What do you think? Is something true because the Scriptures says it is? Or do we arrive at the truth through other means?Some lay believers would rush into saying that the first statement is true.  Something is true because their Scripture says so.  Now, if that’s the case then the next question one have to ask is, “What about the Scripture of other religions? What makes your Scripture more true than theirs? Couldn’t they make the same claim?”

Quite interesting isn’t it? A good number of believers in any system will rush into saying that their own version of Scripture is true and without error.  How they justify this as such may well be balanced on a razor’s edge.  It is unreasonable for man to subscribe to a worldview while blindly assuming the truth of that view.  For example, Young Earth creationists interpret the Genesis account of creation as seven straight days.  They also think that the earth was created about 10,000 years ago.  This however, seems to be at odds with modern science.

Now should we trust science? That’s another story.  But what I want to point out here is that even imperfect systems can make inerrant claims.  For example, water is composed of two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen.  That’s inerrant!  The Scriptures doesn’t teach that, but Chemistry does.  Ur (Where Abraham lived) is east of Saudi Arabia.  That is inerrant!  Scriptures doesn’t tell us that, but geography does.  Mars is in between Earth and Jupiter in terms of its distance from the sun.  That’s inerrant as well!  Does the Scriptures say so? Absolutely not, but Astronomy does.  This means that it is possible for man to come up with claims, through science, that are inerrant as well.  Just imagine a relative refusing medicine for his heart condition because he believes Science is a joke.  How unreasonable, isn’t it? Reasonable scientists will not rush in to make statements that they have not spent long enough to validate its truth.  Why? Because they are putting their names on the line.  If they are found to be saying things contrary to reality, they will get in trouble.  This brings me to the next point I want to make.  The existence of rocks and fossils that dated millions of years back seems to be too overwhelming in comparison to blind interpretation of Scriptures.   For example, there are evidences to show that jellyfish has existed 300 to 505 million years ago (http://www.livescience.com/1971-oldest-jellyfish-fossils.html).  What unreasonable people will do is to simply dismiss the scientific data, raise doubts against the methods and hold on to their belief as true.  Now what problem does it pose then?

Imagine a scenario where you are the defendant in a murder case.  You are sure that it was your neighbor who murdered the victim and that you were only mistakenly dragged along in the whole thing.  The judge comes and dismissed everything your lawyer said without listening to the reasons and then went ahead to rule out that you are guilty.  How would you feel? What kind of a judge is that? Is that how justice is supposed to be served? By blindly picking what you want and that’s it? It seems injustice isn’t it?  In the same manner, it is injustice to secular discoveries if believers would simply dismiss them without taking into consideration what it could mean if what is being presented is true.

Let me give you another scenario.  Suppose someone from religion A believes his holy book is correct and someone else in religion B also believes his holy book is correct.  Now, one book says the universe was created in 7 days and the other says it’s created in 10 days.  Obviously at least one of them is not telling the truth!  But if both were to blindly accept their Scriptures as true, just imagine the anarchy!

Having said that, we return to the initial question.  Is something true because the Scriptures say so? Or does the Scriptures say so because it is true? Given the illustration I pointed above, it seems implausible to believe that something is true because the Scriptures say so.  Every major religion in the world has their own version of Scriptures.  They can’t all be right can they? It is equally silly to say that all religions are the same.  When somebody says that, I almost wanted to respond, “Sure.  But they differ in matters of sin, law, heaven, hell, God and salvation.”

Something cannot be true simply because the Scriptures say so.  A statement can be true in three ways.

  1. It adheres with reason and logic – If you ask a couple if they’re married and one says yes and the other says no, you can be sure that one of them is lying.  Similarly, in order for something to be true, it has to correspond to reason and logic.  By that we mean that the statement has to be logical, it has to be coherent, it has to be reasonable.  Isaiah 1:18 seems to show that God holds on to this as well.  He said, “Come, let us reason together.”
  2. It comes through divine revelation – How do you know that no man can know the exact date of the end of the world? Divine revelation tells you that only God knows (Matthew 24:36).  How do you know that at the end of time a New Heaven and a New Earth will come? Again, it is through Divine Revelation (Revelation 21:1).   These are things which man cannot arrive at through reason alone.
  3. It is Properly Basic – Now hold your chairs here.  What is properly basic? It means that the statement or the belief itself is not grounded on any other beliefs.  They are properly basic because they are always accepted as true.  For example, I do not need to prove that the truth is true.  It is given.  You don’t need to prove the existence of the past.  You don’t need to prove that you exist.  These things are given.  A statement is true if it is properly basic.

For Biblical Inerrantists, I think they should affirm the second question.  Is something true because the Scriptures say so? No.  The Scriptures say so because it is true.

Now one may ask, well then, why don’t we start testing each statement of the Scriptures and see if they hold.  That would be a new blog.  The goal in this post, at least for me, is to show that something doesn’t become true because the Scripture says it is.  Rather, it is because the statement adheres to at least one of the three means I mentioned above.

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