This is a strange one at the website of Answers in Genesis (AIG), the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo) — the ayatollah of Appalachia, the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else. The title is Inerrancy and the Test of Truth.
It was written by Dr. Mark Bird. The description at the end says that he “teaches theology, evangelism, and apologetics at God’s Bible School and College in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he also directs online studies.” Here’s AIG’s bio page for him. He has four degrees from various bible colleges.
It’s a long article, so we’ll have to skip around a lot. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
The doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture is one of Christianity’s most important doctrines to be defended, especially as skeptical forces increase their attack on the truthfulness of the Bible. In this article, I will define the foundational concept of truth, review the case for the utter truthfulness (or inerrancy) of Scripture, and then discuss how the Bible passes the “test of truth” even down to the details of its claims.
Very ambitious! He says:
What Is Truth? The concept of inerrancy is based on the correspondence view of truth and the law of non-contradiction. According to the correspondence view of truth, truth is a statement or idea which corresponds to reality. In other words, a statement is true if and only if it matches the way things really are. My affirmations should match reality. I can say that the earth is flat or that the sky is green — but that doesn’t make it so!
So far, we agree. After that he tells us:
Implied in the correspondence view of truth is the law of non-contradiction: something cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. For example, “Rain is falling on my car right now” and “Rain is not falling on my car right now” cannot both be true. Truth is coherent. Anything true will be consistent with itself. If two statements absolutely contradict one another, they cannot both be true; they cannot both match reality.
We still agree. But something’s wrong here — if this guy writes for AIG, we know he has to go off the rails. Confident that it’ll happen soon, we’ll read on:
Throughout Scripture, there is an assumption of truth as correspondence to reality. It matters to the Bible writers that their truth claims match the way things really are.
Ah yes — an assumption of truth. But what about correspondence to reality? Bird continues:
Here’s the argument for inerrancy:
• Premise A: Every utterance of God is perfect and thus free from error.
• Premise B: All the truth claims of the Bible writers are the utterances of God.
• Conclusion: All the truth claims of the Bible writers are free from error.
That’s great — but only of those premises are true. Let’s see how Bird handles that:
Premise A is supported by the teaching that God cannot lie [scripture reference] and that he knows everything [scripture reference]. God cannot say anything contrary to the way things really are. He is morally perfect and will not lead anyone astray, especially since he is omniscient. … There is nothing spoken by God that is contrary to what is true.
Uh, okay. What about the other premise? We’re told:
Premise B is supported by [scripture reference], which says, “all Scripture is God-breathed” and other scriptures that refer to the words of Moses, the other prophets, and the apostles as actual words of God.
Got it! The bible is true because the bible says it’s true. Neatly done! Another excerpt:
That is the deductive argument for inerrancy. If Premise A and B are true, then the Conclusion (that all the truth claims of the Bible writers are free from error) must be true. If the Conclusion is true, then we must approach Scripture from the stance of faith, trusting that when properly interpreted no errors will be found in Scripture, no matter how small. Nothing will be stated as a fact that does not correspond to the way things really are.
After skipping quite a bit, here’s more
I think one of the biggest problems we face in biblical scholarship today is the pressure to conform to the consensus opinion of the mainstream scientific community. Many biblical scholars interpret Genesis 6–9 as teaching a local or regional flood because the scientific establishment has “proven” that the fossil record demonstrates millions of years of evolution instead of evidence of a worldwide Flood.
How does Bird handle the outrageous claims of scientists? He says things like:
Jesus never challenged the history of the Bible. Jesus accepted all the people and events of the Old Testament as actually and accurately historical. He mentions them in his teaching and sometimes the point of his reference to them rested on the historical validity of the accounts.
If we resist the pressure from the scientific establishment (the new “ultimate authority” in our society) and interpret the scientific evidence in light of Scripture rather than the other way around, we will see less conflict between the Bible and science, and have fewer alleged discrepancies to try to explain.
And now we come to the conclusion:
If the Bible is verbally inspired (God-breathed down to the very words), then there will be nothing in Scripture that is not true when properly understood, even when written by men with limited and even erroneous views of the world. I am speaking of not just the “main points” but also “minor details.” God is powerful enough to keep the Bible writers from crossing over the line from the true to the false. If everything in Scripture really is the Word of God, then that is what he did — he kept them from claiming or teaching anything contrary to the way things really are.
Well, dear reader, there you are. The bible is The Truth™ because it says it’s The Truth™. You can’t argue with that!
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