Posted by: St. Mark Lutheran Church | March 14, 2011

Some Difficult Doctrines — Inspiration and Inerrancy of Holy Scripture

Luther believed that the literal meaning of Scripture is identical with its historical content; things happened exactly as they were written down.  Today it is impossible to assume the literal historicity of all things recorded.  What the biblical authors report is not accepted as a literal transcript of the factual course of events (Braaten and Jenson, Christian Dogmatics, I:76-77).  Those words, written by Lutherans and used in Lutheran seminaries (ELCA), says plainly what is assumed by so many (just watch the networks, National Geographic, or the History Channel).  The Bible isn’t really God’s Word.  It a human book written by human men, perhaps with a nudge from God.  You can’t trust it.  It’s not true in all things all the time.

And if that’s the case, what’s the point?  If the Bible may or may not be true, why should we make it the heart and soul of our lives?  If the Bible is wrong about this fact or that event, who’s to say it’s not wrong about that fact and this event?  If the details of the flood or Jonah in the belly of the fish aren’t quite accurate, who’s to say that what happened on Calvary or in that Garden Tomb aren’t a little bit off too?

In the third week of our Bible Information Class I pose that challenge to students.  If they can’t answer the question, “What is the Bible?”  by saying “It’s God’s Word, true in all things,” then they might as well not come back.  If the foundation is weak, then there’s no point living in the house, right (Matthew 7:24-27)?

That we are declared not guilty of our sins on account of the sacrifice of Christ by grace alone through faith in Christ alone is the doctrine by which the Church stands or falls.  It’s necessary for salvation.  But that doctrine is only found in the Bible.  And so the understanding that Christianity is about sola Scriptura – the Scriptures alone – is the foundation upon which we build.  An inspired Bible – the words come directly from God through His human authors (John 14:26, 2 Peter 2:20-21, Mark 7:10-13, 1 Thess. 2:13, Hebrews 4:12, 2 Samuel 23:2, 40 different occurrences in Exodus alone of the phrase, “The Lord said….”) – is necessary.  An inerrant Bible – the words are not mistaken in any way (John 10:35, John 17:17) – is necessary.  A sufficient Bible – what Scripture says is complete, total, and enough, everything we need to know (2 Timothy 3:15-17, John 20:31, Luke 16:29-31, John 5:39, Romans 1:16, Galatians 1:8-9, Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2) – is necessary.  Or else we lose Christ.  And if we lose Christ, we lose heaven.

 

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