I have the privilege of spending the week at Shepherds Conference. This is an annual gathering of leaders and pastors from all over the world to spend time in fellowship, learning and encouragement. This year is different however, because this years conference is built around the topic of the inerrancy of the Bible.
One of the repeated questions that keeps coming up in this conference is, “Why does this debate keep resurfacing? Didn’t we settle this years ago? Didn’t these objections get cleared up decades ago?”
As I reflect on these issues, I am reminded of the fact that the discussion of any worldview always unavoidably boils down to the question of foundations. We can assert and believe a great many things about life, but at the end of the day, it all boils down to the question, “On what foundation or authority do we lean to make our claims?”
Every worldview must have its roots. At the end of the day, it does not matter how elaborate and impressive the argument is – if it is built on a false foundation, it is wrong. It may provide our life with temporary answers and remediations, but in the end it falls flat. This is the challenge of every religion, idea and worldview.
When we raise up the issue of foundations, the Bible itself gives a most precise analysis of the options – either we follow the ideas of men, or we follow the ideas of God. Either our worldview is build on ideas that come from inside us, or they are build on ideas that come from outside of us. There is no in between; there are no other options. Either we bring our own answers, or we must accept those that exist independent of our opinions or inclinations.
It is with the question of authority that our selfish human nature has the most trouble. We want to distract ourselves from the fact that we cannot merely invent our own answers to life. We listen to the wise voices of many others like us, piecing them together in a way that seems most fit to us. Yet the result is still a worldview of our own making.
Consequently it is with the Bible that we have most issue. The Bible is the only book that makes numerous and specific claims, stating concerning itself that it is in fact the complete, inspired, inerrant word of the living God. It is the only book that claims to be the objective revelation of God, the only book that claims to give us a clear picture of God’s worldview – the only worldview that sees things as they really are.
So we attack this answer even though we have nothing to replace it with. Does the Bible have mistakes in it? Is it possibly accurate in everything it claims? That is a decoy question to the real issue. We want to find any possible excuse to discredit it and replace it with whatever we want. That is why the question will continue to be asked.
And it will continue to be defended. The words of men are no match for the words of God.