There is a book that was released recently, which the title for it has currently slipped my mind, that aims to explain the Bible in the 21st century. Unfortunately the author of this book has reduced the Bible down to just good storytelling instead of honoring the text for what it truly is. Despite the author’s treatment of a text that defines Christianity, this book has been well received by the ‘ex-evangelical’ and mainstream ‘Christian’ crowd. It is a popular trend currently in our day, the attempt at reducing the significance of the Bible but it’s not a new trend.
The most recent example of this was the post enlightenment period where the great thinkers began to question the works of the past. They began to toss out the creeds and doctrines of the previous saints, and they even questioned the orthodox view of Scripture. In our day it has resurfaced with redefining orthodox biblical concepts by way of questioning the validity of the Apostle Paul’s epistles, unhitching the Old Testament, and even reducing the Bible down to an inspiring book of ancient stories.
What I want to make clear to the individuals who call themselves Christian is that to regard the Bible in this way is extremely dangerous. It was A. W. Pink who said “Christianity is the religion of a Book…Upon the foundation of the Divine inspiration of the Bible stands or falls the entire edifice of Christian truth”.* If we do not hold that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, as it was written down by inspired men under the care of the Holy Spirit, then our religion has no foundation on which to stand. If we do not hold that the Bible is God’s own Word, then we have no true religion.
How do we know the Bible is the inerrant and inspired Word of God, besides its self declaration as such? Let us consider the Prophets of the OT and the Apostles of the NT for a moment. They claimed to have been commissioned by God to declare His will. These claims were backed up and sustained by some extraordinary credentials. They proved God’s inspiration by fulfilled prophesy, miracles (witnessed by many) and/or were vouched for by others who did miracles. The Scriptures testify to the fact of performed (supernatural) miracles as the proof of being inspired by God.
This proof of inspiration and the divine inspiration of the Scriptures has been accepted by the Church since before the 1st century (and Israel beforehand). Had the Church been deceived all these years and/or do we just have more common sense in the 21st century? Why had it not been proven false when the budding church had its beginning among intense persecution? How arrogant does a person have to be to claim to know better than the entire history of saints within the whole universal church regarding the very basis of its religion? We didn’t even mention the many testimonies found throughout all of Scripture that testify to Whom our Lord and Savior claims to be.
This was merely a short attempt to demonstrate inerrancy as understood and to bring attention to the seriousness of attacks against it. This was not an attempt to explain the complex history of the text or the issues of textual criticism. That would require another article, but its safe to say the One who inspired the Word also preserves it. Suffice it to say that inerrancy is a very important issue that we need to be re-addressing, as many Christians are being deceived and led astray. I’ll end with more quotes from Pink: ‘It is impossible to overestimate the importance of the doctrine of Divine inspiration of Scripture. This is the strategic center of Christian theology, and must be defended at all costs. It is the point at which our satanic enemy is constantly hurling his hellish battalions. Here it was he made his first attack. In Eden he asked, “Yea, hath God said?”…’*
*[Pink, Arthur W. ‘The Divine Inspiration of the Bible’ Baker Book House Grand Rapids, Michigan Revised edition 1976]