“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” -2 Timothy 3.16
“But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” -John 20.31
“The Battle for the Bible” often times is used in Southern Baptist circles to refer back to the period of debate in the 1970′s when the claim of Scriptural inerrancy was questioned strongly and evangelicals had to make a decision which way to go. Should we deny inerrancy and move more towards the liberal theology of many mainline denominations or should we uphold inerrancy and cement ourselves as the true conservative position in the church?
Today, more widely, the Battle for the Bible has come to mean the struggle over inerrancy along with debates over appropriate hermeneutics to use, how much authority does Scripture have over our lives, and is the Bible the only spiritual text which reveals God to us. It is in light of this type of continuing debate that leaders such as Albert Mohler comment that every generation must decide if they are going to stand on the authority of Scripture or not, every generation must fight the Battle for the Bible.
For our generation, I think the time is now. Look at the landscape: teachers like Rob Bell invoke trajectory hermeneutics to liberalize Scripture into accepting current moralities which are specifically opposed in the Bible; in their book The Lost Message of Jesus, Steve Chalke and Alan Mann refer to God’s crushing Christ for our iniquities (Isaiah 53.5) as a form of “cosmic child abuse”; Brian McLaren (the liaison to evangelicals for Barack Obama) runs around the country questioning the existence of hell and a literal second coming, at times even proposing a sort of universalism; multiple denominations are facing splits due to some ramifications of a refusal to stand on the clear Scriptural teaching that homosexuality is a sin. In all, our post-modern, post-Christian, emerging landscape is covered with major rifts which all center around the denying the inerrancy or supreme unique authority of Scripture.
To this effect, and to start our battle smartly, I want to give you guys a link to a wonderfully thorough handling of this material conducted earlier this year by John Piper. Over the course of 5 messages Dr. Piper argues what the Scriptures are, what we mean by their inerrancy and authority, why we should believe their message, and how this should inform our behavior. These messages are well researched and I believe will prove very beneficial to you as you begin to pick sides in this current Battle for the Bible.
This is important, please realize that. If we lose the Bible we lose God’s revelation of himself and any way of resting our church on the true authority of His Word over the broken philosophy of man. Put on the full armor, take up arms, and fight!