The battle over the Bible

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In recent times the battle which the enemies of the Christian faith are waging against the Bible has received much publicity. The battle is not something new. Only the people engaged in the battle have changed.

The church that adheres to the Gospel has always believed the Bible to be the inerrant Word of God. The Lutheran Confessions speak of the Bible as the Book of the Holy Ghost and as God's Word. Martin Luther, referring to the Bible, said: "God cannot err." He based his remark on what the Bible says about God who cannot lie (Heb. 6:18, Tit. 1:2). Jesus said: "The Scriptures cannot be broken" (John 10:35).

The Church of God has always understood that attacking the Bible amounts to destroying the foundation from under the feet. For the Church which the gates of hell shall not prevail against is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).

Informed Christians and pastors cannot leave the Church unprotected against the attacks of the Bible critics. They defend the Bible because the love of Christ constrains them. If the Church gives in to the critics of the Bible, how can it then lead the rationalists to know the truth when their time of visitation arrives? And how could we permit the foundation of their faith to be taken away from the people? Going along with the opinions of men in matters of faith is lovelessness. Jesus says: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words, and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me" (John 14:23,24).

In this sinful world, admonition and love do not mutually exclude one another. The Law of God must be permitted to do its duty. It must set man before God as a lost and condemned sinner. Only then will the Gospel be acceptable to him. The same is true when someone rebels against the Bible. His own opinions of spiritual matters must be condemned and made worthless. Only then will he be able to hear when God speaks.

We must not try to understand our old Adam. It must be drowned through daily repentance in the water of Baptism so that the new man can come forth. The Bible says: "Reprove them severely that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth" (Tit. 1:13,14). But the Bible also says: "For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).