Holding Fast to What I Was Taught = Inerrancy Reprise


God has been very gracious to me. He mercifully saved my soul at age 8. He then gave me the strength to go to school everyday as a outcast because I loved Christ more than the world. When I was 14yrs old, I had the desire to be in full-time pastoral ministry. After high school, God granted me schooling at Moody Bible Institute to be trained in full-time ministry. When I first arrived, I had dropped the pastoral-desire and instead wanted to pursue sports-ministry (specifically camp ministry). I was unhappy with that major, because it was more about me than about serving Christ and His church. After a long discussion my sophomore year with a man who was a professor in Scotland who was visiting MBI, I switched to a theology/Bible major. Through the influence of those professors, my desire and love for Christ, His Word, and the church grew exponentially.

Upon graduating, I headed to Virginia to serve at a church as a pastoral intern with my new bride. My love continued to grow for Christ-Word-Church, but I knew I still lacked tools to be a faithful pastor. So, my wife and I packed up and left for Los Angeles and spent five hard but glorious years at The Master’s Seminary. It felt like being back at MBI again, only with men who were all being trained to be pastors.

After those five years, God led us to Arkansas to be a pastor at the church we are currently serving.

I walk you through all this because I am so grateful to God for His grace in giving me the desire to be in full-time pastoral ministry, and the training I needed that is rooted in His Word, taught by men who love Christ. I never imagined in those years that one of my schools would betray what they taught me. Alas, it seems to have happened.

If you haven’t heard, MBI has been the center of some disturbing news of late. Allegations have come forth about various issues going on at MBI (you can read about them here). I am not saying they are true because I don’t know every side of every story, but there has been no comforting answer to the contrary from MBI other than “just trust us.” Unfortunately, that is not good enough for myself and other Moody Alum (you must read Trent Hunter’s post, as it is the best reaction so far to everything going on at MBI).

So, what do I do with the “good deposit” (2 Tim 1:14) which MBI has given to me? First, I pray that God will bring MBI to its roots — to teach the Bible to ministry-minded Christians who then will reach the world for Christ, in churches and on the mission field. Second, I continue to hold to that which I was taught, and do not stray, because what was entrusted to me was the truth. And now I am called and am accountable to God to faithfully proclaim His truth (2 Tim 3:16-4:5).

One of these issue is the doctrine of inerrancy. Inerrancy means that the Bible contains no errors. What it says is truth. Apparently some MBI profs are wavering in this area. Therefore, as a help to you reader, I want to reiterate the importance of the inerrancy of the Bible, as defined by the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. I will do so with a post I wrote 3 years ago, right after the wonderful Inerrancy Summit held at Shepherd’s Conference in California in 2015.

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What Happens If We Deny Inerrancy?

Is inerrancy that big of a deal? Do we really have to get into theological fights over this? Can’t we all just get along and love the spiritual truths in the Bible?

Yes: inerrancy is a big deal!

Yes: we must fight for inerrancy!

Yes: we must love the spiritual truths in the Bible as well as the historical, geographical, and scientific portions of the Bible!

So what happens if we deny inerrancy? Here are 4 truths that logically come from it:

1) God is willing to lie

If inerrancy is false, then we must be willing to say that God is willing to lie. The Bible is God’s Word, is it not? Of course (2 Tim 3:16)! Wait, all if it? Indeed, all of it (2 Peter 1:20-21). Since that is true, then all of the spiritual and material truths are God’s truths. If they are in any error or have higher or lesser degrees of “probability,” then God’s “truth” is not really truth, but error and a lie.

But you know this is cannot be true, because God cannot lie!

Hebrews 6:18, “it is impossible for God to lie.”

Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that He should lie; nor a son of man, that He should repent: has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

Titus 1:2, “God … cannot lie.”

1 Samuel 15:29, Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”

Romans 3:4, “let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.

2) God cannot be trusted in everything He says.

If the Bible is found in error at any point, then God is not only willing to lie, but how can we trust God in anything He has said? We can’t. Again, we affirm the Bible is God’s Word. But if error is within, I can’t trust God because He has not revealed what is error and what is truth. He claims it is all true and therefore, how does one separate the truth from the lies?

To the contrary: God is to be trusted throughout the whole of the Bible. Alongside the verses above about God being unable to lie, He is also one who tells the truth.

Psalm 19:8,9, “The precepts of the Lord are right … The judgments of the Lord are true.”

Psalm 33:4, “For the word of the Lord is upright.”

Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God proves true” (ESV)

John 17:17 (Jesus speaking), “Your word is truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15, “…accurately handling the word of truth.”

3) Humanity’s reason/mind is higher than God’s Word.

When we place our “discoveries” of truth over against God’s Word, we are looking into the face of God and stating that our reasoning and mental capacities are superior to God’s. I dare not say that anyone would actual admit this. However, when a person says, “I can’t believe the Bible because of all of it contradictions,” or “but science says,” or “a correct understanding of history shows,” they are, in essence, saying to God, “Ah ha! I found where You slipped up! You obviously didn’t catch that error. I am so amazing that I can outwit God! Go me!” Ridiculous to even suggest such evil. God always speaks to reality because He is the Creator of reality. If anything in science, history, or reason shows to be a “contradiction,” God’s Word (that is, reality) is superior, because give those “contradictions” some time, and they will conform back to God’s already stated truth. It always happens that way and it will always stay that way.

Romans 11:34, “for who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?”

1 Cor 1:21, “the world through its wisdom did not come to know God.”

1 Cor 2:14, “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”

James 3:15, “This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.”

4) It is possible that the spiritual details are wrong as well.

If the historical, geographical, and scientific are found to be in error in God’s Word, then how can we say that the spiritual truths are not also in error? I would say, they must be. But then how do I go about figuring out which ones are actual truth, partial truth, or just flat error? James 3:17 says, “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.” How can I trust this statement as true if God lies in other areas of the Bible? Maybe truth is a wavering thing. Maybe it doesn’t bring peace. And if God lies in other parts of the Bible, then obviously God’s truth from above is filled with hypocrisy.

Unbelievably preposterous! It is not my job, nor anyone else, to decide what details are correct and what are true because it is an impossible task. God’s Word stands together as a unit of truth and none of it, none of it, is false!

James 1, 21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

All Christian’s must be inerrantist, or else throw the whole Bible away! Praise God for His inerrant, all-authoritative Bible!

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About Greg Peterson

Greg received his B.A. from Moody Bible Institute in Bible & Theology and his M. Div and Th. M. from The Master's Seminary. Greg has served in various areas of the church, including youth (10+ years), senior adults, events, and choir. Greg currently serves as the co-pastor at Anchor Bible Church in Nw Arkansas -- a church plant as of July 2020. AR. Greg also is the co-host of the "Local Church Matters" podcast. Greg is married to Michelle.