What a Perfect, God-Breathed Bible Involves, Part 2 (The Reasons to Believe #220)

Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #220. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.

Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is Luke 4:3-4. It reads, “And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from John Stott. He said, “The dual authorship of Scripture is an important truth to be carefully guarded. On the one hand, God spoke, revealing the truth and preserving the human authors from error, yet without violating their personality. On the other hand, men spoke, using their own faculties freely, yet without distorting the divine message. Their words were truly their own words. But they were (and still are) also God’s words, so that what Scripture says, God says.”

Today we are continuing the topic of scripture, its inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration using “Our God-breathed Book: The Bible – The Verbally Inspired, Eternal, Inerrant Word of God” by John R. Rice. Our Reasons to Believe powerpoint today comes from Chapter 4: “What a Perfect, God-breathed Bible Involves” Part 2.

3. The Scriptures Are Inspired, Not the Men

Let us remember that we are speaking of inspired Scriptures, not of inspired men. God spoke through Balaam, a wicked man who spoke against his will in blessing Israel (Num. chaps. 23 and 24). God even spoke through Balaam’s ass (Num. 22:28-30). God spoke through Caiaphas, the unconverted priest who led in having Jesus crucified (John 11:49-52). Scriptures are written by Moses and by Peter, but that does not mean that Moses was perfect or that he would not lose his temper and offend in smiting the rock the second time (Num. 20:8-13). And Peter compromised and needed to be rebuked publicly by the Apostle Paul, since Peter had led Barnabas and others into sin by his compromise (Gal. 2:11-14). We speak not of infallible men but of the infallible Word of God which He miraculously gave through men.

Professor James Orr was seriously wrong here. We suppose that James Orr, who was professor of apologetics and systematic theology in the United Free Church College in Glasgow, was about the most respected of theologians at the turn of the century. His book, A Christian View of God and the World, is widely used as a textbook in Christian colleges, and publishers call him “one of the most profound Bible scholars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His great erudition, his scientific knowledge, and his philosophical gifts left their imprint upon the thinking of this age and succeeding generations.” He was the editor-in-chief of the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, a monumental work. But in his book, Revelation and Inspiration, he makes allowance for the incorporation of all traditions in the Scripture, incorporation of genealogies and other tables with errors, in the Word of God. He consents that some of the Scriptures which profess to be history may be allegorical and mythical, though they teach truth.

To start with, one must know that Dr. Orr had accepted evolution as a fact. He was greatly influenced by the professions and claims of scientists. He was postmillennial and believed that the world was getting better and mankind was developing more and more. He believed that the Old Testament was written “in the childhood of the race,” and that inspiration was “progressive,” getting better as the ages passed. So there would be some bias favorable to liberals and unbelievers on the part of this good Christian man.

Orr says:

A first question arises as to the relation of the inspired person to the record. Scripture is spoken of as “God-inspired”; but it is important to notice that inspiration belongs primarily to the person, and to the book only as it is the product of the inspired person. There is no inspiration inherent literally in the paper, ink, or type, of the sacred volume. The inspiration was in the soul of the writer; the qualities that are communicated to the writing had their seat first in the mind or heart of the man who wote. It is on the mind, heart, faculties of the man that the Spirit works: the work is inspired as coming from his thought and pen, and as having the power of quickening and awakening a like glow of soul in those who read. This is seen very clearly in considering the inspiration of genius, as it appears, e.g., in the works of a Shakespeare, a Milton, or a Goethe. The inspiration in these cases is in the souls of the men, and only derivatively in their writings.

It is a mistake to illustrate the inspiration of God-breathed Scripture by the expressed human genius of “a Shakespeare, a Milton, or a Goethe” as Orr does. Shakespeare’s writing came from Shakespeare’s genius; Moses’, David’s and Peter’s part in Scripture came not from within Moses or David or Peter but from God. When writing Scripture, they were “moved [or carried along] by the Holy Ghost.” They did not become supermen.

Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next episode.

—PRAYER—

Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!