Dear Pastors, Missionaries, Chaplains and friends,
Steve here…Every decade seems to introduce us to a word—a word for the decade. When I was born in the 1960s, the word was “groovy”. During the 70s it was “cool”. In the 80s it was “awesome” and in the 90s it was “sweet”. I think the 2000s was “epic”. I’m not sure what the next decade’s word will be, although I hear a lot of “have a good one”. I’ve used all these words in my common vocabulary, except for the last one. Don’t get me started on how I feel about the phrase, “have a good one”.
My point is that words are powerful. They have meaning; they elicit emotions. They communicate life-giving truth as well as propagate error.
James makes reference to the power of words often in his epistle (James 1:19, 2:12, 3:2-8, 4:11, 5:12). The Apostle John spoke of Christ as the Word (John 1:1). Words, whether spoken or written, are mentioned often in the scriptures. Words are powerful. Words are also precious.
Is the Bible inerrant?
It seems God’s Word, our Bible, is constantly being attacked. Our own evangelical heritage is a story of conflict over the church’s view regarding God’s Word. Evangelism was birthed largely, but not exclusively, over a ‘battle for the Bible’, as Christian scholar Harold Lindsell’s book of the same name explains. The Reformation’s main tenant regarding inerrancy surrounded the Bible’s authority. Reformers asked, preached and wrote about whether the Bible would be the sole, ultimate authority over the life, beliefs and practices of disciples of Christ over and against the Pope and his bishops. Within our generation, the ‘International Council on Biblical Inerrancy’ formed in order to “validate, vindicate and apply the doctrine of biblical inerrancy as an essential element for the authority of Scripture and a necessity for the health of the church of God.” This council helped to define what we mean by inerrancy and to determine its priority in the life of evangelism.
What do we mean by “inerrancy” as evangelicals?
The Bible consistently claims for itself a position of supreme authority. It appeals to its own authority for proof because the Bible assumes there is no greater authority to which it can appeal. If the Bible were to appeal to human reason to substantiate its own authority, one could infer that this implicitly indicates that human reason is a greater authority. This is, in fact, untrue. However, in recent days much “reasoning” among evangelicals in articles, books, and the blogosphere has once again been questioning inerrancy, or at least our definition of what we mean by ‘inerrancy’ as evangelicals.
Let’s start talking about inerrancy
It is for this ‘reason’ (no pun intended!) that I’ve included a Theology Workshop on “Inerrancy” in our 2013 Fellowship National Conference in Richmond, BC (November 11-13), hosted by Dr. Kent Anderson, along with presenters from Heritage College and Seminary and Northwest Baptist Seminary. A second theological workshop on “Baptism” will also be offered. I hope you plan to attend our annual conference in the beautiful Vancouver area. You may want to take this workshop and begin the conversation about inerrancy together, as Fellowship Baptists.
Have a blessed week,
P.S. Click on the images below for more information on our Fellowship Day of Prayer and Fellowship National Conference!