This past Sunday I preached a sermon introducing the Gospel of Luke, which will soon be posted here. In that introductory sermon one of my goals was to address some of the questions regarding the reliability of the New Testament documents. What I offered was just a small piece of the massive amount of evidence in favor of the historical reliability of the gospels but I also mentioned the Chicago Statement on Biblical Innerancy as a good summary statement of what I believe about the nature and transmission of God’s Word to us.
Here are the five main points that comprise this statement. If you would also like to read about the affirmations and denials that go along with this document you can find them here.
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself.
2. Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: It is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.
3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.
4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving grace in individual lives.
5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited of disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.