The pagan's bookshelf

An example of what happens when seeking crumbs from secular tables

Wow, I was excited when I read a tweet from a Christian College Academician who recommended a secular article about the Bible. He titled his tweet and the introduction to the essay, "Well, Well, The HuffPo Finally Gets an Essay on Scripture Right!" It had been retweeted by a twitter pal who is in seminary. Wow, I thought, two bigwigs! They should know! This article ought to be good, and how wonderful an accurate and respectful secular article is in the Huffington Post! I clicked and read. The Seminary Professor's introduction to the Huffington Post's essay on the bible went like this:

"David Lose does a good job in analyzing the common misrepresentations of ‘how we got the Bible’ and then he does an even better job of describing how the process of ‘scripturalization’ (my word, not his) worked. Give it a read. I know, I was apprehensive too at first given the fact that the Huffington Post doesn’t usually do accuracy when it comes to Bible related stuff. But they managed to get an informed essayist this time."

Okey dokey. I plunged on. The HuffPo article begins by offering the three most common cultural misconceptions of how the bible came to be, 'Holy Dictation, Imperial Decree, and Forgeries and Falsehoods.'

Here is the Huffington Post explanation about what the secular world thinks of Holy Dictation:

"A: Holy Dictation. Promoted by conservative Christians, this view stresses the inerrancy -- that is, the factual accuracy in all matters of faith, history, and science -- of the Bible. Authors, in the grip of the Holy Spirit, received a divine revelation directly from God that they transcribed without error. So while the biblical authors may have written in their own voice and style, the contents of their compositions were nevertheless divinely inspired and controlled. For this reason, there are no errors of any kind in the Bible; hence, if the Bible says the world was created in seven days then, indeed, it was created in seven days."

True enough! Next came the essayists' discussion of it. He said that the answer of where the bible came from is not 'A. Holy Dictation,' nor 'B. Imperial Decree', and not 'C. Forgeries and Falsehoods', either. It's 'D. 'None of the above.' He wrote, "All of the "possibilities" are flawed". In fact, the author of the essay wrote: "In fact, the theory of inerrancy -- a word never used in the Bible -- was only coined only a century ago by fundamentalist Christians seeking to defend the Bible from recent discoveries about its historical origins and fallible conclusions in the realms of history and science."

Christians have come to expect this kind of thought about our bible from secular essayists. That he didn't deride the bible nor the "option A. Divine Inspiration" is to his credit. We usually see much more hostile treatment from the secular crowd and worse from liberal media like HuffPo. I don't take issue with the HuffPo author.

Of course, I take issue with the secular essayist's proposition that the bible's delivery by Divine Inspiration is a possibility and not a fact. Of course I take issue with the notion that the doctrine of Divine Inspiration is flawed. I don't take issue with the author, though. That's to be expected from Christians, but we don't bark up every secular tree, because the world is fallen. They can't help but believe these things.

But Christians should know better.

I take issue with the Christians who make a public claim that the article is an "informed answer". I take issue with Christians who make public statements about how the essay promoting the notion that the bible's inerrancy doctrine is flawed. I take issue with Christians who say that essays promoting these things is "is a good job". I take issue with Christians who state that their apprehensions of yet another mischaracterizing bible Christian representation disappear when reading that the bible ISN'T Divinely Inspired.

I am making two points here.

The first is that Christians of today have a tendency to attach to the world. They want the world's approval. They get tired of always defending, contending, fighting the good fight. They compromise on small things, then larger things. They accept leaven with the dough and pretty soon their entire doctrine is polluted. Attaching to  the world skews a Christian's perspective. Satan influences Christians by incremental degrees. A jot here, a tittle here. If he was to burst in on the scene and say that the entire book of Ephesians was non-inspired, or something egregious like that, we'd know the force behind the sentiment is satan. But he creeps. He slouches toward the goal line stealthily and subtly. (Jude 1:4; Gen 3:1). But we are not unaware of his schemes! (2 Cor 2:11).

We are in a war. (Ephesians 6). It's WAR. In war do you let down your guard? Sleep on patrol? Give ground to the enemy just because he pleased you? Accept his compliments because you would rather not carry your battle armor any more and just want to go home? We all want to go home. But we'll go home when the LORD calls the battle-weary up to heaven and until then, don't give the enemy one inch of ground.

Brethren, it is tiring to be Christian. We stand, we walk, we race. We fight, we run, we go. It's all active, every day. Christians who get tired are called liberals. Soon after, they are called apostates. Does one think it pleases the Holy God for Christians to be so attached to the world that they are grateful for a secular crumb in an online blog that besmirches Holy Scripture? Have we become that pathetic? Yes. Revelation 3:14-15 tells us that through Christ's rebuke to the lukewarm Laodicean church, AKA the apostate church. We're supposed to be separate from the world, as God told Ezra as the model of separating so as not to be polluted:

"Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives." (Ezra 10:11). Haggai 2:12-13 has something to say about it, too. So the first point is that by conforming to the world we soon seek the world's approval and not God's. Christian, beware! It's a sly and subtle process.

Secondly, the point also is that academia these days seems especially polluted. I am not saying there aren't good bible colleges. But most of them have compromised. For example, there are about 105 colleges in the Christian Coalition and only 6 adhere to a biblical, literal interpretation of the Genesis 6-day creation. Rather than being a bastion of free, conservative and staunch doctrinal thought, seminaries, Christian colleges and Christian Universities tend to the heretical rather than the biblical. I've noticed this in my own experience time and again. I know people who were hot to become missionaries operating under the Godly influence of the pure Holy Spirit but when they went to Christian Seminaries they came out academic gamesmen, pursuing academic thought in ever higher sheepskin degrees for its own sake, not the Lord's.

