Article XVII

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Things are looking quite good here since Mike Licona gave his talk at EPS as the evangelical world seems to be in agreement with him. Not necessarily in the sense that his interpretation is correct, but that it is within the realm of orthodoxy and within the realm of Inerrancy. I pray several more evangelicals will stand up now and let this be known.

For our purposes however, we are going to continue our study tonight looking at Article XVII which reads as follows:

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.

Okay. Now this is one that I do wonder about as it is something I do not see taking place in Scripture. Notice when I say that I question this, it does not mean I question Inerrancy. I think one could consistently not accept the ICBI statement and at the same time still accept Inerrancy.

My concern with this is that this is something way too subjective for my tastes. Exactly how is it that one knows this is the Holy Spirit telling them this instead of their own wish fulfillment? Now yes, I do believe the Scriptures are true, but I think a Christian can want the Scripture to be true, have no good reason to think that it is, get a feeling about it, and lo and behold, that’s the Holy Spirit.

A lot of us have a problem with the song that says “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right” and the thinking of “If it feels good, do it.” However, when it comes to Christianity, we don’t often do better. “This feels really good! It must be the Holy Spirit at work!”

Keep in mind the Holy Spirit could also lead us to sorrow and repentance. Does anyone think it feels good to know you’ve done something you shouldn’t have?

This is also a problem with marriage I think in our culture. We can base too much on the feeling of being in love when that feeling will die and what’s left? Hard work. Our society does not really value hard work so what happens? We give up until we get that feeling again.

Furthermore, I hate to say it but atheists have a point when they talk about how people in a church can’t agree on a vote. Is it the case that the Holy Spirit can’t make up His mind? No. I think it’s more of a case that the Holy Spirit expects us to use ours but we expect Him to choose for us by little “clues” we think are biblical, such as feeling.

“But I don’t have any reasons for believing the Bible is Scripture. Isn’t my feeling good enough?” Sure. Until you have to talk to Mormons and you have to tell them why your feeling supposedly trumps their feeling. You have no evidence. They have no evidence. You both have a feeling. Why should they trust yours over theirs?

Instead, you could go to your local library and/or bookstore and start getting books on the Bible and learn about why people believe it to be Scripture. Why do they think it is inerrant? Feel free to read those also on why some people don’t think it’s Scripture and don’t think it’s inerrant.

Once you have that evidence, it could most certainly lead to some very good feelings. It’s not necessary, but it can. This position is not against feelings. It is against having feelings take the lead in matters. God gave us emotions and we should take advantage of them, but emotions tell us more about us than they do external reality.

Now does the Spirit play any role in Scripture? I think He does, and that role is conviction. I think the Holy Spirit convicts us via the natural law written on our hearts. In being convicted, we are prepared to come to the Messiah. This could be a feeling. It could not be. Not all people operate the same emotionally.

So I do have a statement in ICBI I disagree with, but I cannot say I disagree with Inerrancy.

We shall continue next time.

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