The Crux of the Matter: Concerning Inerrancy of Scripture, Part 1

(John Henderson)

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.– II Corinthians 11:3-4

 

2 Thessalonians 2:7a,10-12: “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work …And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

2 Peter 3:16 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”

2 Peter 3:3: “Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges…” 3:5: “ For they deliberately suppress this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water.”  3:17-18: “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men and fall from your firm grasp on the truth. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.” (NET

Romans 1:24-26: “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature….”

 

This is “installment two” of addressing the limited inerrancy falsehood.  Number one was “The Word is Nigh Thee.” Under good advice, I am struggling with how to put things in a simpler manner so that the average person who does not spend as much time as I on these things can grasp what is happening.  Several of us have discussed these things back and forth and have come to the conclusion that all emergent error is based in one thing:  a denial of the full (total) and complete inspiration of the Scriptures in every detail.  Everything else feeds off of that intentional delusion.  An email corresponded wrote:

Having just finished reading one of Dave Hunt’s Berean Calls, I wanted to send along some of his quotes that align completely with what I have seen in my former [large Nazarene] church.

“The Bible allows for no compromise, no discussion, no dialogue with the world’s religions (emergent) in search for common ground. Remember, Christianity is not a religion but distinct from all of them.”

“Jesus didn’t say, ‘Go into all the world and dialogue about faith.’ He said, ‘Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.’”

“A reasonable and genuine faith must take very seriously what Jesus said – not what somebody says about what Jesus said, but His very words as recorded in the Bible.”

These quotes are what I try to explain to those who believe because they hear ‘gospel words,’ the name of Jesus, and all kinds of key Christian terms….that it does not mean the emergent agenda speaker is ‘preaching the Gospel’. Why? Because he does not believe in the inerrancy of scripture and has been brainwashed into believing only parts of the Bible. He often is doing the above-mentioned…dialoguing, debating, explaining, arguing, speculating, scrutinizing, telling stories in essence, making excuses, and of course having conversations. This is not preaching the anointed power of Christ’s message that compels sinners to come to the cross…and reminds believers that they daily must make their lives right with God.

From what the writer is saying, it is not possible to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ unless you unequivocally embrace the total inerrancy of the Scriptures.  Otherwise, you will be preaching “another Jesus,” a false “Jesus”.  You will end up doing just as she indicates and that is talking all around the Word of God instead of correctly preaching the Word of God.  You will throw yourself wide open for the infiltration of all sorts of detestable heresies such as substituting the creation account for a modified atheistic viewpoint, lying that God is limited in any way, denying miracles (Jonah, the Virgin birth, dead raised, etc.), and end up nit-picking passages—in essence placing the wisdom of man above the revelation of the omniscient God.  Theoretical meandering such as this seeks to overrule revelation even when passages of the Bible are referenced—but not actually observed.

An important point being made in the writer’s statement has everything to do with how the emergent heresy is slathered (spread thickly) with a pretense of gospel preaching, a look-alike “gospel”.  The method works for a period but becomes apparent as the lavish counterfeit eventually wears thin and even the least perceptive observer starts to notice things are not as they seem.  I’ll not belabor that point, having talked about it often in previous articles.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the entire emergent structure will instantly crumble if the errancy of the entire Bible is not firmly established, if the cover-up is not maintained, with those they try to persuade.  In fact, everything they say that is part of their system of teachings can be traced right back to their denial and misuse of the Scriptures in some manner.  An idea of limited inerrancy or total errancy is the hinge-pin[1] for all they embrace.  It is what holds them together and makes them operate.  They have no message apart from it.  If they should accept the full authority of Scriptures, their many arguments that go against plain Scripture are immediately refuted by those Scriptures.

I mentioned in the previous article the paper written by Jason Bjerke[2] in which the writer addresses the controversy surrounding the Bible’s inspiration, inerrancy, and authority.  He acknowledges the historical attacks from the outside but brings sharply-focused attention to the attacks from within.  He makes ample references to statements by some of the modern leadership of the Church of the Nazarene as examples of attacks from within.  It should be noted that the Church of the Nazarene is not alone in this because there is evidence that similar or identical attacks come also from other denominational leaders, including Southern Baptists, the Evangelical Friends, the Wesleyan Church, and Pentecostals; as well as from publishers, para-church organizations, and missionary organizations that once were solidly Biblical. 

Neither Bjerke nor I intend to besmirch the Church of the Nazarene, their leaders, or those other groups but it is important to inform the main body of those groups of what is actually being taught them to an extent they at least can make an informed decision about what they want to do about it one way or the other. 

No lies.  No cover-ups.  No looking the other way.  No making excuses.  No denials in the face of evidence.  No ducking for cover.  No hit-and-runs, as so many of them so often do to those who question them. 

I remain willing to be publically corrected by the Scriptures if I am wrong about anything.  I am willing to have my rationale publically examined and challenged according to the common rules of rational logic.  I ask the same of them—but do not expect they will ever rise to that challenge. They have not risen to that challenge so far.  Perhaps there I still a chance they will.

