What Is Inerrancy? — The ARP Holds to Inerrancy (Infallibility & Verbal Plenary Inspiration)

(Thanks for sharing this sermon on Facebook over a 110 times!)
Many denominations start on a slippery slope toward liberalism by not holding to a high view of scripture. The Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church has taken steps to make sure that doesn’t happen to our churches.

The most in depth explanation of inerrancy is the Chicago Statement of 1980. Our minister and church leadership hold to this historic position without reservation.

During the 2008 Meeting of Synod the denomination affirmed a high view of the Word of God using the same language and definitions of the Chicago Statement.

During the meeting the following actions were taken:

Page 514 A motion carried that the General Synod go on record that the position of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church on Scripture is that the Bible alone, being God-breathed, is the Word of God Written, infallible in all that it teaches, and inerrant in the original manuscripts.

Page 514 A motion carried that the position statement adopted by the 2008 Synod on the Bible be forwarded to the Committee to Revise the Form of Government, and that this statement be included in the ordination vows for Ministers and Elders at the appropriate places.

Page 515 A motion carried that the Manual of Authorities and Duties, page 9, the definition of an evangelical, item 1, “The Bible to be the inspired, the infallible authoritative Word of God” be replaced by the position statement adopted by the 2008 General Synod on the Bible.


The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

Preface

The authority of Scripture is a key issue for the Christian Church in this and every age. Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God’s written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.

The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God’s own Word which marks true Christian faith. We see it as our timely duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians and misunderstanding of this doctrine in the world at large.

This Statement consists of three parts: a Summary Statement, Articles of Affirmation and Denial, and an Exposition. It has been prepared in the course of a three-day consultation in Chicago. Those who have signed the Summary Statement and the Articles wish to affirm their own conviction as to the inerrancy of Scripture and to encourage and challenge one another and all Christians to growing appreciation and understanding of this doctrine. We acknowledge the limitations of a document prepared in a brief, intensive conference and do not propose that this Statement be given creedal weight. Yet we rejoice in the deepening of our own convictions through our discussions together, and we pray that the Statement we have signed may be used to the glory of our God toward a new reformation of the Church in its faith, life, and mission.

We offer this Statement in a spirit, not of contention, but of humility and love, which we purpose by God’s grace to maintain in any future dialogue arising out of what we have said. We gladly acknowledge that many who deny the inerrancy of Scripture do not display the consequences of this denial in the rest of their belief and behavior, and we are conscious that we who confess this doctrine often deny it in life by failing to bring our thoughts and deeds, our traditions and habits, into true subjection to the divine Word.

We invite response to this statement from any who see reason to amend its affirmations about Scripture by the light of Scripture itself, under whose infallible authority we stand as we speak. We claim no personal infallibility for the witness we bear, and for any help which enables us to strengthen this testimony to God’s Word we shall be grateful.

A Short Statement

  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 or 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.

Articles of Affirmation and Denial

Article I

We affirm that the Holy Scriptures are to be received as the authoritative Word of God.
We deny that the Scriptures receive their authority from the Church, tradition, or any other human source.

Article II

We affirm that the Scriptures are the supreme written norm by which God binds the conscience, and that the authority of the Church is subordinate to that of Scripture.
We deny that Church creeds, councils, or declarations have authority greater than or equal to the authority of the Bible.

Article III

We affirm that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God.
We deny that the Bible is merely a witness to revelation, or only becomes revelation in encounter, or depends on the responses of men for its validity.

Article IV

We affirm that God who made mankind in His image has used language as a means of revelation.
We deny that human language is so limited by our creatureliness that it is rendered inadequate as a vehicle for divine revelation. We further deny that the corruption of human culture and language through sin has thwarted God’s work of inspiration.

Article V

We affirm that God’s revelation in the Holy Scriptures was progressive.
We deny that later revelation, which may fulfill earlier revelation, ever corrects or contradicts it. We further deny that any normative revelation has been given since the completion of the New Testament writings.

Article VI

We affirm that the whole of Scripture and all its parts, down to the very words of the original, were given by divine inspiration.
We deny that the inspiration of Scripture can rightly be affirmed of the whole without the parts, or of some parts but not the whole.

Article VII

We affirm that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us.
We deny that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.

Article VIII

We affirm that God in His Work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.

Article IX

We affirm that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the Biblical authors were moved to speak and write.
We deny that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God’s Word.

