Why We Believe the Bible Is God’s Word Written

Why We Believe the Bible Is God’s Word Written May 28, 2024

Why We Believe the Bible Is God’s Word Written

First, who is the “we?” By “we” I mean Christians who think like I think. I’m not alone.

Second, a complete answer to such a big question can never be offered in a blog post like this.

Third, this answer is not intended to be a rationalist apologetic for the Bible, even though it may be part of one. We do not believe in “proof” outside of a priori and purely (if such is possible) a posterior reasoning, especially in matters of ultimate concern, attempts to answer ultimate questions.

Point one: All ultimate metaphysical commitments involve subjectivity. There is no escape from subjectivity in such matters which is not to say we are locked into subjectivism.

Point two: Subjectivity in belief is not a weakness unless it involves believing in propositions that are mutually contradictory or leads into totalizing enforcement of subjective beliefs on others. (And there may be some exceptions to the second claim.)

Point three: With Martin Luther and John Calvin (and numerous others great Christian thinkers) we believe the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit to be the ground and basis, “inner convincing ‘proof’,” of the Bible as God’s Word written.

Point four: We believe persons without that inner testimony of the Holy Spirit are wrong but not necessarily evil. They simply lack that testimony.

Point five: We believe there are also inter-subjective reasons for believing the Bible to be the Word of God written. Numerous books of Christian apologists contain these reasons. But we do not believe they are proofs such that anyone who does not agree with them are stupid.

Point six: We believe that believing the Bible to be God’s Word written does not require us to believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or to interpret all of it literally.

Point seven: We believe the Bible is the product of both God and human authors and that the human authors’ personalities and cultures plaid a role in the product.

Point eight: When we speak of the inner testimony of the Holy Spirit, we do not remove that from the person of Jesus Christ or our encounter with him. Our encounter with Jesus Christ through the Bible is the reason we believe the Bible to be the Word of God written. We do not believe in Jesus Christ because we believe in the Bible; we believe in the Bible because we believe in Jesus Christ. As Martin Luther said, the Bible is the “cradle that holds Christ” and that what is especially authoritative in the Bible is “what promotes Christ.”

Point nine: We do not believe in enforcing belief in the Bible on unbelievers; we only ask them, if they are interested, to read the Bible with open hearts and minds and ask God to reveal himself to them. If that revelation does not happen, we are satisfied because belief in the Bible as God’s Word written is God’s work, not ours.

Point ten: Our belief in the Bible harms no one.

Point eleven: Our belief in the Bible benefits us and, through us, others.

Point twelve: If we turn out to be wrong and the Bible is not God’s Word written we have lost nothing. Our lives are enhanced by such belief.

Point the last: We believe the Bible does contain truth and wisdom that is beneficial for everyone, but we do not force that truth and wisdom on others. However, we do believe that Western culture has benefited from the basic ethical teachings of especially the New Testament and therefore we commend those to others who never become Christians (because all alternatives are less beneficial).

*Note: If you choose to comment, make sure your comment is relatively brief (no more than 100 words), on topic, addressed to me, civil and respectful (not hostile or argumentative), and devoid of pictures or links.*

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