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More about Inerrancy
and the Impact of Scripture on Life
THE CONFLICT - THE WORLD'S VIEWS VS. THE FIRM FOUNDATION OF SCRIPTURE
1. The world comes up with all sorts of false views, because of its faulty foundation, having rejected the foundation of God's Word (the basis for interpreting everything in life). These false views may contain "fragments" of truth (which actually belong to God's foundation), which may make them look appealing; but they are still false, and as such, will wrongly influence one's perspective on everything in life.
2. Sometimes it will be quite obvious that the world's views disagree with the Bible. At other times, the world will define issues in such a way that people don't actually realize how serious the conflict is, between what they claim is true and what the Bible says.
3. People who do not accept the foundation of Scripture will find the world's arguments to be quite convincing. This is because they have no objective foundation by which to evaluate what the world says, and to discern between what is true and what is false.
4. The world's views may appear to be particularly appealing when: (a) it seems like "everyone" is accepting those views as the obvious "truth," or (b) the supposed "facts" are promoted by supposed "experts" on the topic, and it involves issues that the average person does not fully understand.
5. A person who accepts the world's perspective on an issue, and sees the conflict between his views and the Bible, may choose to reject the Bible's message. However, if he doesn't want to totally reject the Bible, he may try to "reconcile" the Word of God with those views. He may claim that the Bible is without error in religious matters, but that it contains errors in non-religious matters, such as science, history, human nature (psychology), etc.
6. The Bible does not divide life into religious and non-religious (or sacred and secular) categories - nor does it suggest any criteria by which a person could do so. Never is there even a hint that the Bible's message is less than 100% authoritative in any matter - whether "religious" or not. Nowhere do we find anything that would suggest that any part is less than totally accurate in all that it says (each passage understood within its context).
7. The very idea that the Bible might be erroneous in some matter in life is based purely on human speculation - the false foundation on which people of the world build their views. People whose minds have been influenced by sin - and all of us have been in this category - are standing in judgment over the Word of God! This is backwards! God's Word is to judge us; it is not our role to judge God's Word!
THE BIBLE'S AUTHORITY IN ALL MATTERS
8. The Bible places no "gap" between the so-called sacred and secular areas of life. All areas of life are to be submitted to the Lordship of Christ, and to what God has said in his Word. Furthermore, the Bible speaks to all these areas of life, either directly or indirectly.
9. Since God created all things, all the facts of "reality" will agree with the Bible, when the Bible is accepted as written (and understood within its context). However, one can expect disagreements between the Bible and the theories and speculations that people invent, based on their own faulty assumptions.
10. In any matter in which something is directly mentioned in the Bible, whatever it says defines what is true. When the Bible doesn't speak directly on an issue, it will speak indirectly. It provides the framework of values and principles, by which we can interpret the significance of things.
11. All things occur within a context. Things that may seem to be "neutral" may occur within a context of things that are morally good or evil, but nothing exists in a morally-neutral "vacuum."
CONFORMING OUR THINKING TO THE WORD
12. "Conforming our thinking to the Word" is part of what it means, when Scripture tells us to strive for renewed minds (Romans 12:2). As we conform our thinking to what the Word of God says, we will better understand the significance of creation around us, and of how we are to interact with creation, with other people, and with God.
13. When the Word makes direct statements about some issue, we must match our perspective and actions to what it says. This will require us to not only pay attention to what it says, but also to examine the context in which it is said (so we won't reach false conclusions).
14. When the Word doesn't make a direct statement about some issue, it provides principles by which to interpret it. This would include what it teaches about values (which are to influence all areas of life). We must also note how such matters interact with other issues that are directly spoken about.
15. As we grow in our understanding of the Word, we will need to refine and revise our perspective. This is not because of any fault with the Word of God (which is without error), but because of our imperfect understanding of both the Word and of reality around us.
Dennis Hinks © 2008