Internal Evidence of Inspiration, Part I

By John Henderson

“Jesus Christ is God’s last revelation to man….because Christianity is a personal revelation of a personal Saviour from personal sin, Christianity rests upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ.”[1]  Continuing in the next paragraph, Rimmer further asserts:  “But it also rests upon a documentary record.  The sixty-six books of the Bible, as we now possess it, constitute the basis and foundation of Christianity.”  As I quoted him in the previous article, “It is axiomatic that nothing can endure if its foundation is destroyed.”

The author makes the argument that with Christianity the foundation of our faith is the Bible because there is nowhere else where we can learn the precepts of Christ.  External systems of accurate information concerning salvation in Christ do not exist. “It is folly,” he says, “for men to claim that they believe in Jesus Christ, when they reject the sole source of evidence that tells of Him.”  He takes note of the criticism and sneering about the Word of God in liberal pulpits, institutional classrooms, the daily press, and even Sunday supplements “with all the ghastly nonsense produced by a past generation of higher criticism.”

A study of so-called higher criticism is a task in itself and I must presume my readers either know something about it or can easily find out through Internet research.  Suffice to say that it is still about and largely identifies the emergent movement of today.

Rimmer assures us that it was never God’s design that His written Word stand on external evidence alone.  Although natural sciences, when handled faithfully, always add luster and testimony to the value and integrity of the Book of God by providing supporting proof that constitutes them as reserve battalions in contending for the faith, the Bible—every book of it—provides proof of its own inspiration aside from all of that.

The enemies of biblical truth in the 1930s are apparently no different than those of our generation.  Rimmer refers to Jude’s description in verse 4 as being prophetic:  “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Rimmer says that the term, “crept in unawares” is an odd and unusual Greek phrase which, literally, is “to creep in sideways.”  He then says:  “Just so in our generation, the church is troubled by men who are seeking to gain possession of the church and thus displace those who remain true to the ancient foundation of our historic faith.”  He thus paraphrases the Jude verse, “’There are certain men who have crept in crab-wise,’” and comments: “These scuttling crustacea look one honestly in the eyes, as though they were coming one’s way, but sneak off sideways and go on their own way.”  He adds that we are criticized for disturbing the peace when we raise an outcry against the presence of a burglar.  [I have to keep reminding myself that Rimmer is not talking about the early 2000s, but the 1930s.]

Rimmer establishes four principles of inspiration:

1. The Bible is a revelation from God and is, therefore, a supernatural Book.  It is not an evolution of human wisdom but rather an involution by inspiration (God-breathed revelation).

2. The content is verbal and plenary, rendering the Scriptures as hinging on the plenary[2] authority of the Bible.

3. The original manuscripts are inerrant—free from error of any kind, including historical accuracy and scientific credibility.

4. Every book of the Bible is absolutely authentic (Moses did write the books ascribed to him; a man named Isaiah wrote the prophecy that bears his name; and so for every book of both Testaments).  This point is vital because the credibility of Jesus rests on His accuracy in ascribing certain books of the Old Testament to their traditional authors.

Having previously described the principle of scientific inquiry by verifying or refuting an hypothesis based on the evidence, and concluding that the inspiration of the Scriptures are beyond being an hypothesis, having provided its own proof, Rimmer describes the approach by “higher criticism” as an attempt to repudiate the texts of Scripture upon a basis of imagined errors in the structure of the text.  He compares that to trying to study astronomy with a pick and shovel, and states:  “The higher critical method is to presume that the Bible contains error and fallacy, and then seek to establish that premise.”

In other words, they seek to repudiate the supernatural element of the Scriptures with the laws of natural human reasoning and “scores of times their conclusions have been demonstrated to have been rooted in prejudice and error rather than in historical fact.”  Even when faced with their own errors, they hold tenaciously to them, bitterly refusing to surrender to fact.

Part II will pick up where the second purpose of higher criticism is to present itself as a friend of the Bible while betraying it like a Judas.

Dr. Gran’pa

(John Henderson)

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[1] This continues the discussion from Dr. Harry Rimmer’s book, “Internal Evidence of Inspiration,” with all quotes from his book unless otherwise indicated.  This is the second article following an introduction article.  Each “part” will be numbered in sequence, beginning with this article.

[2] Plenary = full, complete, unlimited, entire, whole

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One response to “Internal Evidence of Inspiration, Part I

  1. Now days, what is a soul worth? Jesus proposed this important question to His disciples suggesting a course of action to do something about it. Mark [8: 36-38] “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

    The emphasis today in many churches seems to be more on the external rather than the internal. Many today are exchanging the truth of God’s word by their denial of its total inerrant truth substituting it for a shallow emotional feeling for false gain. If we destroy the foundation what of value is left? Jesus stresses the need to keep the gospel uncorrupted from worldly influence indicated by the value of the soul and its worth to the individual. Jesus then gives a stern warning to all those who would deny Him and pick or choose His word according to their agenda.

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