Faith Basics: Inerrancy and Infallibility

Faith Basics: Inerrancy and Infallibility
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In this episode Ian Rush joins Dan Jarms to discuss more of the doctrines of scripture. Inerrancy means the Bible is without error. This is vital for the Christian to understand, because if we don’t, we will be left trying to find answers in our own wisdom.

This is the second in a series called Faith Basics where other pastors join Dan Jarms to discuss topics that all believers should understand.

  • Automated Transcription
  • Dan Jarms 0:00
    Today on faith matters, we're going to be talking with Ian rush about one of the doctrines of Scripture inerrancy and infallibility.

    Dan Jarms 0:15
    I'm Dan Jarms and you're listening to faith matters a podcast to help update you on matters of faith Bible Church, as well as equip you in matters of the Christian faith.

    Dan Jarms 0:33
    Welcome in, we're going to talk about inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture today. Last time we talked about inspiration and authority of Scripture, since God spoke his word, it is authoritative for us. There's a lot more to say about Scripture and why we value it, why we do expository preaching and teaching why we study it the way we do. Why we take it is our authoritative source for life and godliness. And two essential topics about Scripture are inerrancy and infallibility. And so Ian is going to help me talk through those things for you. He's got a series of articles that are going to come out in the weekly and are going to be posted about those things too. Because he's thought long and hard about those in what we what we need, and what's at stake with the concepts of inerrancy and infallibility.

    Ian Rush 1:26
    What we believe about inerrancy. And what we believe that infallibility affects what we believe about how sufficient scripture is. The bottom line is, if I don't believe that Scripture is without error, and it contains the very words of God, then I'm not going to come to it. And I'm not going to trust it, it's not going to be a trustworthy source for me. So really, it's crucial.

    Dan Jarms 1:53
    Yeah, yeah. And in our era, so there have been eras where people more or less, took the Bible as God's word, and said, whatever it says in there, that's true. I just don't like it. Like lots, lots of people for centuries and centuries just said, I don't want to live that way. I know one day, there will literally be hell to pay. But I'm going to do this. We don't live in a culture that even accepts that today. In large part, in large part, everybody makes up what they want to be true. And they just assume that the Bible's done the same thing. And people back then just made up what they wanted to be true. And that was for then this is for now. And I have my truth or my ideas. So it's really essential compared to what most of the world believes, and then much of the Christian world, so we won't get into a lot of details. But we will have, we will have people who claim to be Christian who believe the Bible is partially inerrant. It's it's inerrant, and infallible and matters of faith and practice. Not the details, but the big picture faith, the big picture practices, that's really true, but otherwise, they were culturally biased or culturally infected. And so it affects everything from how we view gender today, how we how we view marriage, how we view how we treat each other, it is really is really an important topic to talk about. And what we're focusing on is what God says himself about these matters. So every time we come to these podcasts, Ian and I are going to be looking at what God says about himself in his own word. So let's let's dive into the two topics for the day. Let's talk about inerrancy. And infallibility even once you start giving me some kind of working definition of what inerrancy means.

    Ian Rush 3:48
    Yeah, so I would say inerrancy, just really simply defined, it just means containing no errors. So when we come to Scripture, we expect to find things that are true and accurate. So there's no error in there. Yeah.

    Dan Jarms 4:03
    And there's lots of questions we could ask about it. But first, let's let's build this positively. Why can we say that?

    Ian Rush 4:12
    So yeah, again, I think that comes back to what we talked about in the first podcast that what that's one reason at least, and that's because scripture comes from God, it's breathed out by him. And those who wrote it down, were carried along by the Holy Spirit. And then that in and of itself is built upon the nature of who God is, is his character. We know that God is true. We know that God is omniscient. We know that God makes no error. We know that God is not misleading or any of those things. Therefore the things that come from him are that way true to include in including his word,

