The number of churches and church leaders openly espousing an inerrant, infallible, unchanging Bible is dwindling. A growing atmosphere of ‘openness’ is present in both scholarly circles and pseudo-scholarly settings that subjects the Bible to criticism. Like those of an earlier generation, what begins as a healthy scholarly debate quickly degenerates into a Bible that cannot be trusted. How should the Bible be treated? Does the Bible warrant such examination and, more importantly, will it stand up to such scrutiny?
In Every Word Counts, Tom Barnes carefully leads the reader through the thought process of evaluating the inerrancy of Scripture. He allows Scripture to speak for itself and the preponderance of evidence leads to an inevitable conclusion. What one knows and can know about God will lead to one’s view of Scripture. An unchanging God, who has revealed Himself, will do so in a way that allows the full truth about Him to be known – by using a medium that does not change. This basic premise is the boiled down premise of the book.
Barnes takes great and careful steps to lead the reader to this conclusion. He works under the premise that God has indeed revealed Himself truthfully. He assumes that Jesus was truthful when He spoke, and that the disciples were honest and accurate in their records as well. The reader will benefit from a careful study of the logic of this discussion. Barnes pulls no punches, nor does he gloss over issues merely to make his stance more tenable.
The arguments against inerrancy are not new. Barnes reaches back into history to show how the same arguments become updated for each generation, and that the same defense still holds no matter how ‘new’ the argument currently in vogue. The reader will benefit greatly from these historical vignettes.
The book includes a study guide, which makes it a useful tool for in-depth study with a small group of students, or for the solo reader as well. The questions are thought-provoking and allow the reader to gain full understanding of the presented material. As time progresses, the battle for Scripture’s authority and sufficiency will continue. The informed believer will stand in good stead against the attacks of critics and skeptics alike. I commend this book to that believer’s reading and assimilation. – Pastor Charles L. Eldred, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
The view of the Bible among many within the church today has become blurred. Large numbers of Christians have left behind thoughts of a Bible whose whole and every part is inspired, without error, and the only ultimate authority to bind our consciences and teach us about God and his redemption. Many wonder whether we can really believe what the Bible says, or be certain about what it teaches. Others elevate a subjective leading of the Holy Spirit as direction for life over the wisdom of the Word of God.