Daily Archives: March 8, 2015

GTY Blog: The Inerrancy Summit, Day Three

Code: B150306


by Jeremy Smith and Jeremiah Johnson

The sessions on Wednesday (day two) evening focused on the inseparable connection between theology and Christian living. Messages from Ian Hamilton and Mark Dever emphasized the significance of biblical inerrancy in both theology and practical godliness. Teaching from well-known, beloved texts, each man offered fresh insights that were as practical as they were profound.

Christ’s Commitment to Scripture

Ian Hamilton’s message focused on Christ’s emphatic statement in John 10:35: “The Scripture cannot be broken.” Jesus spoke those words in defending His deity against obstinate, faithless Jews. Their refusal to accept the overwhelming testimony of His miracles and good works demonstrated the hardness of their hearts. They were deaf and blind to the truth of Christ’s divinity—not for lack of evidence of His deity, but because of the spiritual death that consumed their hearts (John 10:25–28).

Surprisingly, though, they did hold a high view of Scripture. The same people who stubbornly rejected Jesus Christ because of the spiritual death in their hearts also confessed a firm belief in biblical inerrancy. As Hamilton put it, they were “jot-and-tittle inerrantists.”

The shocking marriage of rebellion and orthodoxy that took root in the hearts of Christ-rejecting Jews stands as a sober warning to Christians today. Believers must guard against that same hypocrisy taking hold of their own hearts. God’s people must not merely assent to the character and quality of God’s truth, but carefully follow Christ’s example—His conviction—concerning the power and immutability of Scripture. The gospels demonstrate that Jesus’ entire life was dominated by the words of His Father. He faithfully believed, loved, taught, and lived out God’s Word on a daily basis.

It’s not enough to hold Scripture in high esteem. God’s people must faithfully live out the truth, submitting to its commands and standards, and adorning the gospel with the testimony of their lives.

The Son of God was fully dependent on the Word of God, and no one was more humble, more loving, or more submissive to the will of the Father. Jesus’ life was a living testimony to the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture. As children of God, our lives must likewise testify to our submission to the authority of His Word.

The Passionate Pursuit of God’s Law

In Wednesday’s final session, Mark Dever led a meditation on Psalm 119, reading all 176 verses and taking his audience on a guided tour of the psalm’s rich descriptions of God’s law. As Dever explained, Psalm 119 shows that God’s Word is eternally linked with God’s nature. Our view of God, then, should correlate with our view of His Word.

Dever also described the rich blessings of God’s Word. We know there is much fruit to be gleaned from the careful and deep study of Scripture. But Dever challenged us to consider the variety of blessings that come from simply reading Scripture or hearing it read, including these: It inspires our awe of God, causes godly sorrow over sin, produces practical purity, gives us hope, and delivers us from the destructive effects of evil.

His main point was clear: We must not let discussions about God’s Word to ever take the rightful place of God’s Word itself. We must guard the Word’s supremacy in our churches and in our hearts. And we must not let it be usurped by our own wisdom or opinions—that’s the path to Phariseeism.

Symbols of Sacred Scripture

Steve Lawson kicked off Thursday (day three) morning with a study of what Scripture says about its own quality and character. Specifically, he examined seven key symbols that the Bible uses to describe the nature of God’s Word. Each of those metaphors—sword, mirror, seed, milk, lamp, fire, and hammer—vividly depicts the way the Holy Spirit works through His Word to bring about His will in the lives of His people.

Lawson’s description of God’s Word as a lamp to our feet was particularly convicting. As he explained, it’s assumed in the metaphor that the light is reaching our eyes and our minds. But the true value of Scripture is borne out in how we live—the lamp is most effective and valuable when it guides our steps.

That’s all for now from the conference. We’ll be back next week to wrap up the rest of the sessions and to offer some final thoughts on this tremendous week. In the meantime, remember to follow along on the conference live stream shepherdsconference.org — and share your own thoughts and responses in the comments below.

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150306
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

GTY Blog: Inerrancy Summit, Day Two

Code: B150305


by Jeremiah Johnson

Rather than attempting to condense a whole day’s worth of teaching into a few paragraphs, we want to give you glimpses of some of the high points from Tuesday and Wednesday, particularly some practical implications from the keynote sessions.

