A Message on Biblical Inerrancy
Guest essay by Jay Grimstead
From a message to Leaders on the Bible’s Inerrancy being the Only Biblically and Historically Appropriate and Consistent View
Thank you, dear friends, for the honor and privilege of speaking to you godly, honest leaders. I come to you as a disciple of my mentor and theological hero, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, and I bring you a message which both he and our Lord Jesus would call me to clarify at this time of the Church’s history.
What did Dr. Schaeffer mean by repeating over and over in his books and speeches that, “The Inerrancy of the Bible Is the watershed of the Evangelical world?” This is what he meant. By the 1960’s the Neo-Orthodox and liberal view of the Bible as being part true and part false, had so infiltrated such a large portion of the Evangelical world in the seminaries, colleges, denominations an organizations, that Evangelicalism at that time was split right down the middle into two very different kinds of Christianity, and the general world of sincere Christians was almost totally unaware of this situation.
One half of Evangelical and Charismatic Christianity still believes the Bible is what the Bible itself claims for itself, and what Christ, the apostles and prophets, and all of the mainstream heroes of Church History for the past 2000 years have said it was which is this: The Bible is the very words of God Himself coming to us through His inspiration of human co-authors, so that the words and sentences of the Bible are exactly the words God wanted written down in the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts from which all our translations come. Thus the Bible expresses God’s very thoughts lnerrantly, without error, and is His absolute Word to mankind about all areas of life both visible and invisible, which He intends for us to firmly believe is superior to, and stands in judgment over, all other books, philosophies, statements and ideas by all mankind in every area of life, both sacred and secular. And Christians especially are to live in serious obedience to this Bible all the time as God’s commands and wisdom about all of life. Thus, the Bible, God’s written Word, was co-authored by God and man and written 100% by God and 100% by man, in the same way that Jesus Christ, the living Word, is both 100% God and 100% man at the same time.
The other half of Evangelicalism and Charismatic Christianity which is influenced destructively and un-Biblically by the new type of liberalism called Neo-Orthodoxy, launched in 1919 by Dr. Karl Barth, philosophically divides all reality and existence into two false Kantian categories which are these. On the one hand they consider that all the invisible world including, God, angels. heaven. and what Dr. Schaeffer refers to as the “upper story” of life, exist as so “transcendent” (that is so far beyond and above us) that there is no absolute logical or accurate language connection possible between God and Mankind! Basically, they claim that even God cannot “make a Bible” because human language is too incapable of expressing accurately such a transcendent God.
The other side of all reality and existence they claim consists of what Dr. Schaeffer refers to as the “lower story” of life and includes, matter and energy, time and space, the physical world, and that which deals with science and history and which can be verified or falsified by scientific experimentation. This kind of unrealistic, foolish and un-Biblical thinking among secular philosophers goes way back in history before Karl Barth and was birthed and based upon the philosopher Immanuel Kant’s books, starting with The Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. Kant’s new philosophy so gripped the secular world that by 1850, all the major universities in Europe had absorbed Kant’s false thinking which divides all reality into two, disconnected, “air-tight compartments” which have zero connection with each other by way of logic and language. This is the basis of post-modern thinking. I apologize for bringing in so much philosophy but that is the historical basis of Neo-orthodox thinking and leaders need to know this.
God’s Holy Spirit can break through this mental, philosophical barrier and actually touch the heart and connect in saving grace with Neo-Orthodox people as He did with Karl Barth. Many Neo-orthodox, liberal teachers really know God, love Him, and do some good in the Kingdom. But their false theology tells them the Bible is not an inerrant, absolute Word from God as if He spoke the words of the Bible from His own mouth and someone wrote down the words as we historically orthodox Christians believe is true.
The main point is that, no matter how popular, and Christ-like, and loveable any Neo-orthodox pastor, teacher or writer is, if he believes the Bible is part true and part false, and that his theological experts need to tell us which parts are which, then he has moved away from the Biblical, historical and true teaching about what the Bible is. His teaching is then all based upon relativism, human opinion and he has a rubber Bible which can be stretched to fit any idea he wants. He is then providing the next generation of Christian leaders (and anyone who hears him), with a foundation for their theology, their lives and ministry made out of nothing more than tofu, cotton candy and wet sand which cannot stand against the Satanic, secular attacks coming against the Church at this time. He is in fact, feeding mental poison and destructive concepts to his listeners which can destroy them. Instead of thinking of the Bible as an absolute and solid source of accurate knowledge about everything it says, on which he can stake his life, ministry and future, he has a book which he thinks has to be filtered through his mind, or his expert’s mind, so he can know for certain which parts are true and which parts are false. This is not the kind of Bible which creates martyrs like Wycliffe and Hus, and reformers like Luther and Calvin.
