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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Two Edged Sword of Biblical Inerrancy

Biblical Inerrancy is the doctrinal position that in its original form the Bible is totally without error and free from all contradiction; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts". Wikipedia


Wayne Grudem defines biblical inerrancy in the following way:

"The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact."


The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy produced at an international Summit Conference of evangelical leaders, held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago in the fall of 1978 and signed by nearly 300 noted evangelical scholars, including James Boice, Norman L. Geisler, John Gerstner, Carl F. H. Henry, Kenneth Kantzer, Harold Lindsell, John Warwick Montgomery, Roger Nicole, J. I. Packer, Robert Preus, Earl Radmacher, Francis Schaeffer, R. C. Sproul, and John Wenham says:

“The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God's written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.”

Biblical Inerrantists are said to have “a high view of Scripture”. That is an eloquent way of saying that the Biblical Inerrantists are those Christians who humbly submit to the authority and sufficiency of God’s written Word to govern their opinions and practice of the Christian faith. Addressing the charge made by some that Biblical Inerrantists have too high a view of Scripture and are actually guilty of worshiping the Bible, Ray Van Neste writes:

“The first question that always comes to my mind (which I always pose to those who bring this charge to me in person), is 'Have you ever really encountered an actual pastoral problem where the people had too high a view of Scripture?' I certainly have not. Never in my pastoral experience have I been burdened with the need to go into the pulpit and admonish my people to calm down in their affection for the Bible, to pull back from so much study of it, or to stop talking about it so much, lest perhaps people think we worshipped it. Of course not! Rather the problem I have seen in the pastorate is precisely the opposite- people failing to take seriously the teaching of Scripture when it cuts across their plans or current cultural norms, failing to esteem the Scripture enough to read it daily, etc.”

Biblical Inerrancy is a two edged sword, as some of the current leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention are just now learning. For years now they have used the sword of Biblical Inerrancy to great effect in purging the SBC of the leaven of liberal opinions and doctrine, but now the sword of Biblical Inerrancy is swinging the other way and in its path are the Baptist Traditions and Personal Opinions of those very men who first thrust the sword of Biblical Inerrancy into the heart of their adversaries.

There is a new generation of Baptist Pastors out there who esteem the Word of God far above the opinions of the current Baptist Leadership and if you wish to persuade them of any truth you hade better bring your Bible, and you had better be prepared to defend your position from the Word of God alone. To many of the “Old Guard” in the Southern Baptist Convention these “Young Punks” are a serious threat to their view of the Southern Baptist Convention…

The “Old Guard” is just now waking up to the fact that these young pastors are passionate about the Sovereignty of God, absolutely committed to the Sufficiency of the Scriptures, and Unafraid of the Consequences.

I close with these additional words of Ray Van Neste:

“I love the Bible, delight in it, rejoice in it, cling to it, and esteem it. And all of this is entirely right as it is the words of God Himself given as a gift to his beloved people and as such is the only reliable witness to him we have and is the foundation for our contact with Him. Is it not right for the beloved to cherish a gift from the Lover? It is in this book that we see the image of Christ. To fail to esteem and cherish the Bible then would be a slap in God's face.”
Grace Always,
Greg

3 comments:

Gary said...

Greg,

Don't stop posting. People may not be commenting here, but there is back chatter about some of your posts elsewhere.

I may not always agree, but thanks for speaking up.

Gary

G. Alford said...

Gary,

Thanks for the encouragement… :-)

I am sure that some do not appreciate my post… but it is nice to know that at least someone else out there is concerned over the issues in the Florida Baptist and Southern Baptist Conventions that stir my passions.

Grace Always,

Anonymous said...

The Received Text, or Textus Receptus IS GOD'S INERRANT WORD, THE LAST TRANSLITERATION OF IT IS THE AV 1611, God's Preserved Word to English speaking people. Luther's German Blbe was also taken from it.