This is a short summary of what I believe about the Bible. For a longer discussion see the post “The Doctrine of the Bible“.
I believe that God, in his creation, has made himself known to mankind. Scripture says, “the heavens declare the glory of God” (Ps. 19:1 [NIV]), and, “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived … in the things that have been made” (Rom. 1:20 [ESV]). Modern science, rather than diminishing God, has, for me at least, served rather to magnify him.
I believe that God has also made himself known more specifically in the words of the Bible. This collection of writings, with a variety of human authors, written over a several hundred year period, provides a progressive revelation of God and his intent for his creation. The Bible does not contain all we would like to know about God. But it does reveal to us what we need to know to be able to have a personal relationship with our creator. And it enables us to live in a way that pleases him.
I believe the Bible is inspired by God, or God-breathed. And is provided to enable me to grow in maturity and Christ likeness. I believe that inspiration is mostly a dynamic partnership between God and the individual human authors. There are also some instances of dictation, verbal inspiration or illumination. The four gospels themselves, with differing details and focus, vividly demonstrate the input from the human authors. Luke’s reason for writing, given in Luke 1:1-4, makes clear that the level of human input was great. But I do believe that God ensures the message given is one that will help us to know him and grow to maturity.
I believe that the Bible is without error in everything that it teaches and affirms. I do not believe that our human interpretations of the Scripture are inerrant though. The Bible was produced by and for a culture that is very different from our own. Sometimes that does not matter. But at other times to properly understand what the Bible is teaching you need to view it from the lens of its original audience. This is particularly true in regards to the early chapters of Genesis.
I believe the Bible is authoritative in the life of the believer. There are many other sources that seek to provide guidance for my life. Some that are useful to me, and some that are harmful. But in regards to spiritual matters and life as a believer, all of these other sources will be judged by the Scriptures. For science, I will use science books. For history, I will use history books. But for the spiritual life, the life my creator has called me to, the Bible is my ultimate, and authoritative guide.
I believe that God has revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. The author of Hebrews tells us that, “in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:2 [NIV]) and Jesus himself says that, “anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9 [NIV]). Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation to us.
I believe that the illumination of the Holy Spirit is essential for a person to be able to recognize and understand God’s revelation to us. Apart from his presence and guidance, the revelation in creation, in the Bible, and in the person of Jesus will not be understood. Jesus told his disciples that, “when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13 [NIV]).
For more on this see the post “The Doctrine of the Bible“