My advice to you is to be wary and skeptical of Professors, Academic Theologians AND Seminary students and their doctrines than accepting of them. In all cases, even with the most conservative and proven pastors or professors, be a Berean and ask the Spirit to deliver wisdom to you in situations where you have a conflict between doctrines you've learned or a question about scripture. He leads into all truth, being the Holy Teacher. Also, ask for discernment. The scriptures are rife with Godly men asking for it, as David did here:

"Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments." (Psalm 119:66). We have this promise, too:

"My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; " (Proverbs 2:1-7a)

Be very, very careful these days. And for heaven's sakes, don't read Huffington Post!

Comments

  1. FANTASTIC POST!

    I especially loved this part of it:

    "We are in a war. (Ephesians 6). It's WAR. In war do you let down your guard? Sleep on patrol? Give ground to the enemy just because he pleased you? Accept his compliments because you would rather not carry your battle armor any more and just want to go home? We all want to go home. But we'll go home when the LORD calls the battle-weary up to heaven and until then, don't give the enemy one inch of ground."


    And it IS wearying. I DO want to go home. But it's apparently not time for me yet! So until then, we fight the good fight in His name!! :)

    I went from believing in evolution to believing in full blown creationism overnight. Why? Because God said so. The Word of God is infallible! The Holy Spirit is a testament of that!!!

    We need to weigh everything. We need to seek out the Scriptures. We cannot cling to pastor's words, or teacher's words. They are fallible humans just as we are, and prone to the wiles of Satan. We have one GOOD TEACHER. And we have the ULTIMATE GUIDEBOOK-- the BIBLE!

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  2. Emily, it truly, physically and spiritually hurts when I come across three things: blasphemy against God. And that is everywhere so I hurt a lot. Abuse of children. It's rampant now and I just hate it. That dismembered boy n Brooklyn? Awful! And apostate Christians. I ache for them. It's like I can SEE them at the top of the mountain, sliding down nearer tot he cliff by degrees, and I want to run up to the mountain top and but out my hand to each and every one, but they slip away, falling down, down, down. I hate what they are doing to themselves and to God. It's the pits.

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  3. Agreed on all counts. And it IS the pits.

    That story of that boy in Brooklyn nearly tore me in two today.

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  4. Good stuff! I seem to be re-tweeting a lot today. :)

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  5. I am in full agreement with your post, Elizabeth (even though my husband is currently working on his PhD - he searched carefully until he found a seminary that would provide the program he wanted and one that stood firm on inerrancy of Scripture - a little one most people have never heard of. I think that is going to be the norm now for those who insist on Truth.)

    Part of the reason I enjoy reading people like J.C. Ryle, Charles Spurgeon, several of the Puritans, male and female, as well as Augustin, Luther and Calvin and so forth. Their lives and their witness is over and open to inspection, their writings have stood the test of time. There may be some small things that I have a slightly different view of - none of we humans are infallable after all and their writings are not scripture - but there are certain names that I know I can trust to help give me greater insight into the Word of God. Those who are still alive have yet to prove that they will not apostatize and thus, their writings, videos, audio, etc. must be carefully scrutinized, not matter who they are.

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  6. Are we to look to men to substantiate what God himself has revealed? I am very suspect of anything or anyone attached to the worlds system that wants to "agree" with scripture.

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  7. Wow, Jeff, you said in a few words what it took me hundreds to say. Well done. And, yes, I agree completely. Suspicion should kick in when agreement with the world supersedes scripture, or downplays its Holy Inspiration in any way.

    He tweeted me back and was most unpleasant, within three tweets being derisive, played academic one-upsmanship, told me I was ignorant, and refused to talked about the scriptures. That answered it for me, and I prayed a while for him and others like him. It was a poor display of Christian brotherliness. I had to recover a bit from his assault by trusting it to Jesus, who has promised a harder judgment on teachers of the Word, then go my way in peace. The worse tragedy is that he and others like him influence hundreds of seminary students each day, who pick up on the heretical leanings, and flow out to our churches upon graduation to pollute them...

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  8. I'm not sure exactly what Jeff was saying. I am reminded of a family I know very, very well that got involved with a cult group. They decided to throw out all of their books, worship only with those who agreed with them 100% (no local churches did), go out and live in the woods, plant gardens to survive and read only the Bible. Now that sounds really good and admirable, doesn't it? Except that man is sinful and there are good reasons that God gave us His Word and told us to not forsake meeting together. "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17 This group almost destroyed that family - they are still recovering from it and most of their many children are a mess, some have totally forsaken Christianity and Christ. Their personal stories are tragic in the true sense of the word. Fortunately the parents and kids remaining at home are now again involved in a good, Bible preaching church. God has given His people wisdom through-out the ages, Godly men and women who have written or recorded what they have learned through the Holy Spirit. Are we to throw that all out? If yes, then none of us should be reading this blog, nor should Elizabeth be writing it! Satan has attacked and perverted our seminaries, there is no doubt of that at all - but there are still good ones out there, in many parts of the world. Satan has also attacked and perverted the church and many pastors. But there are still many good ones. What is needed is discernment - not blind following of whoever happens to be opening their mouth at the moment, whoever has the glitziest tv program, most modern loud worship service, newest book, widely read blog or the biggest church building.

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  9. Anonymous 7:39---

    "What is needed is discernment - not blind following of whoever happens to be opening their mouth at the moment, whoever has the glitziest tv program, most modern loud worship service, newest book, widely read blog or the biggest church building."


    This is very true, and I agree. There are worthy things to read, and to look into, but we must ALWAYS use discernment. I dont think Elizabeth was saying we should throw everything out, but weigh everything against scripture.

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