Article X

We affirm that inspiration, strictly speaking, applies only to the autographic text of Scripture, which in the providence of God can be ascertained from available manuscripts with great accuracy. We further affirm that copies and translations of Scripture are the Word of God to the extent that they faithfully represent the original.
We deny that any essential element of the Christian faith is affected by the absence of the autographs. We further deny that this absence renders the assertion of Biblical inerrancy invalid or irrelevant.

Article XI

We affirm that Scripture, having been given by divine inspiration, is infallible, so that, far from misleading us, it is true and reliable in all the matters it addresses.
We deny that it is possible for the Bible to be at the same time infallible and errant in its assertions. Infallibility and inerrancy may be distinguished, but not separated.

Article XII

We affirm that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.
We deny that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

Article XIII

We affirm the propriety of using inerrancy as a theological term with reference to the complete truthfulness of Scripture.
We deny that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose. We further deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations.

Article XIV

We affirm the unity and internal consistency of Scripture.
We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible.

Article XV

We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration.
We deny that Jesus’ teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity.

Article XVI

We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to the Church’s faith throughout its history.
We deny that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by Scholastic Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism.

Article XVII

We affirm that the Holy Spirit bears witness to the Scriptures, assuring believers of the truthfulness of God’s written Word.
We deny that this witness of the Holy Spirit operates in isolation from or against Scripture.

Article XVIII

We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatical-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.
We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.

Article XIX

We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.
We deny that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences, both to the individual and to the Church.

This article may be reproduced without permission.  Please credit the source by citing the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.


Wikipedia Entry

At a conference sponsored by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) and held in Chicago in October 1978, more than 200 evangelical leaders formulated the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. The statement was designed[by whom?] to defend the position of Biblical inerrancy against a perceived trend toward liberal conceptions of Scripture. Those signing the statement came from a variety of evangelical Christian denominations, and included Robert Preus, James Montgomery Boice, Kenneth Kantzer, J. I. Packer, Francis Schaeffer, R. C. Sproul and John F. MacArthur.

Leading inerrantists[examples needed] regard the Chicago Statement as a very thorough statement of what they mean by “inerrancy”. The Statement elaborates on various details in articles formed as couplets of “We affirm…” and “We deny…”. Under the statement, inerrancy applies only to the original manuscripts (which no longer exist, but which can be inferred on the basis of extant copies), not to the copies or translations themselves. In the Statement, inerrancy does not refer to a blind literal interpretation, but allows for figurative, poetic and phenomenological language, depending on whether one can detect an author’s intent to present a passage as literal or symbolic.

Jay Rogers has compared the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy to the Second Vatican Council Decree Dei verbum in addressing issues of the historical critical method and affirming inerrancy.[1]


List of signers

Tony Locke

Live in Gwinnett, GA next to Lake Lanier Islands. Married with four children. Pastored three churches over 18 years. Spent time serving as an Army Chaplain. Traveled in ministry to over 34 countries. B.A., M.A., M.Div., M.A.T.S., D.Min. BCC with NSC. Covering Georgia and upstate South Carolina
Keep Praying! — Jude 1:20-23  by Rev. Justin Westmoreland

Keep Praying! — Jude 1:20-23 by Rev. Justin Westmoreland

"But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of...
14 Questions to Ask During Bible Study (Reformed & Presbyterian)

14 Questions to Ask During Bible Study (Reformed & Presbyterian)

What do these words actually mean? This might seem incredibly obvious, but it’s worth noting that in periods prior to the Reformation, many Christian teachers interpreted Scripture allegorically (which is fine to do when the Scriptures themselves give you the freedom to do so). But one problem with this approach...
14 Questions to Ask During Bible Study (Reformed & Presbyterian)

14 Questions to Ask During Bible Study (Reformed & Presbyterian)

What do these words actually mean? This might seem incredibly obvious, but it’s worth noting that in periods prior to the Reformation, many Christian teachers interpreted Scripture allegorically (which is fine to do when the Scriptures themselves give you the freedom to do so). But one problem with this approach...
The First Presbyterian Church of Tucker Gets a New Roof!!!

The First Presbyterian Church of Tucker Gets a New Roof!!!

Thanks Allene and Bill for your generous contribution! More pictures to come as the new roof progresses.
Synod Sermons

Synod Sermons

  Retiring Moderator Jamie Hunt Moderator Phil Williams Rev. Alex Campbell Rev. Neil Stewart Rev. Eric Hancox Rev. Patrick Malphrus
Despise NOT Prophesying  —  1 Thessalonians 5:20

Despise NOT Prophesying — 1 Thessalonians 5:20

August 21st, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not despise prophecies.[1][1] The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society. Everybody on this planet hears the voice of God speaking to them about His glory. Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory...