Chapter VIII is called The Scriptures Are the Final Authority by Which Systems Are to Be Judged. Boettner writes:
“In all matters of controversy between Christians the Scriptures are accepted as the highest court of appeal. Historically they have been the common authority of Christendom. We believe that they contain one harmonious and sufficiently complete system of doctrine; that all of their parts are consistent with each other; and that it is our duty to trace out this consistency by a careful investigation of the meaning of particular passages 1.”
1 For the most exhaustive and scholarly treatment of the doctrines of Revelation and Inspiration, see Warfield, “The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible,” 1948, edited by Dr. Samuel G. Craig.
Boettner affirms that the Bible is harmonious and consistent. This is an interesting affirmation in light of the popular and fashionable Calvinist notion that the Bible contains “tensions” and “paradoxes” that must be “swallowed by ‘faith'” (cf. http://www.outsidethecamp.org/spurgeonswallows.htm).
One of these so-called Biblical “tensions” or “paradoxes” is the relationship between human responsibility and Divine sovereignty. “Tensions” and “paradoxes” are simply euphemisms for a contradiction. The real contradiction is NOT within the Biblical revelation itself, but is between the Biblical revelation and the cavalier attitude of these rebellious theologians. Just like Paul’s God-hating critic, the fashionable Calvinist theologians presuppose that human responsibility implies human freedom from God’s invincible decretive will:
“So, then, to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens. You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will?” (Romans 9:18-19).
In addition to the words “tension” and “paradox,” the aforementioned theologians will throw out the word “mystery” in order to cloak their slanderous accusation that God’s Word contradicts itself. This is so they may persist in their rebellion against the Most High, while deceitfully attempting to maintain a semblance of genuine faith and piety. If they were honest and forthright they would come right out and say that humans are NOT responsible to God for their actions if God sovereignly and efficiently causes these actions.
In principle these Calvinist theologians are no different than Muslims and atheists who allege that the Bible contradicts itself, only they exert a much more concerted, cunning, and extremely convoluted effort at hiding the fact that they, too, have rejected the sovereign Potter and set up in His place an idol made in their own image. Next Page (9)