In the Community, For the Community, To the Glory of God
God’s Revelation of Himself
God makes Himself known to human beings through general and special revelation. Special revelation is necessary for redemptive relationship with God because mankind’s relationship was fractured with Him after the fall and man needs to come to know God in a fuller way to meet the conditions of fellowship with Him. The Bible is the written record of God’s special revelation, to the extent that it is an accurate reproduction of the original revelation to its human authors.
Inspiration of Scripture and Divine Agency in Canon Selection
God is the ultimate author of the entire Bible (2 Tim. 3:16), and the human authors who recorded this revelation are its co-authors. God’s sovereign will is accomplished by human agents (Gen. 50:20) in order to produce a canon of books which are authoritatively inspired. God accomplishes everything He wills (Isa. 46:10), His plans are unable to be frustrated or thwarted (2 Chron. 20:6), and He does not desire for confusion in His revelation (1 Cor. 14:33). Therefore, the inclusion of any book(s) not ordained by God in Biblical canon would be inconsistent with His nature, and each is divinely appointed for canonicity.
Authority of Scripture
The Bible derives its authority from God’s authority similarly, but not identically, to a government’s laws and documents deriving their authority from that government. The Bible has the right to command belief and/or action because of its authority (Deut. 11:1), although some people make irresponsible interpretations of the Bible and claim this authority despite their contradiction of clear revelation for their own purposes (2 Pet. 3:16). Scripture itself will lay each person bare, and each will have to give an account for their response to its authority (Heb. 4:12-13). Biblical authority is not necessarily in conflict with tradition, reason, or personal intuition, but each of these is subservient to Scripture’s authority and are unequivocally wrong if they contradict sound interpretation of Scripture (1 Thess. 5:19-21).
Illumination of Scripture
The words of scripture in and of themselves may be heard/read and still not be able to be recognized or understood as truth (Deut. 29:3-4, Matt. 13:13-15, Mk. 8:18). Believers are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, however, which clarifies and explains these mysteries as they humbly seek to know God through the Scriptures (1 Cor. 2:13-14).
Inerrancy of Scripture
In whatever mood scripture is functioning, it adequately expresses God’s communication. Texts can be abused and misused to create an illusion of contradiction or error (2 Pet. 3:16), but when read with responsible hermeneutical approaches to genre, culture of the audience, and a myriad of other factors, the Bible is fully true and accurate in what each author records (2 Tim. 3:16). That being said, each Biblical author records their revelation within their own worldview, cultural context, and technical understanding – all of which are finite (Ps. 8:4). As such, when taken out of the context of these factors, some verses do not or cannot account for later developments in revelation, scientific advancement, or knowledge which the author was not provided with via divine inspiration. This does not contradict or undermine Biblical truth, inerrancy, or reliability in any way, but merely reflects the human co-authorship of the Bible.