By Tim Keller, The Gospel Coalition.
Western society used to be basically divided between people who (1) respected the Bible as “the truth” but didn’t follow it, (2) believed and followed it devotedly, or (3) rejected it as simply a book of legends and myths.
Things are changing.
To begin with, the first group is rapidly declining in size. And the relationship between the second and third group has become charged in a new way. In the past, if you believed in the full authority of the Bible, your skeptical neighbors would have disagreed and explained why they couldn’t accept the Bible, and maybe even laughed at you in private. But they wouldn’t have felt the need to examine your ways of regarding the Bible and loudly ridicule them and try to shame you for them.
Attacked and Shamed
Today, as never before, the character of the Bible is publicly attacked as cruel and oppressive, and those who uphold the historic view of its truthfulness are seen in the same light. There’s enormous social pressure on Christians to abandon the historic understanding of the inspiration and authority of the Scripture and the role it should play in our lives.
This is why my church recently conducted a short three-week sermon series on the Christian doctrine of the Word of God [“The Bible and History”; “The Bible and Experience”; “The Bible and Finality”]. We considered the reliability, authority, sufficiency, and finality of the Bible. Both believers and skeptics are unfamiliar with what the church has historically believed about the Scripture and what the Bible says about itself. Coming to grips with this is always crucial, but in our time it’s more important than ever.