Editor’s Note:

The purpose of this series is to help Christians think through the doctrine of Scripture and provide practical guidance on not only how to read the Bible but to deal with objections and attacks on the Bible.

*****************

Introduction

Friedrich Schleiermacher was born November 21, 1768 and died February 12, 1834. Mr. Schleiermacher was considered the father of liberal theology. Schleiermacher began not with the Bible, a creed, or revelation, but with personal experiences that happened to the individual and the community.  The influence of Schleiermacher is felt today among those who deny inerrancy by placing their opinions about science over the truth of Scripture.

Liberalism, the Church and Inerrancy

At the end of the day what theological liberalism and what biblical Christianity offer are in conflict. Friedrich Schleiermacher is a perfect example of this as he believed that the stories that Moses wrote in Genesis were myths. Schleiermacher was known to place a high emphasis on how he felt rather than on what the Bible teaches.[1] At the heart of this argument by theological liberals is the belief that the Bible is a book full of errors.

Theological liberalism follows in the pattern of Schleiermacher today by placing an emphasis on what they feel rather than on what the Bible teaches. Such errors according to them are either stated or implied by those who deny inerrancy and for many of them the conviction that there are some actual errors in Scripture is a major factor in persuading them against the doctrine of inerrancy. In response to this Christians should challenge this position by asking, “What specific verse or verses do these errors occur?” Asking this question will help to understand whether the person has little or no biblical literacy, but believes there are errors in the Scriptures, because others have told them so.

Christians should respond to any and all objections about problem texts by going straight to the Scriptures. Christians who believe that Scripture is without error should be quick to study and examine what the Scripture under question teaches in minute detail. After careful study of the problem passage many Bible students have found that studying the passage brings to light one or more possible solution to the difficulty.  In a few cases some passages may give no immediate solution to the difficulty at which point it may be helpful to consult some commentaries on the Scripture. It’s important to understand that the Bible is two thousand years old and any and all alleged “problem texts have always been there. Highly competent biblical scholars have read, studied and explained these difficult passages and found no difficulty in holding to biblical inerrancy.[2] This should give believers confidence that solutions to problem texts are available, and that belief in inerrancy is consistent with a lifetime of detailed attention to the text of Scripture.

Theological liberalism offers its adherents a version of Christianity which is incompatible with the biblical record. Theological liberalism has proven from church history that when it is adherents take its teachings seriously it has disastrous consequences for not only the health of the local and global Church, but also to the gospel. Liberal theologians by basing their beliefs on their feelings offer nothing new under the sun. The only thing they offer is the same offer Satan offered Adam and Eve in the Garden, the seduction to be gods themselves. Liberal theology has serious consequences that include no foundation for truth, no basis for ethics or morals, which is one reason among others why schools who were once bastions of biblical orthodoxy abandoned inerrancy and sold themselves wholesale to the lie of liberalism.

The root problem with liberalism is that it has no standard by which truth may be measured. When truth is relegated to the arena of feelings, truth is immediately forced out the window, and man sets himself/herself up as a “god” of their own world. This rejection of truth reveals that they don’t want anything to do with the Bible. These are often the same people who come to the Bible to “prove” their scientific, historical and other claims. By coming to the Bible they think is full of errors, liberals expose their inconsistency by revealing that they are spiritually blinded and do not know the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ.

The consequences of theological liberalism are devastating on the Church and also on our contemporary society. These consequences are seen every day in America as she turns from her Judeo-Christian foundations in favor of what the world deems wise, popular and right. Theological liberalism is not biblical Christianity. It (theological liberalism) is a wholesale abandonment to secular ideas spawned by Satan. The devil is still killing, destroying and seeking to devour whom he may. The Truth of God’s Word will always stand, because it reveals the truth of Jesus Christ—the God-Man who came to die a bloody death for rejecters like Judas, deniers like Peter and religious people who say they know everything. Jesus died on a bloody Cross, was buried, rose again, and now stands as the High Priest over His people.

Conclusion

While it may be fashionable and popular to fashion nice iron clad proof arguments to deny and reject God and His Word by doing so such people reveal not their intelligence but their foolishness. The Creator who created still stands supreme over man, which means no matter how much man tries to lift himself or herself against God as liberalism does, they will always fail. Liberalism at its root is unhelpful and destructive to society precisely because at its core it has no fear of the Creator God. Instead liberalism sets itself up as the measure of truth for man and teaches man how they can live apart from God. This glorification of the self is why liberalism is more than a philosophy, it is a religion, and as a religion it is proclaimed nightly on news casts, radio shows and blogs the world over.

The truth of the matter is that Christians have a superior Word and Savior than liberalism does. One day rejecters and deniers will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be thrown into hell, a place of unrelenting and unending punishment. Jesus the Savior of sinners longs to save rejecters, deniers and sinners. Jesus is the Word incarnate and as such is the basis for all truth. Jesus bound Himself to His Word by giving it to His disciples. By instituting the Church and telling Peter, “On this rock I will build my church” Jesus Christ the Savior of sinners bound Himself and His Word to the Church through its preaching, which the Church is to contend, defend and proclaim to the whole world. Jesus Christ is the Truth, and as such only His Word which is sharper than any two edged sword can piece through the fog by revealing the foolishness of man’s sin and rebellion against God. Jesus Christ is the ultimate answer and reason why His Word is inspired, inerrant, sufficient, authoritative which is why Christians should dedicate their entire lives and ministries  to reading, studying, contending and proclaiming its truth.


[1] Justo L. Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day, no. 2 (New York: HarperCollins, 1985), 286-287.

[2] For example Gleason L. Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982); William Arndt, Does the Bible contradict itself? (St. Louis: Concordia, 1955; John W. Haley, Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (1874; reprinted Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977).