the Canon come from, and how was it assembled?
  • Is the Bible really inerrant?
  • What about the Apocrypha and other books like the Gospel of Thomas?
  • Doesn’t the Bible contain mistakes and contradictions?
  • What’s the relationship between the Bible and the Church?

One of the ways Dr. White answers these questions is through the use of dialogues presenting two opposing viewpoints. On the one hand, this is very helpful, because it gives potential answers to some of the “gotcha” questions that critics use to confound believers. This may take away some of the uneasiness that Christians might have about being asked these questions. On the other hand, I’m guessing that someone who is critical of these beliefs wouldn’t find these dialogues convincing, since all but one of them are written with the orthodox evangelical view sounding more compelling and the non-evangelical speaker sounding more defensive and unsure.

Scripture Alone benefits from Dr. White’s painstaking research and academic rigor, so each chapter is heavily footnoted to provide the reader with further resources for study.  However, rather than being a dry academic tome, the book is extremely readable and easy to digest.

Another great aspect of this book is that Dr. White is always eager to point the reader back to worship. These issues aren’t mere intellectual exercises, but are inherently tied to how we as people worship the God that the Bible reveals.

I was assigned this book as part of the Systematic Theology class I’m taking this spring, and I am deeply thankful that I was exposed to it. Scripture Alone has become and will remain a go-to resource in my teaching, writing, and counseling in ministry. It has already paid great dividends for my personal study.

If you need a resource that will give you a basic understanding of conservative evangelical views on Scripture, I can’t think of a better resource than Scripture Alone by Dr. James White.

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Your Turn: What books have given you a better understanding of Scripture? Recommend them below!

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