Of all the institutions of human society, the Christian Church is surely the most amazing. Standing like a rock amid the shifting currents and cultures of the ages, it has occupied a unique place in man’s life for almost 2,000 years. While other institutions have come and gone, political and economic systems waxed and waned, the Church, alone among them all, has endured.
I have no worry that it will not continue to endure. I do worry, however, when leaders of the Church show signs of jeopardizing its power and influence by taking it away from its main mission. To be specific: As an active churchman for more than forty years, I am concerned that many of the Church’s top leaders today—especially in what are called the “mainstream” denominations—are sorely failing its members in two ways: (1) by succumbing to a creeping tendency to downgrade the Bible as the infallible Word of God, and (2) by efforts to shift the Church’s main thrust from the spiritual to the secular. The two, I believe, are related.…
In my own denomination (Presbyterian) recently, a special committee was charged with writing a “brief contemporary statement of faith.” The committee’s draft of a proposed “Confession of 1967” replaced the ancient Westminster Confession’s strong assertion of the Bible’s “infallible truth and divine authority” with a description of the Bible as a “witness” to Christ as the incarnate Word—and a fallible one at that, since its “thought forms reflect view’s which were then current” and therefore require “literary and historical scholarship” as well as future “scientific developments” to separate the true from the false. This attempt to demote the Bible from final authority to a fallible witness has stirred a storm of protest in church ...1
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