    Dan Jarms 4:49
    the pagan Prophet, Baal, new Yawei well enough to be able to say this, that he is not a man that he should lie or as Son of man that he should change his mind. balem said, men lie all the time. But Yahweh is truthful. So, in the Old Testament, you know, if you go to Psalm 19, or Psalm 119, the sum of Your word is truth. If you are true, Your word is truth. Those are the kinds of phrases that you're gonna hear of some 19. In Psalm 119, Jesus makes the statement for our salvation benefit to believe in Him, He says, I am the Way the Truth and the Life. So he is reality. And so what truth simply means is reality. God is truthful, he is going to speak reality. And he's not going to deceive. Or the one of the first questions, or the first things I would want to say to somebody is like, I don't I don't believe all of the Bible, I believe some but I don't believe others. I would ask why do you think God would want to confuse us is, is that the kind of God that we would have? He would not want us to know, he would not be able to tell us the truth. And the second part that goes with that is that he's powerful. Like, wouldn't he be able to keep a word that his people could count on? If he loves his people doesn't doesn't even want them to know. And certainly, that's what he says, So sanctified Jesus. Jesus uses this phrase in this prayer, Sanctify them in truth, Your word is truth. He's looking to God, the Father says what you say is true, because you're true. And you're powerful. So that that is sort of a key thing about the spirit statements of Scripture themselves, affirming God's truthfulness.

    Ian Rush 6:28
    So Psalm 19, as you said, like, all the way through that from verse seven, like there's just a bunch of affirming statements. And this is just one place in Scripture, you could go to a whole number of other places that say similar things. But here, it just says things like, the law of the Lord is perfect. The testimony of the Lord is sure the precepts of the Lord are right, the commandment of the Lord is, is pure. So just a bunch, the rules of the Lord are true. You just see it throughout there. And those are things that are affirmed as you go throughout Scripture, as we hear about what God's word is, and how to accept the things that he had tests or affirms in in his word.

    Dan Jarms 7:12
    Yeah. And the Bible makes claims about itself, that no other book does. This is this is one of the key realities about Christian scriptures, the Bible claims to be true claims to be from God. And then corroborated by God's work in the world over history and overtime. So because he's true, what he says, comes to pass,

    Ian Rush 7:34
    our understanding of truth is really important. truth, truth doesn't change, our ultimate truth doesn't change. And to think that we might determine what's true, just by popular consensus is scary. Rather than truth, allowing or believing that truth is determined by an authority that is above ourselves. Which is, which is what Scripture gives us?

    Dan Jarms 8:02
    Yeah. The first time I ever heard the phrase was from, from Doug Wilson. But I'm sure it's an old one says we don't count truth by nickels and noses. You know, it's not by how many people by by how much money is involved, or how many people believe it like, just because 75% of the population thinks something now, doesn't mean it's true. Doesn't change the truth. It doesn't change the truth. So

    Ian Rush 8:27
    red is always red.

    Dan Jarms 8:28
    Yes. Right. Right. So the Bible is without error, and everything that affirms it is without error. So if it disagrees with something in the culture today, the thing in the culture is an error, because God is true. And that's, that means we need to be bold sometimes and talking about it. But it's also a relief, where we're not always trying to figure out, you know, what the latest true thing is in in culture. Now, we need to really quickly talk about and we'll get to it more when we get to the sufficiency of Scripture, that that key phrase that you read from Allison, that in everything that affirms the Bible doesn't speak about everything about everything. There's a lot of things the Bible doesn't speak about. So we're not trying to make the Bible speak about areas that it doesn't speak about, and then claiming truth on it. No, it's inherent in what it affirms. And we have to recognize that sometimes there's perspective sunrises and sunsets. Does the sun actually rise to sun actually set? Well, it depends on perspective, right? So the Bible is filled with that sort of language. And we don't, you know, over over worry about that. Let's let's transition really quick to infallibility. It's not as long of a topic but it's fair. It's related. What is infallibility and,

    Ian Rush 9:47
    yeah, they're connected and sometimes difficult to differentiate, but I would say infallibility is talking about the fact that Scripture is actually unable to like it. is unable to have any error because it comes from God. And also the fact that it's not. It isn't misleading. So what we have in Scripture is clear. It's true. It's plain. It's not misleading in any way. God does not mislead. Yeah, so that's that's infallibility. So just kind of a nuance of inerrancy.

