Inspiration and the Human Recipient
In the remaining chapters I will attempt to bring to light various insights which I believe should be included in a theory of biblical inspiration. To be successful, my theory must meet two discrete sets of criteria: those which distinguish responsible biblical scholarship on the one hand and those which distinguish evangelicalism on the other. Thus, not only will I have to avoid the pitfalls into which others have stumbled, but in addition I shall have to say clearly how it is that my theory fits in the evangelical community.
Accepting the tripartite structure of the concept of inspiration articulated by Abraham, I will first consider those aspects of inspiration which focus upon the receiving agent. Here I will reflect upon methodology, anthropology, and then the activity of the mind in inspiration. In the next chapter, we shall turn to the Bible as the medium of divine inspiration, paying particular attention to the discussions of verbal inspiration, plenary inspiration, and inerrancy. It is here that my intention to contribute to the evangelical community will be most apparent, because I will rework these characteristic evangelical concerns so that they are not susceptible to the criticisms made against them in earlier parts of this study. Finally, the last chapter will consider God, the initiator of salvation and inspiration. Here we will benefit in particular from the discussion of God carried on by contemporary Thomists to which William Abraham previously alluded.
No reader of evangelical theories of inspiration can fail to notice the careful attention given to methodological issues. For each theologian treated in this book, the consideration of form or manner of approach has been obvious. To many persons, but perhaps especially to conservative Protestant Christians,