Some scholars argue that the NT writers contradict one another. Hence, an approach like mine forces, they allege, a harmony on the NT. I would respond by saying that Paul believed that the message proclaimed by him and the other apostles (Gal. 2:1-10; 1 Cor. 15:11) was coherent. . . . At the end of the day, those who think the NT contradicts itself buy into a philosophical worldview opposed to the NT message.Schreiner later explains that he hopes his readers "will see that the NT message is fundamentally harmonious." Fair enough. But are fundamental harmony and self-contradiction polar opposites? If so, why not say "completely harmonious" rather than "fundamentally harmonious"? Can the NT be "fundamentally harmonious" and still contradict itself? The answer depends on what one considers a contradiction and what "fundamentally harmonious" means.
Let me explain. Mark 9:2 says that Jesus ascended the mount of transfiguration "after six days." Luke 9:27 says the event happened "about eight days after these sayings." This is a formal contradiction, but I doubt very much it troubles Schreiner. Perhaps he would explain it, like I do, as two different ways of referring to a period of about a week. Nor do I expect Schreiner has difficulty reconciling James's statement that "a person is justified by works and not by faith alone" (2:24) with Paul's insistence that "a person is justified by faith apart from works" (Rom 3:28). I don't know how Schreiner explains the donkey and the colt that Jesus rode on according to Matthew 21:7 with the single colt Jesus sat on according to Mark 11:7. But I suspect Schreiner would regard this too as at most a tension rather than a contradiction. If the distinction comes down to semantics--if one person's contradiction is another's tension--perhaps the distinction itself is problematic.
Let me be clear: I don't object to viewing Scripture as harmonious. On the contrary, I am delighted whenever I catch a new glimpse of its unity. But I object to the suggestion that those who are impressed with the diversity within Scripture do so only because they have bought into a "worldview opposed to the NT message." Maybe they are just using their eyes.
I also object to the defensive posture that Schreiner's position requires. Rather than stipulating in advance what it means for Scripture to speak in harmony, why not listen to it, and let it spell the tune. How Scripture hangs together is precisely the question.