What Hath God Said?

The Serpent as he spoke to Eve in the Garden says these words, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Eve responds, “The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

And thus was born the first instance in human history (quite literally) when the veracity of the Word of God was questioned. Today in the church it has become fashionable to abandon 2,000 years of trust in the sanctity and genuine nature of the words of Scripture in order to acquiesce to the wisdom of this age which denies innerency and therefore infallibility. Some will say that they can be at the same time against Innerency but think the Bible to infallible. However, I believe it is logically unsustainable to say that Scripture is at one space infallible and another in error. To bely this point further I beseech you to read this section from J. Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism:

[Plenary Inspiration] is denied not only by liberal opponents of Christianity, but also by many true Christian men. There are many Christian men in the modern Church who find in the origin of Christianity no mere product of evolution but a real entrance of the creative power of God, who depend for their salvation, not at all upon their own efforts to lead the Christ life, but upon the atoning blood of Christ–there are many men in the modern Church who thus accept the central message of the Bible and yet believe that the message has come to us merely on the authority of trustworthy witnesses unaided in their literary work by any supernatural guidance of the Spirit of God. There are many who believe that the Bible is right at the central point, in its account of the redeeming work of Christ, and yet believe that it contains many errors. Such men are not really liberals, but Christians; because they have accepted as true the message upon which Christianity depends. A great gulf separates them from those who reject the supernatural act of God with which Christianity stands or falls. It is another question, however, whether the mediating view of the Bible which is thus maintained is logically tenable, the trouble being that our Lord Himself seems to have held the high view of the Bible which is here being rejected. Certainly it is another question–and a question which the present writer would answer with an emphatic negative–whether the panic about the Bible, which gives rise to such concessions, is at all justified by the facts. If the Christian make full use of his Christian privileges, he finds the seat of authority in the whole Bible, which he regards as no mere word of man but as the very Word of God.

Machen makes the profound statement that “our Lord himself seems to have held the high view of the Bible which is here being rejected.” So what does it mean to say Christ held to innerency? Well the first attacks made by those who deny the innerency of Scripture are upon what they see as the most outlandish of the stories of the Old Testament. Now what may those be? In earlier posts I have mentioned Adam whom I believe Scripture reveals as an actual being and one of the key alliances between Adam and Christ is the mention of Adam in Luke’s geneology of Christ. So to be logical if it be that Adam is not an historical figure therefore one must conclude that Luke is either lying or as I. Howard Marshall says in his commentary, “It is only right therefore to admit that the problem caused by the existence of the two genealogies is insoluble with the evidence presently at our disposal” and some also will say at this point, “Hey Matthew and Luke’s genealogies are different!!!” In his commentary on Luke Matthew Henry explains:

He goes no higher than Abraham, but Luke brings it as high as Adam. Matthew designed to show that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and that he was heir to the throne of David; and therefore he begins with Abraham, and brings the genealogy down to Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, and heir-male of the house of David: but Luke, designing to show that Christ was the seed of the woman, that should break the serpent’s head, traces his pedigree upward as high as Adam, and begins it with Ei, or Heli, who was the father, not of Joseph, but of the virgin Mary.

This is of course just one explanation of the two genealogies. Unfortunately the medium of blogging does not allow for too much more so to see others I recommend John Piper, CARM, and the OPC’s Official Statement.

For second let us look at Jonah. To be sure Jonah being eaten by a fish is probably the most disbelieved story next to Adam in the whole of the Old Testament. But what does Christ say about Jonah? In Matthew 12:40 Jesus says to the scribes and Pharisees, For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” So here we have Christ referencing an historical event as an example for the historical event of his time in Hell. Could Christ be just using metaphor to explain his real spell in the belly of the earth? Well the Pharisees who certainly held to a literal interpretation of the law most assuredly would not have understood Jonah as being a metaphor. So that explanation is quite weak. So one now has to ask was Christ either:

A)Ignorant of the Truth
B)Subjecting himself to the ignorance of the age to make a point (knowing Jonah to be false)
C)Lying
D)Relating an actual story so they would understand an actual event was to take place
E)Jesus in emptying himself knew not the truth of Jonah

Well looking upon the actual text of Matthew 12:40 and its context I do not know anyone who still holds Christ to be Christ that would still think A or C would be true. B and E are held in various strengths by colleagues of all of ours but fail “the smell test” or as Machen said earlier, “whether the mediating view of the Bible which is thus maintained is logically tenable”. Or in other words that one could believe that Christ could, knowingly or unknowingly, not tell the truth and still be a full sacrificial atonement.

In closing one must ask themselves a serious question, “Do I believe the Scriptures as found in the 66 Books to be the Word of God or not?” If you do hold Gen 1:1-Revelation 22:21 is the full revelation of God to his people and that it contains all the infallible rules of faith and practice then one must if they still believe themselves to be reasonable and logical beings, believers in the Biblical Doctrine of Innerency.

Here is a great link from A.A. Hodge, in an almost catechistic fashion, lays forth another argument for innerency.

The Innerency of the Bible by A.A. Hodge

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5 thoughts on “What Hath God Said?

  1. Very well said, Ben! I can highly recommend RC Sproul’s video “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing” for a further discussion on the nature of theological liberalism. Most damning is his quote of Emil Brunner (no friend of true orthodoxy, he) who said that the true origins of theological liberalism can be summed up in one word: Unbelief.

    Now, the other side will soon attack you with all of the supposed inconsistencies in the scriptures. I can commend several resources to defend against the inevitable attack.

    1. Eta Linneman’s “Is There A Synoptic Problem” She was one of Bultmann’s disciples and got saved after descending into alcoholism, and repudiated all of her former work.

    2. Gleason W. Archer’s “Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties.” Very good analysis of many of the so-called inconsistencies.

    3. This quote from Spurgeon:

    “At times you and I are assailed as to our faith in the Bible, by people who say, “How do you make that out? It is in the Scriptures, certainly, but how do you reconcile it with science?” Let your reply be—We no longer live in the region of argument as to the Word of the Lord; but we dwell in the realm of faith. We are not squabblers, itching to prove our superiority in reasoning, but we are children of light, worshipping our God by bowing our whole minds to the obedience of faith. We would be humble, and learn to believe what we cannot altogether comprehend, and to expect what we should never have looked for, had not the Lord declared it. It is our ambition to be great believers, rather than great thinkers; to be child-like in faith, rather than subtle in intellect. We are sure that God is true! Like Noah, we stagger not at the Word of God, because of evident improbability and apparent impossibility. What the Lord has spoken he is able to make good; and none of his words shall fall to the ground.”

  2. “And thus was born the first instance in human history (quite literally) when the veracity of the Word of God was questioned.”

    And added to as well!

  3. “And thus was born the first instance in human history (quite literally) when the veracity of the Word of God was questioned.”

    And added to as well!

    What? Confused as to your meaning? Sorry but its midnight here and my brain is beginning its shutdown process…

  4. Eve added to the Word of God. They weren’t supposed to eat it, but he didn’t prohibit touching it.

    B

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