Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Today, I’m going to be continuing our look at the topic of Inerrancy and seeing what is said in the fourth article of ICBI’s statement. This article reads as follows:
We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.
We deny that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God’s work of inspiration.
Again, I really do not see any problem with this and I would just like to comment. There can be no doubt that the fall tainted humanity so that there are consequences. Perhaps our minds do not reason as they should in some way. We have no evidence however that Adam was a super-genius before the fall nor does Christianity necessitate it. Thus, making such judgments is difficult as the data is really non-existent.
We do realize there are inadequacies in language as we indicate when we speak of something as so great as that words cannot contain it or there are just no words to describe it. It is the problem that the message we wish to convey is so incredible that the words do not seem to be sufficient containers of meaning.
I think immediately of the work of Dr. Habermas with near-death experiences as he talks about people who have an experience that is heavenly. They’ll often try to describe it and say “No. That’s not it. When I say that, you think of something else instead and that just won’t explain it.”
Language was what God had to use to make a revelation such as we find in Scripture. That is something that could be passed down and handed on to other generations. Of course, there are difficulties with such a procedure. Peter himself said that some of Paul’s writings were hard to understand.
We too often come to Scripture with the idea that it must surely be easy to understand because it is God’s Word. We say this while at the same time saying that God is magnificent and beyond our comprehension. You cannot really dumb down God as it were. Now I do think salvation can be learned from the Scripture, but I do not think that the Bible itself fits into the box of easy to understand.
Does that mean that there was a mistake in using language? No. It just means we have to do what we so often hate to do, work harder. If we believe that the message of Scripture is valuable however, we will do it. This will mean we can seek to learn the original languages as much as possible, understand the social context of the time, and get a grasp on other factors like textual criticism, philosophy history, etc. that are all relevant to understanding the biblical text.
Thus, we conclude with a hearty approval of article 4.