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Over the past several weeks, I have had the privilege of meeting with some men in our church to do a study in Theology. These men (ages from 18-40) have all grown up in the church-culture, most have sat under excellent Bible teaching during their life, but they have never taken the time to read-consider theology. They approached me and asked if I could help them in this and I agreed. So far, it has been a blessing, stretching, challenging time and we have only dealt with “why study the theology?” and a bit of Bibliology (the study of the Bible). The past two weeks, we took a good long look at the authority of Scripture, namely that all the words of Scripture are God’s words and therefore to disbelieve or disobey any word in the Bible is to disbelieve or disobey God. In the Bible, God holds the last word on whatever He is communicating. No other teaching of science, history, church council, or human experience trumps the teaching of the Bible. This is the authoritative hold which the Bible gives itself and we believe it by faith (and because it is reasonable) that if this is God’s Word ( and it is, 2 Tim 3:16), then all of it is His and is therefore authoritative.
Along with authority comes the doctrine of inerrancy, namely that the Bible does not affirm anything contrary to fact. After having this discussion, I was thankful that God has worked this true doctrine in me through my father, my professors at Moody Bible Institute and The Master’s Seminary, as well in my past couple churches. Now, this got me going back to a blog post I put up a while back and so instead of re-writing, I want to just give it to you again as for you help and growth in our Lord Jesus Christ.
What Happens If We Deny Inerrancy?
I mean, come on! 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)
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!