The 100% Argument
I suspect many have wondered where I might be going with this series, though I assume most will keep their doubts to themselves. This week's issue is based upon a response I made to one such query. And please know that I encourage you to express your concerns regarding what I write, okay?
You SEEM to imply by what you're saying that the scriptures are not 100%, or they contain errors. Yet, you never get around to actually saying that. Anonymous
The reason I don't get around to saying it is simply that it's not my argument. No, no, this is not an attempt to avoid the question but to ascertain it's source. You see, though I have been dealing with this issue, I am not the one who is actually asking the question, nor am I building a case so that I can finally reveal a hidden purpose. The fear that the only scriptures we have ever known might not be 100% accurate is part of the reason the doctrine of Bibliology exists in the first place. Think not?
Why do we want 100% accuracy? Because we want certainty. We want the ability to claim that we KNOW what we believe because "It is written". We want to be able to speak with authority based upon undeniable statements that can be produced as hard evidence in hopes that it will validate the miracle that eludes all our proofs. We want to grasp the certainty of God by the certainty of man.
Of course, this troubles us at the same time because there's always somebody with a different - and possibly valid - certainty based upon the exact same undeniable written statements. We don't usually agree with this except in hindsight - when and if we change doctrinal viewpoints, that is - and then we're left to deal with the doubts that what we once considered authoritative may never have been.
And so we claim to know the truth based upon the infallibility of the scriptures while attempting to suppress those nagging doubts that suggest we really can't know for sure that we really know it simply because we thought we knew it many times before only to end up disproving our own knowing by changing to a viewpoint that denied our previous one. Whew!!
So we stand upon the same premise that once validated the former certainties we now judge as error. Somehow, I don't think I'm the one who is implying that the scriptures are not 100%, for a percentage figure demands a legal formula. I leave that to those who argue law, those who strive for 100% doctrinal correctness.
I have merely come to realize that we have everything we need for life and godliness because we are indwelt by the Spirit of Christ, and not because we have a copy of the Bible. You may suspect this to be a denial of the written word, but it is instead the very testimony made by the written words in it. And this grinds against the major objection of the world's wisdom to which the religious mind has conformed itself to. For it believes that the mind of man can comprehend the mind of God as long as it has the right textbook!
So, we have reasoned that if the Bible is infallible and everything else is fallible, then a correct understanding of the words of the Bible demands the correct understanding of God. We have also reasoned that God has a purpose for us, so we dig into the word beseeching Him to reveal what it is He wants us to do. And when we discover what we believe God wants us to do we have only reinforced the same performance-based standards we learned in this world.
If your point is that men elevate the written word to a status that only the living word should have, I am with you on that. Anonymous
Now, I might agree with the basic wording of the statement, but it actually overlooks my point. MY point is to proclaim Christ, the one who died to sin and was raised to newness of life - the one in whom we have been removed from death and made alive! My desire is to shake the doctrine by which we keep trying to hide our doubts and fears and in which we have learned to trust in the wisdom of men.
And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5