Just a quick clarification on what is meant by the “Westminster Addendum” in my last post. The “addendum” refers Primarily to a statement made by Westminster Seminary, not the Westminster Confession (but see below). The seminary, in suspending Peter Enns in regard to his book, Inspiration and Incarnation, posted a lengthy PDF document on the seminary’s website in an effort to explain their decision. On page 7 of that document we read this paragraph:
For the Reformed, God was the author of Scripture, and men were the ministers, used by God, to write God’s words down. Scripture’s author is God, who uses “actuaries” or “tabularies” to write His words, who are themselves instrumental secondary authors.7 Reformed thought has been careful to see God as the primary author, and men as instrumental secondary authors. And, if instruments, then what men write down is as much God’s own words as if He had written it down without human mediation (a point that will be mentioned below with respect to Kuyper’s discussion of an Incarnational analogy). So, WCF I/4 notes that Scripture’s author is God, not God and man. “The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof…” This notion of divine authorship is in keeping with the Scripture’s notion of itself, i.e., that it is theopneustos (“God-breathed,” 2 Tim 3:16); it is not theo- and anthropopneustos.
I find this approach very unhelpful and puzzling. Some might even call it nonsensical in that those who engage the biblical text closely know, for example, that (1) the gospels use different wordings (frequently); (2) the NT writers change the wording of OT quotations and/or opt for translations (LXX) of OT verses when quoting them (and the translations themselves at time alter the original Hebrew wording); (3) later parts of Isaiah use earlier parts of Isaiah an apply them to different historical circumstances (and I am not one that accepts the “traditional” view of multiple Isaiahs). If the writers wrote as God would have written himself (and one wonders why God did not just do that in incarnated from if that was the point), then why these very obvious differences and practices? It’s an honest, straightforward question that this paragraph does not account for in any coherent way. Hence I feel the need, as one who affirms inerrancy, to do better than Westminster Confession or the Chicago Statement in how we articulate the idea. And this is far from the only issue that needs to be addressed, as readers well know. OT and NT writers also use a panoply of literary conventions (like treaty arrangements; epistolary formulae, etc.) used widely in the ancient world; etc. Why these human choices in the process? Why do we have transparent agendas on the part of the Chronicler, for example? I guess the better question is, Why is any of this a problem? God uses people (surprise) to do his work and will. We believe that “God was in the process” with canonicity, and articulate that doctrine with Providence as a specific part of the recipe – why not inspiration?