2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
When it comes to characterizing the nature of scripture's composition, contents and character, two terms stand at the head of the list: "inerrancy" and "infallibility". The SBC statement of faith: "The Baptist Faith & Message 2000", defines scripture in its first article: "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation."http://www.sbc.org/bfm/bfm2000.asp#i
Such a definition summarizes beautifully what the scriptures are and how they function. The importance of how Scripture's inerrancy functions for Christians in today's world cannot be over-estimated . In today's post this blogger would like to introduce readers to what is the most extensive statement ever produced on the subject of Biblical inerrancy: "The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy".
The particular group of Bible-believing scholars that produced this statement and subsequent others like it was named: "The International Council for Biblical Inerrancy". The group disbanded in the late eighties and transferred all of their documents to Dallas Theological Seminary. What follows derives from the following link: http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI.shtml. May these series of posts prove edifying and informative to the Christian reader.
THE CHICAGO STATEMENT ON BIBLICAL INERRANCY
"The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian Church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God's written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master."
"Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority. The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God's own Word which marks true Christian faith. We see it as our timely. duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians and misunderstanding of this doctrine in the world at large."
"This Statement consists of three parts: a Summary Statement, Articles of Affirmation and Denial, and an accompanying Exposition. It has been prepared in the course of a three-day consultation in Chicago. Those who have signed the Summary Statement and the Articles wish to affirm their own conviction as to the inerrancy of Scripture and to encourage and challenge one another and all Christians to growing appreciation and understanding of this doctrine."
"We acknowledge the limitations of a document prepared in a brief, intensive conference and do not propose that this Statement be given creedal weight. Yet we rejoice in the deepening of our own convictions through our discussions together, and we pray that the Statement we have signed may be used to the glory of our God toward a new reformation of the Church in its faith, life, and mission."
"We offer this Statement in a spirit, not of contention, but of humility and love, which we purpose by God's grace to maintain in any future dialogue arising out of what we have said. We gladly acknowledge that many who deny the inerrancy of Scripture do not display the consequences of this denial in the rest of
their belief and behavior, and we are conscious that we who confess this doctrine often deny it in life by failing to bring our thoughts and deeds, our traditions and habits, into true subjection to the divine Word."
"We invite response to this statement from any who see reason to amend its affirmations about Scripture by the light of Scripture itself, under whose infallible authority we stand as we speak. We claim no personal infallibility for the witness we bear, and for any help which enables us to strengthen this testimony to God's Word we shall be grateful."
Note to reader: The original document is located in the Dallas Theological Seminary Archives." Link: http://library.dts.edu/Pages/TL/Special/ICBI.shtml
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