    Dan Jarms 10:24
    Yeah. And it's really, it's really important for a lot of a lot of things God wants us to know Him. So He is not going to lead us down the wrong path. He doesn't want to mislead his people. And I was in my just daily reading that happened to be in Romans 10. And there's this phrase in Romans 10, saying, The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. Like, it's not far away, you you have it, you can know it. And so the infallibility of Scripture means not so much that it's knowable, but God is going to be truthful in what he presents, he is going to lead you down the right way. He is going to allow you to know Him. The older way of using infallibility is the idea just by the breakdown of its parts is that it's, it's unable to fail, it won't fail. And that is the power of the word. We might use other words, now it used to be in fallibilities, it's, it's not going to fail, that I think of verses like out of Isaiah 55. Isaiah 5510 says, For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be, that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing which I sent it. So along with not being misleading, it actually doesn't fail. God works through His Word, His true word. So it is a very encouraging doctrine. Let me give a couple of quick applications to this. Many people think that the Bible is a good idea in a lot of ways, but it was locked into a culture and therefore not relevant or not accurate for today. And let's use the issues of gender and roles and sexuality. So on the issue of men and women's roles, the Bible has a position called complementarianism. Men are to lead women are to follow their leadership, and in a helpful way, that would include a back and forth dialogue between, let's say, a husband and a wife, and a marriage. And then eventually, the man needs to take the lead and make a decision lead there. The Bible talks about that from Genesis two. And it is consistent with it all the way through the epistles. The apostle Paul affirms that, you find it all the way through to First Peter. So that's a consistent doctrine, which is transcultural we have the created order we have, we have 1000s of Jewish years of history, and it's consistent all the way into the church culture that is established in the New Testament. So that's trans culture. The second one, maybe that you could look at is on sexuality. So today, people want homosexuality, LGBTQ, various sexual expressions and identities to be valid. The same thing really applies from Genesis one at creation of male and female, all the way across the totality of the Bible. It's a consistent message. It's trans cultural. And it's especially important to think of the Apostle Paul who often gets branded as as a person who is just speaking to his culture. He's the apostle to the Gentiles. And in First Corinthians six, or in First Timothy, or Second Timothy, or Thessalonians, when he brings up the various sects, issues on immorality, he's speaking to people who were as much embracing all of the modern sexual sins as people want to today. So he knows what he's speaking to. And he knows he's calling it out and calling it sin, and not part of God's plan. So that's, that's part of what anchors us in inerrancy and infallibility because it's part of the created order. It gets affirmed across the Bible across its own cultures. So it's something we can hold on to today and it helps us today in talk to the youth and the kids at Faith Bible Church. Why should they trust the Bible? When Most of the culture around them doesn't even care about the Bible.

    Ian Rush 15:05
    Yeah, yeah. And I think that there's a, I think it's called cultural at the moment. Again, we touched on this a little bit in the first one, to first podcast, just to be listening to a bunch of different voices. And the thing that I always come back to is, it makes the most sense. And it's the wisest thing to do, to listen to the voice that has the most authority. I want to listen to the person that knows the most, I want to listen to the person that's the wisest. And there's it there's an eternal chasm between the wisdom and the knowledge of God, compared to the wisdom and the knowledge of the next best person. So that's, that's always where I'm going to turn. So I'd encourage anyone to do the same. And then you see, if you just give scripture, a chance, if you just will read through it, you will see the things that we experience in life, you'll see the things that we experience in our hearts, the things that we experience, and seeing the world perfectly described and accounted for in Scripture. And then God also shows us the pathway to life. So it's just everything is there that we need, that's good.

    Dan Jarms 16:41
    There's a little warm up to this really important doctrine of inerrancy and infallibility in and I talking through that helps us know, not only scriptures inspired, but it also is able, and it is helpful. It's without error. If you have any questions about that, please reach out to us. How far do we take that doctrine? What, what's, what's connected to it? We couldn't answer all those kinds of questions today. So if you have more questions, please reach out to us. The next podcast we're going to cover another of these key basics, which is the sufficiency of Scripture, how God's word applies to all areas of our life so that we can please him. love other people. Well handle our problems biblically. Those are coming up. It's a super valuable topic. urge you to tune in

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Dan Jarms

Dr. Dan Jarms is teaching pastor and team leader at Faith Bible Church in Spokane Washington, as well as associate dean at TMS Spokane. He has been married for over 30 years to Linda, and has three adult children. He earned his B.A. in English at the Master’s College, B.Ed. at Eastern Washington University, M.Div and D.Min in Expository Preaching at The Master’s Seminary. His other interests include NCAA basketball, gardening, brick oven cooking.

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Ian Rush

Ian is the Youth Pastor of Faith Bible Church. He and his wife, Claire, have 5 kids and recently spent a few years serving in a small church in England.

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