I am quickly working through Timothy Ward's recent book on the authority of Scripture called Words of Life: Scripture as the Living and Active Word of God (IVP, 2009). The book is helpful as an accessible attempt to articulate a doctrine of Scripture that takes its cue from the doctrine of God, expressed in the conceptuality of covenant (so also e.g. John Webster and his students; Michael Horton and in different ways Telford Work, Kevin Vanhoozer and others). By way of agreement, I am sure that this way of addressing the issue is right. But there is one word in the following quotation that sticks out like a sore thumb for me and that means that Ward's understanding of both Scripture and its interpretation provide little more than some doctrinal props for an old-fashioned foundationalism.
'when we encounter certain human words ... we are in direct contact with God's words ... a direct encounter with God's activity ... an encounter with God's covenant-making communicative activity [which] is in itself an encounter with God' (p.38, italics removed).
Can you guess which word causes all the problems here?