This is a brief post on the ongoing battle between those who want to make the Bible God and those of us who declare that God is God, and that the Bible is, in fact, just a book. It is an important book; yes, for it holds the revelation of God to man. But it is a book in this sense: that its meaning and truth are contextual to man. It is first and foremost a true story about man. And its efficacious meaning is revealed in how man applies the truths of the story to his own unique context, under the guidance of the only infallible thing: God, as His Spirit.
This afternoon I spent some time thinking about how you reconcile “infallible” with “truth”. After a while, it dawned on me that the two ideas are mutually exclusive to one another. That is, they are completely separate concepts, and putting them together is like mixing sardines and cinnamon cereal. There is no point, and forcing a point makes only a strange, incongruent, and ultimately confusing and ridiculous spectacle. The cynic in me says that men do this to consolidate their selfish and wicked power over the barbarian masses. This is not true in all cases, of course, but the bloody history of the Christian church indicates that it is true A LOT.
Truth and infallibility are incompatible ideas; it is senseless to put them together. There is no such thing as infallible truth, there is just truth. Truth doesn’t need to be infallible, it just needs to be true. So then what we are really proclaiming when we appeal to biblical infallibility is a “special” sort of truth; an infallible truth, which isn’t really truth at all; it is God.
Infallibility is God. And God just is (the I AM). He is what He is. Our appeal then to biblical infallibility means that we want to declare this of the Bible as well. But that makes a created thing on par with God; meaning God has a created equal, which is metaphysically and physically impossible. The Bible is either true, or it is not. Infallibility can have nothing to do with it because infallibility can only be ascribed to God. And again, if the Bible is indeed infallible, then it is the fourth member of the “Trinity” and as such, is useless to man, because man cannot apply God to his context because God is what He is apart from man; God creates man, man does not APPLY God to his own existence, then, he applies his knowledge about God, and that knowledge comes from a revealed truth ABOUT God; God HIMSELF is NOT the revelation; the revelation is the revelation.
When we say the Bible is infallible we declare falsely that the Bible also becomes an I AM. Which means that it cannot be revealed or inspired by the Spirit, because it IS the Spirit, which makes it redundant, because the Spirit has no need to reveal Himself by recreating Himself. The concept of biblical infallibility is therefore as ridiculous as it is impossible.
The Bible is how man can know how to live and who he is in light of his existence and God’s. It is nothing more than that. It is not divine in and of itself. It has no special powers. It IS just a BOOK. It is a book put together and written by MAN, canonized and organized in its present protestant form (speaking of the protestant churches) based on the actions and will of man, based upon what God has told him; a recreation in written language of God’s revelation.
It is not supernatural, it is not to be worshiped, adored, followed AS God, idolized, or served. It is not God. It is a revelation of the truth of God. And its meaning and relevance rests entirely upon the existence of, and application by man to man’s unique, individual context, guided by the Holy Spirit, who is the reason why the Bible does not need to be infallible, and furthermore, CANNOT be infallible.
Infallibility is a red herring issue, really, and that is my primary problem with it. It can only confuse the faith, never clarify it. The idea of inerrancy or infallibility is, ultimately, completely irrelevant to our faith. That is, in an attempt to say something about what we believe, we create a doctrine that is false because, among other things, it is simply not relevant to what we believe.