Your Life and Inerrancy

Ligon Duncan closed out Monday with an exposition of 2 Timothy 3:16—“All Scripture is inspired by God.”

Duncan zeroed in on that opening phrase, explaining that “all Scripture” does not refer to a subjective, fluid collection of God’s ideas, but the total and complete canon of God’s actual words. When believers talk about Scripture, we are talking about the very words from the mouth of God. His point was that understanding the inspiration of Scripture has direct implications for its inerrancy. As Duncan put it, “If it is from the mouth of God who cannot lie, then Scripture cannot lie.” In fact, divine inspiration is the basis of the doctrine of inerrancy.

Duncan closed with an appeal to those who publicly profess inerrancy but persist in ungodly patterns. He said it’s understandable that heresy often leads to ungodliness, since right and wrong are often up for grabs when the truth is perverted. Put simply, it’s no surprise when a heretic leads a sinful life.

But in a similar way, ungodliness frequently leads to heresy. Sin and rebellion naturally foster distaste for the truth, prompting the rethinking, revision, and (often) rejection of God’s Word. Duncan’s point was that ungodliness in the life of the believer is itself an assault on the inerrancy and authority of Scripture. It’s an affront to the Holy Spirit within us, and a practical disavowal of His Word.

For those attending the conference, and the many churches and believers they represent, the gravest danger is not heresy that leads to ungodliness. The gravest danger is that we will allow sin into our lives and begin to justify it by altering our view of Scripture. We must guard against that kind of compromise in our own lives.

Making Disciples Meets Inerrancy

Miguel Nuñez opened the Tuesday sessions with a helpful reminder about the Great Commission and its implications regarding biblical inerrancy. In essence, everything we believe and do as Christians hinges on our view of Scripture.

As a pastor in the Dominican Republic, Nuñez has seen firsthand how American evangelicalism’s repeated compromises on the quality and character of Scripture have been exported to the worldwide church. He believes that the unbiblical pragmatism that has plagued the church in recent years—the church-growth movement was a primary example—has been spawned by a weak understanding of and commitment to the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of God’s Word.

Nuñez exhorted us to be steadfast in our resolve to uphold biblical inerrancy. Inerrancy, he said, is the ultimate defense against the pervasive false gospels that wreak havoc on the worldwide church and pollute the mission field.

In particular, he pointed out how a low view of Scripture cripples a believer’s ability to fulfill the Great Commission. If the Bible is erroneous, or if we allow that it could be, on what basis can we make any claims about sin, repentance, or righteousness? How can we determine right from wrong if the standard we hold to is flawed?

The simple answer is, we can’t. A text full of errors cannot command full obedience.

If we don’t uphold God’s Word as inerrant and authoritative, how can we expect to lead others to submit to it? Nuñez showed that inerrancy is vital when it comes to preaching the gospel.

The conference continues to tremendously bless everyone here. I hope you’re able to partake of the rich teaching we’re receiving from these faithful men of God. You can join us on the live stream at shepherdsconference.org.

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150305
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

GTY Blog: Inerrancy Summit, Day One

Code: B150304


by Jeremiah Johnson

Day one of the Inerrancy Summit kicked off with an opening address from John MacArthur. He began by reminiscing about the meetings that led up to the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. In an ironic turn of events, John left those meetings—where the Word of God was faithfully exalted—only to fly back to California sitting next to Robert Schuller, a well-known televangelist and one of the fathers of the seeker-sensitive movement. During the flight, Schuller told him, “I can say I believe the Bible and make those words mean anything I want them to mean.” That attitude and approach to Scripture sums up the need for this event.

John said he was prompted to convene the summit because more than a generation of church leaders have grown up and entered ministry without having ever fought the battle for inerrancy, and because perspectives like Schuller’s now permeate the church.

He then highlighted four reasons why the inerrancy of Scripture is worth fighting for. The first was that Scripture is under attack, and we are called to defend it. Satan’s primary goal is always to get people to question the truth of God’s Word, and today many of those attacks on the truth come from inside the church (fulfilling Paul’s words in Acts 20:29-30). John traced the many philosophical and sociological threats that have assaulted the authority of Scripture throughout the history of the church, showing how the consistent effort of spiritual terrorists is to undermine the veracity, authority, and inerrancy of God’s Word.

