Back in March about 4,000 men from nearly every state and over 70 countries, from various denominations and independent churches, gathered in a most unlikely place to celebrate an ancient yet often ridiculed belief. They were lovingly served by over 700 volunteers from one church for an entire week.
Those gathered were scholars and teachers, pastors and elders, evangelists and missionaries and lay leaders who convened at The Master’s Seminary on the campus of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA, not five miles from Hollywood as the crow flies. Can any good thing come out of California? Absolutely!
In the heart of America’s most liberal state this Inerrancy Summit was convened. Four days of preaching, lectures and heady seminars from some of the great biblical minds of our day. Along with several men from our church, I had the privilege of being there.
We were drawn there by a common belief in the inerrancy, authority and sufficiency of the Bible. We came to worship Christ, fellowship with others of like precious faith and hear earnest preaching that would encourage our faith in God and God’s Word. We were not disappointed.
This was such an encouragement to realize there are still many thousands upon thousands of church leaders from around the world who haven’t caved into the demands of the Protestant liberal movement or neo-orthodoxy or post-modernism, agnosticism or atheism. We left more convinced than ever that the original writings that make up the canon of Scripture are completely true in all that they affirm and therefore safe, trustworthy and reliable as an all-sufficient guide for life and godliness.
Critical to this issue is allowing Scripture to speak for itself. I challenge any reader who doubts the veracity and inerrancy of the Bible to first let the Bible testify for itself. Consider Psalm 119, for example. This psalm is a 176 verse acrostic and artistic celebration of the God of the Word and the Word of God where many attributes of God, like being good, true and righteous, are also true of Scripture. The Bible isn’t God, but in fact reflects or shares some of His attributes, being the revelation of His character, deeds and thoughts to mankind.
And that’s really the heart of the issue. Is the Bible God’s revealed Word to man or is it man’s word about God and his religious experiences? There are many writings that are just that and only that – like the Book of Mormon, the Koran, the Gospel of Thomas, etc. These are not in any way reliable or trustworthy.
We must let the Bible be it’s own witness. I think of Jesus in the desert facing down the Devil. He used Scripture over and over, quoting first from Deut. 8:3. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
When the Apostle Paul, saturated with what we call the Old Testament, went to Thessalonica to preach Jesus as the Messiah to the people, he later thanked God for their reception and response. “For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” (I Thess. 2:13).
This was all because Scripture, whether the already accepted Old Testament, referred to often as the Law and the Prophets, or the developing New Testament, were understood to be inspired or literally “God-breathed” through human instruments. As Paul would remind Timothy just before his execution for the sake of Christ: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Divinely inspired therefore profitable and true therefore authoritative, trustworthy and sufficient.
By the way, you can watch or listen to every session from this historic gathering at www.shepherdsconference.org/media.
Unless otherwise noted, all posts are written by Pastor Chris McKnight