If you attended Vista this past Sunday you may have been aware of the slippery slope we traversed during the message. I exposed a lot of natural questions and doubts that surround the textual substance of our Ancient Book, the Bible. And I left those questions “hang” for a bit. In most conservative church circles convictions regarding inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration are rock solid, even though few of us have the scholarship to know precisely what they mean or to prove them ourselves. In fact, the top scholars themselves cannot eliminate all the questions and doubts we secretly have. My point was not to repudiate the claims evangelicals make, but to actually put them on more solid and practical footings for you. My desire was that we each walk away with a higher [if not the highest] degree of confidence in the inerrant, infallible, inspired, authoritative scriptures God has so graciously provided.
Here’s a bit of an email that encouraged me, and captures the essence of what I’d hoped God would do Sunday…
Wow! In my ten years of regular church-attending, today was a first. I literally wanted to stand up and applaud the truths that you conveyed about the authority of our Almighty God (but seeing as how I am a total introvert … not gonna happen, sorry). You put into words what I have felt in my heart since I first came to know Christ as my personal savior. I believe God gave me the gift of faith at that moment and with that has protected my heart from the lies and deceptions of the world. But I certainly struggled with questions about the inconsistencies and translation issues of the written Word. Your message, for me, hit the nail on the head. When you asked if the Bible is inerrant, I was so afraid you were going to say no. … things are so crazy in our world right now, I guess my fear took hold a bit. It was like a sigh of relief when you shouted the answer, ‘yes, the Bible is inerrant!’ at the end of your message. The fact that God is the true authority and therefore makes the Bible authoritative was the missing link for me. I needed that point in order to have confidence in my faith in the written word. Now I can tell others with absolute conviction why the Bible is [Truth].
Everybody lives there lives depending on something – let me know if you find someone and something more consistent, dependable and provable than Jesus and the Bible.
P.S. I will be delaying our progress through the 40 Days daily devotionals and supplemental study materials as I use next week to finish the topic of the Bible. For those of you right on track with the devotional – you have some breathing room. For the other 95% of us – we have time to catch up! We will pick up with ‘The Nature of God’ on Sunday the 22nd (the fourth week). Remember, use the 40 Days materials to complement and/or deepen your pursuit of God, not to over-whelm you … Enjoy!