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In a mere two weeks, probably the greatest conference for pastors and church leaders will commence. The Shepherd’s Conference. It is a gathering of men who God has called to lead and shepherd local flocks of church members from all over the world. Some of these men hold higher level degrees, while others hold no formal Bible/theology training, but make up for it in multiple decades of faithful church & gospel ministry. The one thing they all have in common: they all love the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, and His church. They are men who have personally surrendered their lives to Jesus and are tirelessly engaged in advancing the kingdom of the one true God through daily church ministry. I am personally honored to be counted as one of these men. I know that it is a privileged responsibility to God and to these men to uphold the clear truths of Scripture in my life and in the life of those whom I shepherd.
The emphasis this coming conference is on the inerrancy of the Bible. Inerrancy is a word that is (for the most part) strictly Christian. Inerrancy means that the Bible contains no errors. What it says is truth. It does not contain all the truth there is to know. For example, the Bible does not tell us that if you mix the colors red and yellow that you get the color orange, but that is true. Yet, in all that the Bible says, it speaks truth without error. If any outside source shows a possible contradiction, then the Bible remains truth and that “source” must be in error.
What Happens If We Deny Inerrancy?
I hear the peanut gallery: “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 defend 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 we can also logically conclude:
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.”
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 the Bible, I cannot 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 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,” they are, in essence, saying to God, “Ah ha! I found where God slipped up! He obviously didn’t catch that error. I am so amazing that I can outwit God! Go me!”
Ridiculous to even suggest such evil.
Romans 11:34, “for who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor?”
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 truths of the Bible are found to be in error, 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 is true if God lies in other areas of the Bible, His Word? 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!
God’s Word is Truth!