Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Lately, we’ve been looking at Inerrancy and especially at the statement from the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy. Tonight, I’m going to be looking at the second article.
It reads as follows:
We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.
We deny that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.
Once again, there is not much problem with this. I will list some brief concerns but overall, I don’t think I would have no problem signing this.
I don’t see the conscience as a phenomena that would have been understood in biblical times however seeing as their idea of shame and honor meant that the behavior one would have known was right and wrong would have come from external sources rather than internal. However, if all the statement is saying is that the Bible is the one that gives us ethical principles that we are to follow, well and good. I have no problem with that.
I would also not like to see the emphasis being on morality. A concern of mine is that for many of our youth, including myself when I was growing up in the church, is that Christianity is seen as only a system of ethics rather than a whole worldview. Being a Christian means that you are a good person. It does not include aspects such as having a belief system about reality as a whole and even with that ethical system, you don’t really know why you do something except that the Bible says so.
Of course, this could be cleared up later on, but the Bible is our guide not just in orthopraxy but orthodoxy, and even when it comes to right living, I would add that we do not need to be giving the idea that the Bible is the source of morality and that a person cannot know moral truths outside of the Bible. Even the Bible itself I believe disagrees with this.
I do however definitely agree that nothing has greater authority from the church save God Himself than the Bible. This includes councils and yes, that would also include the council of ICBI. As I had said earlier, ICBI does not equal Inerrancy. One could disagree with some points of ICBI and still uphold Inerrancy. I am of the understanding that Henry Morris would not sign the ICBI statement due to its allowing old-earth creation to be accepted, but would anyone really doubt that Morris did not believe in Inerrancy?
So when it comes to the second article, our conclusion is positive. The Bible is valid in all that it teaches for the practice of faith. Its power comes from that of God Himself and is thus greater than all the works of man including councils and churches.
We shall continue next time.