Is it supposed to be all or nothing when it comes to the Bible (because Jesus seemed to contradict a lot of it Himself)?
How is Scripture inerrant?
Is it more important that the Bible be inerrant or inspired?
That last question is probably the most important because, for so many, their faith hinges on the Bible being without error.
But this is not what faith should hinge on. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Once something is proven, it becomes fact. But knowing facts is not what pleases God. God wants faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” You do not have to put your faith in facts for facts are true no matter what you believe and they can be proven. Faith is more than this.
The great people of the Bible did what they did not knowing what the outcome would be or even whether God had actually been the one who told them to do it. They believed it was God and acted accordingly. Should not we behave in the same way?
We should follow the way of Jesus not because it has been proven to work, but because He has called us to follow.
We should trust the Bible not because it can be proven, but because we believe what it says to us.
But just like those great people who came before us, not all of us have the same calling. Not all of us are called like Abram to drop everything and head to a place we have never been and know nothing about. Not all are Phineas, not all are Ruth, not all are Ezekiel or Jeremiah.
Each generation must seek anew what it is that God wants them to do. Each individual must do likewise. One man may be called to preach theology, but another may be called to apply it. One generation may be called to defend the Bible, but another may be called to defend orthodoxy, and another to have a prophetic voice.
I cannot rely on my father’s calling any more than I can rely on my father to breathe for me. I think this may be some of what is causing so much tension between my generation and the one before. They want us to do and say things their way, but we see what their way has gotten them, and we don’t like it. We don’t believe that it looks like Jesus. We want to look like Jesus.
This is not to say that we have it perfect or that we have it figured out. This is not to say that there isn’t something that can be learned from what our parents have done or said. Quite the contrary. We can learn a lot from them. We can learn things to do and we can gain wisdom based on what they have learned. But we can also learn what not to do.
More often than not, this is what is focused on…what not to do. And this is true for both generations. We are on to some things and so are they. And the only way for the Gospel to be proclaimed properly and in all its fullness, we must work together.
I may not think that the Bible is inerrant in the same way that my uncle does, but I think there is one thing we can agree on in regards to Scripture: God inspired it; God breathed it, and that should be enough. We should trust it because God is behind it. And when God truly speaks, even through the words of other people, we would do well to listen.