Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Vic Reasoner’s Book on Inerrancy

I want to commend Dr. Vic Reasoner’s book on inerrancy called, The Importance of Inerrancy.  The subtitle is, “How Scriptural Authority has Eroded in Modern Wesleyan Theology.”  The book focuses on this vital issue of the inerrancy of Scripture.

Some Arminians are content to hold that the Bible is the infallible Word of God but it is not inerrant.  They strain to find errors and in the process they also erode the confidence we are to have in the Bible to speak for God, for His Christ, and for His salvation.  Further, if God can not be trusted to preserve and uphold His Word (Psalm 138:2 NKJV) then how can we trust in His promises to save those who call upon Him (Romans 10:13)?  If God, whom Scripture says cannot lie (Titus 1:2), cannot be trusted for what He said about creation, history, or other aspects of the Bible, how can we trust that we have about the Messiah is accurate?  How do we begin to speak for God without His authority?  How do we begin to know what God deems right, good, or evil apart from Scripture?  If Jesus trusted in the Scriptures (Matthew 5:17-19; John 10:35) then how can we turn and reject His Word?

In this work, Dr. Reasoner discusses the historical view of the inerrancy and infallibility of the Word of God by early Methodist theologians including John Wesley and Richard Watson.  He also discusses how the rejection of the Bible as the inerrant Word of God has led to the erosion of the Wesleyan movement.  He uses the Church of the Nazarene as a case study and shows how Nazarenes have been waffling on the issue of inerrancy for years.  The Church of the Nazarene continues to reject conservative Nazarenes who are pushing for acceptance of the inerrancy of Scripture as part of their doctrinal commitment.  This has led to a steady decline in Nazarene churches as well as the liberalization of their colleges and seminaries.  Both Dr. Reasoner and myself conclude that the Church of the Nazarene will soon be the United Methodist Church: dead and dying apart from pockets of faithful disciples.

Dr. Reasoner shows that the subject of inerrancy is vital.  Some will contend that the Bible is only inerrant in a soteriological sense.  In other words, Scripture is only true and reliable when it speaks on the doctrine of salvation (2 Timothy 3:15-17) and not on science, history, numbers, etc.  Further, some Arminians contend that inerrancy is a Calvinistic teaching and one we should avoid.  Yet Arminius affirmed the authority of the Bible.  Arminius wrote, “The authority of the word of God, which is comprised in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, lies both in the veracity of the whole narration, and of all the declarations, whether they be those about things past, about things present, or about those which are to come, and in the power of the commands and prohibitions, which are contained in the divine word.”

John Wesley wrote about the Scriptures: “My ground is the Bible.  Yea, I am a Bible-bigot.”  Wesley taught that since God gave us His Word by His Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21) then by nature, the Scriptures must be infallible (and inerrant) since they come an infallible source in God.

In this work, Dr. Reasoner builds a case along the way for the inerrancy of the Word of God.  The disciple of Jesus will find joy in the Word of God as Dr. Reasoner encourages us through both comments from the Scriptures themselves on their own faithfulness and authority to the fact that historically Arminians have stood with our Calvinist brethren for the inerrancy of the Word of God.  This is a battle that we should stand with our Calvinist friends and fight with them.  The Bible is the Word of God and remains the way in which God is speaking to us today (Hebrews 1:1-3).  The Bible is faithful in all that it teaches including creation, the history of the nations, and science.  The Bible gives us the boldness we need to both speak for God to a lost world and to declare His salvation and also to speak for God about matters such as science or ethics.

I encourage you to get copies of this book.  You will be blessed as you read and will be encouraged to know that God’s Word will not fail.  Flesh will fail but God’s Word will never fail (1 Peter 1:24-25).

You can find this book here.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

02/12/2014 at 4:29 PM

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