Next, John highlighted the authoritative nature of Scripture—that it is inextricably tied to God’s perfect and righteous character. Just as the Lord cannot be divided, nullified, or broken, neither can His Word. Scripture is clear about its own authority and inerrancy, and about our duty to declare it.

The third reason relates to declaring the truth—Scripture is completely accurate and we need to faithfully demonstrate its accuracy. In every detail, and often well in advance of scientific discovery, the Bible speaks with authority and accuracy about the nature of God’s creation. The same is true of Scripture’s prophecies—what God’s Word foretold long ago can now be verified as historical fact. God’s people can speak with bold confidence that His Word stands up to any test of its accuracy.

Finally, John explained the fourth reason that inerrancy is worth fighting for—the Bible is active and believers need to faithfully deploy it to do its work. Scripture is not a static book; it’s not a stale compilation of ancient truth. It’s living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and it transforms, sanctifies, edifies, instructs, and comforts believers. He said, “Lots of books can change your thinking, but only one can change your nature and your destiny.” He reminded the thousands of pastors and church leaders gathered together that no one can be saved without the gospel—it’s not the skill of the sower but the power of the seed and the preparation of the soil.

Ultimately, the Holy Spirit’s power is unleashed through the faithful and accurate preaching of the Word. That’s what is at stake in the fight for inerrancy, and that’s why it matters at every level in the work of the church.

The second speaker of the morning was Alistair Begg. His sermon was a strong charge to pastors and church leaders, echoing Paul’s charge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1-5. He highlighted the importance of Paul’s charge and challenge to Timothy, and the character of a faithful minister of God’s Word. He said, “The real challenge is not that we stop believing the Bible, but that we stop using it. . . . Silly illustrations and superficial worship do not set the stage for the gospel.” His message was a clear call to faithfully preach and teach the truth of Scripture.

He began with this extended quote from Spurgeon:

A great many learned men are defending the gospel; no doubt it is a very proper and right thing to do, yet I always notice that, when there are most books of that kind, it is because the gospel itself is not being preached. Suppose a number of persons were to take it into their heads that they had to defend a lion, a full-grown king of beasts! There he is in the cage, and here come all the soldiers of the army to fight for him. Well, I should suggest to them, if they would not object, and feel that it was humbling to them, that they should kindly stand back, and open the door, and let the lion out! I believe that would be the best way of defending him, for he would take care of himself; and the best “apology” for the gospel is to let the gospel out. Never mind about defending Deuteronomy or the whole of the Pentateuch; preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. Let the Lion out, and see who will dare to approach him. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will soon drive away all his adversaries.

That’s a fitting summary for the first morning.

Don’t miss a minute of the conference — be sure to watch the live stream at http://www.shepherdsconference.org.

Available online at: http://www.gty.org/resources/Blog/B150304
COPYRIGHT ©2015 Grace to You

The Inerrancy Summit Videos

The Domain for Truth

Inerrancy Summit 2015

I’ve been to nearly a decade worth’s of Shepherd’s Conference and this one was definitely the best personally.  I really enjoyed the Inerrancy Summit.

Here are the videos!

There are some more videos they haven’t had it up yet but I will put it up as soon as they make them available.


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GodLife: Do you worry about money?

Scripture: “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” Proverbs 3:9

The Bible is full of stories showing God working in the lives of wealthy people. Abraham, Israel’s King David, and Lydia (a woman who sold purple dye) are just a few. But when Jesus also said that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” it was a warning that money can hurt more than it helps. (Matthew 19:24). How can you follow Jesus and His Word rather than letting money keep you from following God? Here are 3 truths to help.

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Just for You

Do you want to know more about money? Learn more in the Articles for Growth series.

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“God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11

Straining forward toward the goal

Possessing the Treasure

By Mike Ratliff

3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
6 Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory;  (1 Corinthians 2:3-7 NASB)

When we observe those “Christian Leaders” espousing the social activism of new evangelicalism, which is rooted in Semi-Pelagianism and Humanism, it should make us wonder at what motivates them. Why would these people seek to create a…

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