Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Protecting the Inerrant Word

from the Shepherd’s Conference, March 2015

Throughout history God has used anchors to hold His people steadfastly to the authority of His Word. These individuals held Scripture in high regard because they held the Author of Scripture in high regard.

In the fifth century BC, the people of God had finally returned to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity in Babylon. For seven decades they were away from their land and the opportunity for corporate worship. Now the city wall had been rebuilt and the temple had been restored. Ezra, the scribe, heard the plea of the people, climbed onto the wooden platform, opened the Law of the Lord, and began to read. The result—“And all the people answered, Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands; then they bowed low and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground" (Nehemiah 8:6). In a time of need, a scribe became an anchor who grounded God's people steadfastly to the authority of the Law.

During the era of sacramentalism, the Roman Church became a surrogate Christ and an enemy of grace and faith. Yet men arose who were committed to the recovery of expository preaching. It was these men who sparked the Protestant Reformation; men who understood the inspiration, inerrancy, and importance of God's Word; men who were grounded and grounded others in the Word.

The eighteenth century is often referred to as the "Age of Reason" an epoch that left the western world rejecting the Bible and lifting the human mind to the position of god. This so-called "reason" paved the way for theological liberalism, which denounced and rejected inerrancy, seeing the Bible as merely another document intended to be critically challenged. Yet men stood for the infallibility of the Word; men like B.B. Warfield, John Gresham Machen, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and the group that gathered in Chicago in 1978 to pen 29 articles that would become the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.

Throughout history, God has used anchors to hold His people steadfastly to the authority of His Word. God has always established workmen who rightly handled the Word of Truth.

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