Every week, on the North Dakota State University Campus, I have the privilege of conversing with atheists and agnostics. The more you listen to the arguments and logic of non-believers, the easier it becomes to see the incoherence and irrationality of said reasoning. Most non-Christian arguments are self-refuting. Someone vocalizes a concept assuredly, yet the very next statement out of their mouth refutes the prior. It happens all the time. Why? Simple.
When there is an objective system of truth (the Christian worldview) that defines our existence, purpose, and meaning, any belief or idea not built on that bedrock will prove to be incoherent. If something is absolutely true, there is no way to get outside of it. If 2+2=4, I cannot go to a place in this universe where that is no longer a reality. It is absolutely true, even if I tell myself it is not. Here is a more drastic example.
If I tell myself gravity does not exist and, then, proceed to jump off of a skyscraper expecting to fly, I will fall and die. Period. It does not matter how sincere I was. It does not matter if everyone I know believed I was right. It does not matter if I had no doubt in my mind I would actually fly. All that matters is that gravity does exist and I have succumbed to the deadly consequences of trying to resist it or deny it. Oops.
If the Christian worldview is true, then it is absolute. Why? Because Christianity proclaims exclusivity. It claims to be the only objective system of truth. Jesus Christ claims to be the only way to eternal life. The triune God of the Bible claims to be the one and only God. Resultantly, any other god is a figment of human imagination and does not exist. These statements leave no room for misunderstanding. If Christianity is true, no other religion or worldview is. If it is wrong, this universe does not make sense. Where do we get this knowledge of Christian exclusivity? The Bible.
Here, I will finally get to my point. We Christians believe that the God of the Bible is an absolute necessity. We believe that He is in control of all things, sustains all things, and created all things. We believe that He is the ultimate power and contains infinite knowledge. He is infinite and He is holy. The true God revealed Himself personally and truly in the Scriptures; thus, the Christian worldview rests on the foundation of the Bible. The Bible is the very Word of God. Since it is the very Word of God, it is immutable and as absolute as God Himself. God’s Word is timeless as He is timeless. It is objective. If we were to get rid of the Scriptures, how would we know what true Christianity is? How would we know God personally? It would be as though we were in a pitch-black room with no way to escape. There are no doors or windows. We are trapped. And, it is a nightmare.
Francis Shaffear, a famous twentieth-century apologist and philosopher, described this black room in his book The God Who is There. As he explains how the humanistic philosophers tried to discover truth apart from God’s special revelation, he says this:
“The philosophers came to the conclusion that they were not going to find a unified rationalistic circle that would contain all thought, and in which they could live. It was as though the rationalist suddenly realized that he was trapped in a large round room with no doors and no windows, nothing but complete darkness. From the middle of the room, he would feel his way to the walls and begin to look for an exit. He would go round the circumference, and then the terrifying truth would dawn on him that there was no exit, no exit at all!”
The Bible comes to us from the outside of this dark room of finiteness; it breaks through the ceiling, and it reveals to us what true knowledge is. It gives us access to the infinite and transcendent. It comes as the authority, as it has the right to.
Believe it or not, there are thousands upon thousands of professing Christians who seek to undermine the authority of the Bible. They mock it, slander it, say it is outdated, say it should be reinterpreted, and say that it cannot be taken literally, all the while they are actually digging their own grave. As they are saying these things, spiritually, they are sitting on a tree branch and cutting the limb with a saw. They are committing theological, spiritual, philosophical, and intellectual suicide. Honestly, I cannot think of anything more idiotic. There is nothing that kindles my righteous anger more than a professing Christian attacking the Scriptures. It is treason of the highest level. Mark my words, it will result in the greatest degree of eternal punishment, especially to those who lead and teach.
Why is it suicide? Well, imagine a philosopher creating a logical argument for why logic does not exist. Or, try to understand a postmodern thinker who says truth is relative. Is it true, that truth is relative? Because, it cannot be true, if in fact, truth is relative. To undermine the Bible is to give yourself no basis to say anything at all is true about Christianity. Certainly, central to the Christian faith is the claim that Jesus is God and died for our sin. Let us imagine you are one of those suicidal, fake Christians. You just got done telling someone that the Bible is not our absolute authority and needs to be reinterpreted for our culture and time. Then, you proceed to tell this person they need Christ. If that person has any bit of brainpower, they would ask, “Why?” You might begin to show them Bible verses that say Christ died for you, and so on, and so on. They would say, how do I know that is true? Did you not just tell me that we need to reinterpret the Bible? If I cannot trust what it says about homosexuality, how can I trust what it says about my state as a sinner? How can I trust what it says about Christ? The conversation is over.
Why would someone be a Christian and not hold to the infallibility, inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of the Bible? Four reasons come to mind. First, they are steeped in ignorance. Though they may have been supernaturally saved by God’s sovereign grace, they have not yet learned the tremendous truths about the Bible. These people simply need to be educated. Second, a person has learned about the nature of Scripture, but in a moment of weakness, allow a seed of doubt to plant itself in their mind, likely from a skeptic. They, again, simply need education on Scripture's trustworthiness. The third reason is a doubt of an aspect of Scripture's nature. For instance, some reject the inerrancy of Scripture. If they are a true believer, they live as though the Scriptures are inerrant; thus, they seem to be fine with the irrationality of their position for a time. However, such a person is in the most dangerous of waters. They are on the brink of causing their faith and the Church great harm. If they are a person of influence, they likely already have. The final reason is likely the most plausible; they are not a Christian.
Thus, a better question would be, why would someone who is not a Christian claim to be a Christian? That answer is far more complex and multi-faceted. However, the answer, regardless of the complexity, has the same root. Someone who is not regenerated by the Holy Spirit is dead in the flesh. This means that they live entirely to gratify the desires of the flesh. The flesh is opposed to God. It does not submit to God. It cannot. Therefore, for a nonbeliever to profess faith would be exclusively as an avenue to gratify fleshly desires. And, yes, someone can go to church, read their Bible, feed the homeless, and give generously as ways to gratify the flesh.
Thus, if someone claims to be a believer but rejects the infallibility, inerrancy, sufficiency, and authority of the Scriptures, it is entirely to please their own wicked, dead desires. That reality is terrifying. How many churches are there in this country who reject these truths about Scripture? Thousands! Thousands of dead people worshiping God for their own gain. What an oxymoron. What a horrendous sight.
These dead, professing, fake Christians seem to love the attention of being spiritual. Those who lead seem to like the influence they have on others. Their churches are quite fun: awesome music, engaging messages, diverse programs, great community. Non-believers love to get involved in a church like that. Who wouldn’t?
Simply put, the Bible is the bedrock for the Christian faith. It is the source of absolute objective truth. It is trustworthy. To attack it is to attack the one who’s word it is. God. To disbelieve it is contrary to reason and reality. To change it is vanity, as God is unchanging and, therefore, His word is too. We expect the dead of the world to mock it, but to profess faith and seek to discredit it is nothing less than satanic. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Should we be any less surprised that humans do the same?