The explanation of Dr. Schaeffer’s use of the term, “watershed” is this. In continents where there are mountain ranges like our Rocky Mountains, geologists assure us there is an imaginary line across the topmost ridges of such mountain ranges which determines into which ocean the snow near that imaginary line called the “water shed” when it melts will eventually go. Two similar snowballs only a few feet from each other can end up, when they melt, three thousand miles apart determined by whether they are on the east or west of that watershed line. The one on the eastern side will end up in the Arkansas River, then in the Mississippi River and make its way into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Likewise, the snowball on the west side will end up in the Colorado River and end up in the Pacific Ocean, even though just a few days or weeks before they were only two feet apart.
Thus, a Neo-Orthodox pastor or teacher may only have mentally given up a few points of historic, Biblical doctrine such as his doubting that the Six Day Creation, or the Universal Flood in Noah’s time were real history, but still believe that the deity of Christ and his blood atonement for us is true, and if we are his friend, we may believe he is not in real danger to himself or his disciples. And if his faith never degenerates further than that, we will probably see him in heaven. However, based upon his own liberal-Neo-Orthodox view of the Bible, his own theological system has no built in way to tell him when his faith has degenerated too far, and it is just as philosophically easy for him to give up believing in Christ’s Deity, and resurrection, and atonement for his sins, as it is for him to give up believing in a six day creation. If he or his experts can determine which parts of the Bible are true and which parts are false, then he has no absolute foundation for his faith, his life or his ministry, or a frame of reference by which to determine what is true and what is reality about anything in life. And he is unknowingly undermining, and destroying the foundation on which his disciples should stand.
Surveying Christian College Professors to See if their College Has Turned Liberal
Now I would like to draw your attention to some of the other papers included in your folder. The document called “Appendix G” is a photocopy of six pages from the Appendix of our Coalition on Revival (COR) book I gave to many of you last year with the title Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible. I want you to be clear that the Neo-Orthodox false view of the Bible has, unknown to most Christian leaders, taken over probably 50% or more of what we call the Evangelical World, and some of the charismatic world by 2019. I claim that the probability is great that well over 65% of all Christian colleges in the U.S. and Canada have been quietly taken over by a Neo-Orthodox view of the Bible, and with that faulty foundation, have given up belief in many of the traditional doctrines and views which Christians held in the 1950’s. It is now not safe for Christian parents or pastors to send their children or young people to a Christian college and assume those college professors believe today what professors of that college believed in the 1950’s or 1970’s.
That document in your folder asks college professors about forty important questions arranged under twenty topics which, if answered honestly, can tell parents or pastors whether that college has gone liberal and is no longer a Biblical place to send one’s children, or if it has stayed true to the Biblical faith. These topics and questions are the very topics where colleges go liberal when they do go liberal. Likewise, the other survey we offer in that book on pages 241 to 244 on the Bible’s inerrancy, are the exact points at which theologians change and go liberal on their view of the Bible. In fact, when we created the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” in 1978, 17 of those 19 articles about the Bible answer directly the exact 17 falsehoods that Neo-Orthodox professors in Christian colleges and seminaries today teach about the Bible, because they have believed the philosophy of both Kant and Barth we mentioned before. So I urge you to tell your church members that they need to photocopy this College Survey and send it to the professors of any college to which they will send their children (or have already sent them) and get their response, or those parents will not know for certain if their children are taught truth or falsehood. This survey can also be used to test the historic Christianity of any popular organization, pastor or leader, as many Christian leaders in the U.S. are now Neo-Orthodox and do not even know it themselves. And when Christian leaders or colleges go liberal, they try hard NOT to let their constituents know that fact so donations do not dry up.
