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Sojourner's paradigm challenges atheists and skeptics to make a shift in the way they examine and approach the claims of the Bible and Christianity. It is best to first watch the gospel message video and read the foundational truth of God. Other blogs speak on a variety of topics.



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What does it mean that the Bible is infallible and why should it be my authority?

I grew up in the days when the Dallas Cowboys were referred to as God’s team. These were the days of Coach Tom Landry, and players like Roger Staubach and Randy White. The Cowboys were invincible. Everything they did was right and sure. They were, in my mind, infallible. As time progressed, my impressionable mind was discovering that the Cowboys were not infallible after-all. It soon became apparent that everything else was equally flawed. Who or what could I trust to stand firm? As I formed my view of the world, what was going to be the basis of my authority? Okay, I could see that God exists and must be pretty intelligent and grand. But how could I know for sure? I certainly wasn’t going to rely on my own brain to figure Him out. After-all, I was flawed as well. But even with my flawed mind I still needed something or someone to hold onto. There was truth and I just needed to discover it.


I did indeed discover the source of truth, or should I say it found me. I have already addressed the inspiration of scripture. This leads to the premise that it would therefore be infallible, or without error.


Proverbs 30:5 states, “Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”


Since God’s Word is flawless, I can then hold it out as the final authority in my life and therefore use it as protection against errors and false attacks that will come against me. Psalm 33:4 states, “For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all he does.” These words do not convey the writer’s opinion, but asserts that whatever the Lord declares is true and therefore authoritative. As such, we can depend upon the Lord to be faithful to do what He declares. We are reminded repeatedly all throughout the 119th Psalm that God and his word are always true and reliable.


Is the Bible the authority over every area of my life? The answer is both yes and no. Yes, it is the final authority, even indirectly, over every issue in life. However, the Bible only addresses certain issues directly. We are blessed to live in an age where medical science has been able to locate and overcome the effects of disease. While we may regard medical science as the authority on matters of health and wellness, we can also read about God’s directives to the Nation of Israel concerning dietary and sanitation, and there discover that God was actually protecting them from disease. He was their source of health and well-being. Even when we benefit from the findings of medical science, we must not place those findings on a higher authoritative plane than God and His Word. We can see that the Bible is an authority both directly and indirectly over every issue in life.


God has granted us the privilege of discovery. In the 4th chapter of Genesis we learn that certain descendents from Adam became farmers and raised livestock. Other descendents became musicians. Still others were skilled in technology. Men and women became skilled in their pursuits. Much has been discovered and many inventions contribute to our world and lives. Every person may be an “authority” in his or her line of work or interests. God graciously blessed all of us in this regard. Still, we need to be certain that our pride does not try and supersede God’s authority.


Authority is a critical issue in Christendom. The Catholic Church believes that scripture is the product of the Church and, therefore, will hold Church doctrine and tradition as a higher authority over scripture. They will use scripture to try and justify this stance. Isn’t that interesting? This leads to the premise that the Pope is infallible. We are admonished in scripture to “test” those claiming to speak the words of God. In Deuteronomy the Israelites were even directed to “put to death” false prophets. The true prophets of the Old Testament have been found true and reliable against the test of history and alignment with God’s truth. In other words, contradictions do not occur in Scripture. Popes, on the other hand, along with many others who have claimed themselves as a higher authority over scripture have repeatedly been found wanting. Deception and corruption have repeatedly come out of so called Christian circles. Christ himself warned against false prophets. In Matthew 17 he declares, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” Matt 7:15-16a. Their lives reveal their false motives and false authority. We unfortunately see this played out on a regular basis on the media. Therefore, we are wise to trust in the authority of God’s word rather than the authority of men, no matter how convincing the argument supporting their claims.


Therefore, what is the relationship between infallibility and authority? Revelation has come from God through His Word. We must trust the authority of the infallible word of God.

2 comments:

  1. Rich, How in the world do you find the time to do all this, this would take me 3-4 days per post.
    Your amazed brother
    Gary Van Daele

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  2. It's all a matter of priority. Most of these posts are in response to NANC exam questions. I've been cranking out about 2 to 4 per week.

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