EXCERPT Michael Warren reviews the book, “The Human Faces of God”, by Thom Stark. Warren’s incisive analysis demolishes typical arguments advanced against the Bible and the Christian Faith.
I first learned of Thom Stark’s book from Frank Schaeffer’s blog at the Huffington Post. Frank Schaeffer is the son of the famous Protestant theologian and apologist Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer helped draft the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which Stark attacks in his book. In the 1980’s Frank traveled the United States with his dad promoting the pro-life cause and the importance of Christianity in the creation of Western Civilization and for the West’s survival. But sadly, Frank has now rejected Christianity, and he recommends this book to explain what’s wrong with believing the Bible. That Frank would promote this book demonstrates his own poor reasoning in rejecting Christianity. Thom Stark’s book is full of bad reasons to reject the Bible and the God revealed in it.
The Straw Man Inerrancy Claim
The subtitle of Thom Stark’s book is “What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries to Hide it)”, so a major point of attack in the book is the doctrine of inerrancy. In particular he attacks the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, which says that “We affirm that the doctrine of inerrancy is grounded in the teaching of the Bible about inspiration.” Like many liberals, Stark makes the absurd claim that inerrantists like the ones that authored Chicago Statement believe that the Bible is inerrant simply because it claims to be inerrant. A quick glance at the Chicago Statement should confirm that the authors chose not to cite any Scripture to support any of their statements. They add this statement merely to affirm that they believe that their statements about Biblical inerrancy can be shown to be consistent with what the Bible teaches about itself. It’s important that the Bible claims its own inerrancy because that gives us a reason to consider the claim.
Inerrancy Derived from the Doctrine of an Absolute God
Anyone can claim to be inerrant, but the Biblical doctrine of inerrancy is rooted in the nature of the God that reveals Himself in the Bible. He is the all-knowing Creator of all that exists who “works all things by the council of his will” (Eph. 1:11). It’s impossible for that kind of God to be mistaken about any facts, even the most insignificant historical fact. There is nothing more ultimate than God that could surprise him with new facts. This type of God could not be anything but inerrant….
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