The above is not a statement by an atheist or an agnostic or even an irreligious person. It was made by a man who is quite religious, a long-time preacher formerly with the churches of Christ, but in more recent years with the very liberal Disciples of Christ.
His precise statement was: “The Bible is wrong about many things that science has proven about both nature and human nature.” Under consideration was the subject of homosexuality and the Bible’s very clear condemnation in both the Old and New Testaments of that practice.
This person’s view of the Scriptures is not anything new. It has been around for a very long time. But in out postmodern world where subjective feelings take precedence over objective truth, the pulpit in some churches is becoming increasingly brazen in its denial of the divine inspiration and absolute authority of the Bible, and the person in the pew is left floundering in a morass of moral confusion and uncertainty. To view the Bible as an unchanging pattern for what God wants mankind to believe and practice in the realm of religion is now considered passé.
What does the Bible say for itself as to its origin? For one thing, the expression “Thus says the Lord” appears over 2000 times in the sacred Scriptures. For another thing, time after time it is said with reference to various Old Testament prophets that “the word of the Lord came to …” or “… to whom the word of the Lord came.” The apostle Peter declared: “…for no prophecy ever came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter 1:21).
The apostle Paul affirmed: “Now we [apostle and prophets of the Christian era, Ephesians 3:5] have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God [the Holy Spirit], that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God [divine revelation, Galatians 1:11-12]. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches [divine inspiration], comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (I Corinthians 2:12-13).
In a sweeping summary of the matter, Paul wrote: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Timothy 3:16-17).
We really have but two choices as to what we will believe about the Bible: (1) That it is the fully inspired, inerrant, and authoritative word of God Himself, or (2) That it is only the product of man’s views of God and, as such, is a document filled with many myths, mistakes, and misapprehensions of God and His will for humanity — a book which, in the words of the liberal preacher, “is wrong about many things.”
If it is the latter, none of it is to be accepted as trustworthy — not even its moral teaching, including the “Golden Rule.” But if the Bible is the former — the very word of God Himself — then since it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:17-18), we can know that it is completely accurate in all points.
“For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13).
And so I believe it to be!
April 26, 2011
hugh’s news & Views