God's Word is Trustworthy (5)
February 17, 2009
A few years ago Al Mohler wrote an article reflecting on John Killinger's book "Ten Things I Learned Wrong from a Conservative Church." I read Killengers book when it was released. It is a powerful illustration of what happens when the Scriptures are abandoned as God's trustworthy and truthful Word. It is an article that fits well in my current series of posts on the reliability of the Bible.
Read the entire post HERE.
Basic to Killinger's theological transition is his rejection of the Bible as the literal, inerrant Word of God. Having been taught as a young Southern Baptist that the Bible is, word for word, the very Word of God, Killinger moved on to see the Bible as a mere record of theological reflections, limited and corrupted as they are, of ancient people. Those who believe that the Bible is actually God's Word are, by implication, just simplistic fools yet unenlightened by modern scholarship...
Conservative Christians, we are now told, are also hung up on sex. This leads to our repressive understanding of human sexuality and explains, of course, why we believe homosexuality to be sinful. Jesus, Killinger claims, "almost never said anything condemning sexuality." Freed from a commitment to the comprehensive truthfulness of the biblical text, he can just ignore whatever passages declare all sexual expression outside of marriage to be sin...
In the confrontation between the Bible and science, science wins. We should not be concerned about this, Killinger assures, because, "God doesn't need an inerrant Bible to be God. True believers shouldn't need it either." At this point, Killinger commends the example of Benjamin Franklin, who said that he read the Bible as he ate fish, throwing aside the parts that would stick in his throat...
In his first chapter, Killinger recounts a lunch conversation with Jerry Falwell, Pastor of Lynchburg's Thomas Road Baptist Church. One can only imagine the fireworks which must have resulted from the encounter between Falwell and Killinger during the years they served prominent pulpits in the same city. During their lunch conversation, Falwell warned of the slippery slope toward doctrinal compromise that follows the denial of biblical authority. At the end of Ten Things I Learned Wrong From a Conservative Church, Killinger acknowledges that Jerry Falwell was right. "Once we were able to say out loud that the Bible is not the inerrant word of God--that its inspiration is not really different from that of the Bhagavad-Gita or Thoreau's Walden or Maya Angelou's poems--then a great number of conservative and fundamentalist idols begin to topple." Furthermore, Killinger recounts that without an affirmation of the inerrancy of Scripture, it is "a simple step to denying that Jesus is the only way to God, or that he really had to die for our sins."
Read the entire post HERE.