The 42 Articles on the Essentials of a Christian Worldview
Please now look at the 42 Articles of the Essentials of a Christian Worldview. When God called me to gather 112 American Christian leaders to form the Coalition on Revival in 1984, we were such a widely diverse group of denominations we suspected we would explode into many little pieces at our first meeting if we did not have a common Statement of Faith we could all enthusiastically sign. So, a small team of theologians with me met for three days to create these “Essentials of a Christian Worldview” which all our 112 very diverse leaders could sign. In those three days we, as it were, took a helicopter ride through 2000 years of the Church’s theology and boiled it all down to a white powder which became the 42 Articles. We later sent this out to every denomination for which we had an address and all those who gave us an answer back said they loved it and could sign it happily. So, the effort worked. We believe these 42 Articles are to be used as a First Draft for creating a “Global Statement of Faith” which can take us far down the road towards eventually having “Theological Unity of the Global Church.” This is one goal we are pursuing in our Church Council Project.
Over the past forty years it appears that God has led many theologians from various denominations to meet with me to create together a theological document that would offer Biblical corrections and logical answers, point by point, for each modern falsehood or ancient heresy which grew up like weeds out of Evangelical soil in their colleges and seminaries. By 1991, it became apparent that many falsehoods had arisen. These always came from theologians who had previously given up believing in an inerrant Bible. We decided it would require calling into existence of some Church Councils to deal with so many heresies and new falsehoods adequately and Biblically, so COR took on that task to hold Church Councils. By 2014, we had written 24 such corrective documents to deal with 24 falsehoods & heresies.
Two different Theological Consultations were held by theologians and Christian leaders of the Church in 2003 at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and again in 2017 at Wittenberg, Germany (near the calendar time of Luther’s 500th anniversary of nailing his 95 theses to the church door). At both consultations all 20, then all 24, both groups heartily approved the Theological Documents as “representing well, however imperfectly, what the Bible teaches on those 24 topics, and also reflect what the mainstream Body of Christ has generally believed over the past 2000 years.” Thus, we now consider all 24 Documents to be in a complete and approved state of accuracy in representing the Bible’s message.
At this time we are now presenting all 24 Documents before the world to as many nations as are willing to hold their own National Church Council to review, then hopefully to affirm all 24 Documents and have their leaders sign the “Declaration of Truth” which appears on page 239 of our book Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible. Those 24 complete Theological Documents are all included in that book. In your folder is a copy of “The Declaration of Biblical Truth.” We ask those who affirm the documents to sign. In your folder is also a sheet diagramming our “10 Year Plan” which shows how in each of the third world continents, we are planning a three year blitz in which we hope to hold at least ten National Church Councils, after our team organizes two Church Councils as models the first year for each continent. Also in 2021, in April, we are planning the European Church Council in Worms, Germany near the celebration of the 5OOth Anniversary of Luther’s “Here I stand” speech at the Diet of Worms before the Emperor, Charles V. We invite Christian leaders to attend that European Church Council for Christian leaders from nations around the world, outside of Europe, to participate if there is a possibility they might wish to hold a Church Council meeting in their own nation or U.S. state.
If anyone wishes to clarify with more specifics about Kant or Barth, in Appendix K on pages 258 to 260, Kant’s influence on Neo-Orthodoxy is explained. And in Appendix L on pages 261 to 264, it is explained how Neo-Orthodoxy corrupted Evangelical Christianity. I claim it is our Christian duty to warn our people about the vast dangers of tolerating Neo-Orthodox Teachers in our churches or schools.
*Editor’s Note: This article is a slightly edited version of a message given at ICAL meeting Oct. 30, 2019 at the Dallas-Fort Worth Hyatt Hotel, by Dr. Jay Grimstead. Starting in the 1970s, God inspired Dr. Jay Grimstead to create several crucial theological movements. At one time, the ACLU called Dr. Jay, as his friends refer to him, the most dangerous man in America, because he brought evangelical Christians of every theological heritage to the same table, towards agreeing on the essential tenets of the Biblical Christian faith. Two websites represent Dr. Jay’s current efforts—the Coalition on Revival and the International Church Council Project—both dedicated essentially to the restoring of the Bible’s central place in the lives of men, its inerrancy, and its authority over the lives of mankind in every sphere of life. © Grimstead, 2019 Used by Permission