Unpublished 156. A Matter of Infabillibility (typed)

[Letter to the editor, The Presbyterian Journal. Feb 6. 1963. p. 24]


One of those authors in another Church paper arguing that we don’t have an infallible Bible made the popular point that an infallible Bible would require an infallible commentator. This, of course, is the Romish position. To be sure the Romanists want both and the author wants neither, but their basic argument is the same. Evidently the author has not learned some elementary Protestant lessons.

For example, if an infallible text requires an infallible commentator, then the Pope’s encyclicals (because they are infallible) also need an infallible commentator. Presumably the bishops must interpret the encyclicals infallibly.

But since the episcopal letter is now an infallible text (because the infallible encyclical required an infallible commentator) it follows that the episcopal letter requires an infallible interpretation. This means the priest must be infallible and therefore must have an infallible interpreter, and we are still a long way from getting down to any fallible layman.

Better not begin this infinite series and rather rely on the illumination of the Holy Spirit to give us enlightenment of the Word of our God. This the devoted layman can do.

—Gordon H. Clark, Ph.D.

Indianapolis, Ind.