Among Bjerke’s opening statements is this:  “This attack [on the inerrancy of the Scriptures] is not blatant or overt but rather subtle in its nature as it begins with the compromising of orthodox Christian beliefs.”[3] He defines orthodox as theological views that are affirmed by the Bible and have been held to since the New Testament Church. 

Modern new liberalism leaders have taken orthodox content and subtly shifted it into a neo-orthodoxy.  Neo-orthodoxy is a form of liberalism that, at its root, departs from the traditional understanding of inspiration of Scriptures.  “Neo-orthodoxy denies [the] orthodox approach of inerrancy and inspiration, saying that inspiration was not given…[by a method of divine inspiration apart from the will and design of man], but that the author interpreted the events or word of God, thus writing his own interpretation. This denies what God has revealed to us in the [Scriptures].”[4]

“Neo-orthodox ‘truth’ is therefore defined as that which is relevant to my experience, compared to the orthodox approach which states that truth is concretely stated in the word of God and is not dependent on anyone’s experience to verify it. Neo-orthodox ‘truth,’ therefore, becomes relative and not a concrete fact by which true Christianity can be measured. Neo-orthodoxy further teaches that Scripture is not the only form of revelation, but that revelation can be directly obtained from God, for God is still speaking / revealing at present.….If the church has come to a point where it believes that truth is relative to the interpretation of each individual or minister and that God is still declaring new revelation, then it is sure to lose the truth.”[5]

The “new” revelation idea, “new things” as variously expressed in emergent practices, is not limited to far-out charismatic and “prophetic” elements, such as kundalini.  It can be seen in an almost over-the-top reference to the “leadership” of the Holy Spirit in ordinary functions of otherwise normal Christian service. It is in the same category of:  “He doth protest too much.”

Neo-orthodox “theologians” will try to go beyond the idea of the Bible writers’ writing through their own personalities but will also attempt to claim that the inspired authors functioned under the limitations of human knowledge and human conditions and that those limitations are revealed in their writings to the extent that errors occurred in the original manuscripts.  Thus they will say that the Bible BECOMES (not IS) the infallible Word of God as a rule of faith (pertaining to our salvation).  All else (in those 66 books) are not Scripture by default. 2 Peter 1:21 is not written in that context.  The verse right before it plainly says: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

New liberals may try to deconstruct words like “prophecy” and say it applies only to foretelling.  That incomplete statement might work some until they have to deal with another of their denials that God is omniscient. 

Actually, the foretelling meaning of that word is critical to inspiration.  Only God knows with absolute certainty all events that will unfold from before creation and into eternity beyond this existence.  No man could ever do that with 100 percent accuracy.  As we know, the Bible is not a history or current events book.  That is not its purpose.  It always looks to God’s future and must necessarily be completely accurate, even when speaking of ordinary things in the present tense.  That is only possible through full inspiration.

Emergent liberals try to smooth it over by talking about “the story of salvation” and “the Scriptural message” so that you might think they are referring to every part of the Bible.  They are not and they eventually tell you so.  They are being seductively selective as to which passages they say are inspired—thus are Scripture according to them; and which they say are not inspired—thus not Scripture according to them.  

They exert neither the intellectual honesty nor the necessary courage to go so far as to tell you which passages are and which are not inspired.  That is why you have something like that pretentious decision tree to lead you into further delusions.  You will even hear them say it is a Wesleyan position but that very assertion is subjectively developed according to their own whims to get you to think they are speaking from a perspective John Wesley would endorse.  There is little chance, from his writings, that Wesley would recognize the “Wesleyanism” touted about these days.

The decision tree I just referenced and wrote about in the previous article is an illustration of that very error whereby the reader is left to his or her own biases, prejudices, understanding, and interpretation to determine inerrancy.  That doesn’t sound like being moved by the Holy Spirit unless, of course, you are making a wild claim as mentioned above about being extra-biblically guided by the Holy Spirit—something that He would never do.  One would easily hear from seducing spirits in that fashion but never from the Holy Spirit!

I listened to a television news program where a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney were discussing with the moderator the two views of the same case.  The prosecuting attorney made a very important comment:  “The truth doesn’t change.  The truth remains what it is.”  When that idea is applied here, we see that we are discussing the problem of promiscuously trying to change the truth into what it is not because it has never been and never will anything but the truth is and always has been.



[1] A hinge-pin A short cylindrical rod of hardened steel running laterally near the front of the bar of a break-open gun’s action around which the barrel hook revolves when the gun is opened.

[2] Jason R. Bjerke. “Limited Inerrancy and its Theological Issues“. (Gospel of Christ Ministries, www.gcmin.org). April 11, 2011. (See the attached chart that is in his article)

[3] Ibid. 4.

[4]What Is Neo-Orthodoxy?” www.GotQuestions.org. (clarifications added in the brackets).

[5] Ibid.

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