This book deals with the integrity of the Bible. Although there are many reasons why I wrote it, one of the earliest reasons came from a conversation I had with a friend many years ago.
She and I were talking about one particular doctrinal issue and we did not agree. When I showed her a passage from the New Testament, she said, “Jesus didn’t write that. Paul did.” In her mind, the red letters carried more authority than the rest of the Bible.
Since then, I’ve noticed similar perspectives from numerous people, indicating a belief that the Bible is only mostly inspired or at least to be taken with a grain of salt. As a result, loopholes abound and our culture has taken great liberty with them.
While I was attending one particular congregation, I was given material that supported the integrity of the Bible, but the study was built on external evidence. The introduction essentially stated it would be irresponsible to go to the Bible to prove the Bible.
I understand the reasoning, but this approach alone also implies the Bible is susceptible to human error. Such an analysis might be suitable for a non-Christian, in order to build a foundation for further investigation. But a Christian should be beyond any concern about whether or not worldly sources have caught up with the truth. The bottom line is finding out what the Bible says about itself.
This is not circular reasoning. This is allowing the witness to testify on behalf of himself. Any contradictions or lies will certainly discredit him. Barring these, it only makes sense to listen to who he claims to be.
As I set out to try and outline an approach, I was able to track down a book published in 1841 called Theopneustia: The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, written by Louis Gaussen. I quoted him at the beginning of my book because it sums up everything I tried to say.
“We have been defining and refuting: it remains for us to offer our proofs; but we appeal solely to the Word of God, which alone can furnish them. If God reveals himself, it is for him to tell us, in that revelation, in what measure He has vouchsafed to do so. Far from us be vain hypothesis! They would contain nought but our own conceits, to dazzle the eye of our faith. What say the Scriptures? is the sole question.”