What is the foundation of a sound, lasting Christian faith? The Lord prayed on the night He was betrayed, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17 NASB). As central and important as all the means of grace God has given His people are, it is clearly His intention that the Spirit use Scripture as the bedrock of His communication with His people. No one can read the words of the Lord Jesus and come to the conclusion that He found Scripture dispensable or peripheral. “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35 NASB). For Jesus, “It stands written” ended the argument. So one is forced into an untenable incoherence to hold on the one hand to Jesus as Lord, as the God-Man, Savior, and King, while on the other hand believing the very Scriptures He honored (and, in His triune unity with the Father and the Spirit, authored!) are significantly less reliable than Jesus Himself believed.
Surely, if the Lord has not spoken, we are left with little more than the opinions of men. Such has never been the faith of the Christian Church. As Irenaeus said long ago, “We have learned from none others the plan of our salvation, than from those through whom the Gospel has come down to us, which they did at one time proclaim in public, and, at a later period, by the will of God, handed down to us in the Scriptures, to be the ground and pillar of our faith.”
It has never been more important for the church of Jesus Christ to speak with confident authority to its own members in defense of the full inspiration, integrity, and inerrancy of divine Scripture. But it is likewise vitally important that we do so not from a position of dogmatic ignorance, but one of informed faithfulness and knowledge of the issues that surround the topic. We cannot afford to be ignorant of the developments in scholarship, but, at the same time, we must not slavishly follow secular humanism into an idolatrous exaltation of it either. Scholars are human beings with presuppositions and biases, and many today willingly dedicate their scholarship to the service of secularism. In the process their prejudices twist the conclusions they draw from the facts of their research. The wise believer in the twenty-first century will be the one who can sift through the writings of the scholars, happily accepting the nuggets of truth while recognizing the overriding control of naturalistic and humanistic presuppositions.
Let us not fear in the face of the mockery and angry denunciations of men. Divine truth does not change with the blowing winds of cultural trends. Though we may have to await patiently the Lord’s own timing, His truth will be vindicated, His people confirmed in their faith. Belief in God’s ability to communicate His will to His people through His Word is rational, historic, and defensible. We must resist the siren call of the slippery slope of cultural accommodation and stand firm in our faith that God’s Spirit will use God’s Word to edify God’s people.