Tuesday, 1 April 2008

How do we know that God's word is without errors?

How do we know that the Bible contains no errors? This is what God's
people have believed for thousands of years - but on what grounds
should we believe it?

It can't be right to say "because I've personally verified every
statement of history, geography, etcetera, contained in it." This
isn't possible. Much of what the Bible contains is irretrievably
buried by the centuries. Its most important assertions, such as about
the future return of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the final judgment,
cannot be tested because they are still future.

That shouldn't trouble us. The Richard Dawkins' school of philosophy,
the "New Atheists", insists that we should only believe what we can
verify by scientific experiment. That position reftues itself; there's
no way of proving it's true using its own criteria. It is
philosophical statement, and like all others of its kind, cannot be
vberified using the scientific method. Does your wife love you, or is
she just doing a great impresesion? Is moral evil real or just a
humanly-invented idea? Is diminished responsibility a good grounds for
leniency in court? Life's profoundest issues are not accessible using
this method.

One Christian lady once told me that she couldn't believe that the
Bible had no errors, because there were two passages in it she did not
know how to reconcile. In fact, though, her problem was easily solved;
I could think of harder ones! Using this lady's method, our belief
would always be in doubt - tomorrow we might find a difficulty we
couldn't yet resolve.

The answer to the question in the subject is really very simple. We
believe God's word to be without any errors because we believe it to
be God's word! The question is already solved by the question of
inspiration. If the Bible is (not just contains, in places) God's
word, then it must be without errors. The only alternative is to
believe that God makes them - ones which we are able to later correct
him on!

Unsoundness on the question of inerrancy betrays unsoundness on the
nature of the Bible itself.


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