Lane Tipton on Incarnation, Inspiration and the Holy Spirit

Lane Tipton has written a fine article for the Ordained Servant, the magazine of the OPC. The premise of this article is that when we come to speak about an incarnational view of the Bible we must first have a proper understanding of the incarnation of Jesus. The article can be found here. I am especially thankful for the reference to B.B. Warfield on this matter. Warfield explained the problem with pushing an incarnational model, in an unqualified manner, when he wrote:

it has been customary among a certain school of writers to speak of the Scriptures, because thus “inspired,” as a Divine-human book, and to appeal to the analogy of our Lord’s Divine-human personality to explain their peculiar qualities as such … Between such diverse things there can exist only a remote analogy; and, in point of fact, the analogy in the present instance amounts to no more than that in both cases Divine and human factors are involved, though very differently.[6]

Among the important points that Lane makes the following sum up his argument for the primacy of the Spirit’s work in the inspiration of Scripture:

Just as the primary theological category for classifying the incarnate Word is the divinity of the Son in his person, work, and words, so also the primary theological category for classifying the inscripturated Word is the divinity of the Spirit in his person, work, and words. The eternal Son assumes a human nature; the eternal Spirit inspires human authors of Scripture. This is one area where the incarnational analogy appears both warranted and useful.

Therefore, the primary locus for our discussion of both incarnation and inspiration is the divinity of the person and word of the Son and Spirit, respectively. The primacy of the divine with respect to inspiration does not deny human authorship of Scripture any more than it denies the assumed humanity of Christ. But it does deny that divinity and humanity are equally basic, or share some sort of ontological parity, when it comes to either incarnation or inspiration. The divine is always primary in matters pertaining to incarnation and inspiration, since the divinity of the Son and the Spirit supply the presuppositions for the possibility of incarnation and inspiration.

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