Why We Need the New Battle for the Bible
Image: albund / Shutterstock

When it comes to deciding how to follow Jesus Christ in our time, the Bible often takes a backseat even for evangelicals, who have long held a high view of Scripture.

Sometimes the desire to preserve relationships at all costs prompts us to ignore scriptural teachings. Other times, we have an ill-defined feeling of how the Lord is “leading” us, never mind that the leading contradicts scriptural teaching.

And when we do pull out the Bible, we are tempted to focus on one biblical theme to the exclusion of others, or treat it like a self-help book. We scour it only for verses that will bolster our sagging spirits or help us to love our spouse better.

This is not a new insight, but it is especially pertinent in light of this issue’s cover story, as the Bible is at the heart of evangelical theology and ethos.

Decades ago, Harold Lindsell, then editor in chief of this magazine, called for a “battle for the Bible.” He took to task evangelical institutions whose definition of biblical authority was, in his view, inadequate. His book of that title was divisive and unhelpful. Yet his basic concern cannot be faulted. Today we need a new battle for the Bible—not for a precise definition of biblical authority that all evangelicals can agree on, but a simple return to the Bible as the final authority in matters of faith and practice—and especially Christian doctrine.

Going Deeper Than Nicaea

As Justin Holcomb notes in our cover story, the Nicene Creed is a significant standard that helps us determine whether a teaching is orthodox or not. But as he notes, it’s not merely important because it won a majority of votes back in A.D. 325.

Quite the reverse: The Nicene Creed has won the day, century after ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

October
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Christianity Today
Why We Need the New Battle for the Bible
hide thisOctober October

In the Magazine

October 2015

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.