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The tone and demeanor of some Christians are coming across as a bit starstruck. These men and women put their pants on one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.
NOTE: If this article seems a little slapped together, this is because it is responses to a thread on a Facebook post that eventually got to the point where I felt it was an important message to have on a permanent record, such as an article.
Belief In the Doctrine of [Absolute] Inerrancy of Scripture and Belief in Jesus,
the Son of God, as Your Savior
Both can be true at the same time, and neither takes away from the other. Belief in the inerrancy of Scripture is evidence that your faith in Jesus is genuine. Just as the apostle Paul’s faith alone is true and James’ faith without works is dead is also true, and they are not at odds with each other.
So, the liberal Christian professor at Princeton says he believes in Jesus, the Son of God, as Savior. But he also says that the Bible is full of errors, mistakes, and contradictions, and based on many of those supposed errors, mistakes, and contradictions he teaches things that are not biblical. Moreover, his views of Scripture have stumbled many out of the faith. So, when “a much revered and pious professor named Cullen Story” according to Agnostic Ehrman wrote on Ehrman’s paper at Princeton, “Hmm…maybe Mark did make a mistake,” is he accountable to God for what came next? Ehrman said, “Once I made that admission, the floodgates opened. For if there could be one little, picayune mistake in Mark 2, maybe there could be mistakes in other places as well.” – Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus (p. 8-9). HarperCollins.
So, is the much “revered and pious” late professor Cullen Story, who believed in Jesus, the Son of God, as savior, with his belief that the Scriptures are errant, who contributed to the stumbling of Bart D. Ehrman and likely many others, and the thousands that Ehrman now stumbles, culpable before God? Didn’t Jesus say, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea”? (Mark 9:42) Or maybe Mark was wrong again and Jesus did not really say that? Maybe we should check with Agnostic Ehrman? What do the many verses in the Bible say about causing another To stumble?
A Starstruck Worshipful Attitude
Many top scholars do not believe in absolute inerrancy of Scripture, like “revered and pious” late professor Cullen Story. You see, those words belong to the Agnostic Ehrman, “revered and pious.” And he is right, if you Google Cullen Story, there is revering going on for sure, and this for a man that we know contributed to stumbling one person out of the faith, Bart D. Ehrman.
You have so-called world-renowned Bible scholars who do not believe in absolute inerrancy, they believe in limited inerrancy or worse still errancy. They say things like, ‘Moses did not write the first five books of the Bible, they were written by other hundreds of years later.’ ‘Isaiah did not write Isaiah, it was 2-3 other authors hundreds of years later.’ ‘Daniel did not write Daniel, it was another, hundreds of years later.’ They say things like, ‘Jesus did not say all the things recorded in Matthew’s Gospel on the Sermon on the Mount.’ ‘Jesus did not say those things about the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 23, it was really Matthew saying those things because he hated the Jewish religious leaders.’
You see, these are all men, who are not inspired by God, and so they are subject to error, but if you become starstruck, or worse still take on a worshipful attitude you will take what they say as Gospel. I will not say who, but one very prominent New Testament scholar is given an entire chapter in Norman L. Geisler and Bill Roach’s Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New Generation. Baker Publishing.
What would you think of the renowned NT scholar if you knew he said, “The resurrection is NOT history, even though it MAY have occurred.”? Caps are mine.
I appreciate the tremendous amount of effort modern-day scholars make and the value their works. But they are men and subject to error. And the modern scholarship in textual criticism is moving the goal post like former fields of Bible study.
MOVING THE GOALPOSTS HAS CAUSED TREMENDOUS DAMAGE TO THE WORD OF GOD AND TO THE WELL-BEING OF CHRISTIANITY
- FROM object historical-grammatical interpretation TO the subjective historical-critical method
- FROM literal Bible Translation TO Interpretive Bible Translation Philosophy.
- FROM the goal of getting back to the original words of the original text TO seeking the earliest text and excessive focus on the historical value of scribal variations.
It seems with some scholars these days that uncertainty, ambiguity, and skepticism are the flavors of the day. Now, the new flavor is unsolvable? Sounds a little like professor Cullen Story’s comment to Ehrman that opened Pandora’s Box. Maybe we stick with words like difficult and then qualify the level of difficulty, like Metzger’s “great difficulty.” All of these hopeless, pessimistic terms are simply fodder for the Bible critics. I can see the quote now, “textual scholar Tommy Wasserman admits that there are textual errors that are ‘unsolvable.’ So, really, we cannot have any certainty as to what the Bible says.”
July 20, 1969, it must have seemed to the pessimist that landing on the moon was impossible, but to others, it was a great difficulty, but it got done, and the rest is history. I am not certain Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would have gotten in the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle if it were impossible, but they would risk everything for “great difficulty.”
My article is nothing more than the need for us to not raise other servants of God on a pedestal like they are some movie star. Many good conservative evangelicals would not even want such a thing. Also, think of that pastor who served a small church for 50 years, training hundreds of Christians for two generations and no one knows his name. And most importantly, yes, deeply appreciate their work and respect them as men of God, but always be cautious as you both trust and at times verify.