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Why Evangelical Christians Believe the Bible is the Words of God

bible word of god

Let it therefore be held as fixed, that those who are inwardly taught by the Holy Spirit acquiesce implicitly in Scripture; that Scripture carrying its own evidence along with it, deigns not to submit to proofs and arguments, but owes the full conviction with which we ought to receive it to the testimony of the Spirit. Enlightened by him, we no longer believe, either on our own judgement or that of others, that the Scriptures are from God; but, in a way superior to human judgement, feel perfectly assured—as much so as if we beheld the divine image visibly impressed on it—that it came to us, by the instrumentality of men, from the very mouth of God. We ask not for proofs or probabilities on which to rest our judgement, but we subject our intellect and judgement to it as too transcendent for us to estimate.  (John Calvin)

I wish Evangelicals would be honest about this instead of trying to “prove” the Bible is true, reliable, accurate, scientifically correct, historically precise, etc., etc., etc.

Evangelicals believe the Bible is the words of God because the Holy Spirit tells them it is. The Bible is truth because God tells them it is. Their belief is a matter of faith. If it is not, then they are guilty of using circular reasoning; the Bible is truth because the Bible says the Bible is truth.

Evangelicals embarrass themselves and their religion when they attempt to “prove” that the Bible is truth. One either accepts the claims of the Bible as truth or they don’t. It has always been about faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:1-6)

I am an atheist today because I do not have the requisite faith necessary to believe that the Bible is a supernatural book written by a supernatural God. I do not have the requisite faith necessary to believe that the Bible is in any way truth or God’s message to humankind. While I can competently discuss, argue, and debate the intellectual reasons why I think the Bible is the errant, fallible work of men, the reason I am not a Christian is because I am unwilling to set reason and rationality aside to accept, by faith, that the Bible is an authoritative text straight from the mouth of Jehovah.

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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7 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Geoff

    I think the reason you are absolutely right about the bible clearly being the work solely of man is that it so paints god with all of our weaknesses and foibles. Hence god is vengeful, cunning, jealous, in constant need of reassurance, kills his enemies without reflecting that some of them may be good, and doesn’t like homosexual behaviour. If god really did exist then he’d rise above this and show us all a better way.

  2. Avatar
    BJW

    I have heard that many people who go to seminaries actually learn the truth, that the Bible is flawed and came from contradictory sources. Maybe IFB pastors don’t actually go to reputable seminaries, and are never exposed to this idea. If Christians accepted the Bible as flawed, it might be easier to look for the most important things in it. But then again, that ends up being a value judgment, not a faith argument.

  3. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    I am one of those people who grew up being taught that the Bible was the infallible, inerrant, inspired, historically accurate words of an omnimax deity. Once I started learning about the errors and inconsistencies, the flood of doubts and questions didn’t stop. What else wasn’t true? I guess many evangelicals just accept that and continue to believe…but that wasn’t the case for me.

  4. Avatar
    Steve Ruis

    Re “Evangelicals embarrass themselves and their religion when they attempt to “prove” that the Bible is truth.” Truer words have never been spoken. In addition the whole Protestant revolution was about reading the Bible for ourselves and getting the word directly, without the interpreting of priests, you Evangelical apologist regularly use interpretations to make their points.

    My point is that if those were the words of God, they wouldn’t need interpretation. They would all be understandably easily and directly.

  5. Avatar
    Dave

    I recently got together with several Christian family members who made sure to tell me how important it was to have faith. They then went into the same old tired “proofs” of the truth of their religion including the complexity of the human body, non biblical texts of first century, personal miracles in their lives and even Pascal’s wager. Certainly they understood at some level how weak these arguments are but for the sake of family unity I didn’t pursue this much. What impressed me was the need of Christians to prove their faith rather than just have faith. I recall being the same way since deep down I realized how ridiculous the claims of Christianity were so faith alone was not enough.

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Bruce Gerencser