Believing “Some” of the Bible

Many people call themselves “believers” but choose not to believe the Bible. They claim to believe in God but they reject the book that claims to be from God. By definition such people are theists. “Theists” believe in God or some notion of God, but do not believe that God intervenes in the affairs of men — hence they reject the notion of divine revelation. Atheists reject both God and the Bible.

Other people take a more centrist view, saying that they “believe some of the things” that are in the Bible but “not everything” that is in it. Many people hold this view of the Bible but just don’t openly admit it. Their view becomes obvious only when certain moral or doctrinal issues are discussed and they reveal their anti-biblical beliefs on those particular subjects. Given the prevalence and growing popularity of this middle-of-the-road view of the Bible, we should consider some of the more obvious fallacies of the view.

1. Those who believe some of the Bible but not all of it presume themselves to be the arbiters of what parts of the Bible are worth believing. This approach contradicts both the Bible and simple logic. It is also a very haughty approach, for the person proudly exalts his own wisdom above God’s by substituting his own standard in place of the Bible standard. Many of the people who hold this view of the Bible actually deny that God even authored the Bible. They believe the Bible to be only a helpful book written by insightful humans. Either way, they elevate their own wisdom and knowledge above that of Bible writers. These arbiters of Bible passages may see themselves as being as qualified as Bible writers to decide which Bible passages are worth believing, but the reality is that people tend not to believe the parts of the Bible that tell them to do things that they don’t want to do and they tend to not believe the parts of the Bible that tell them to not do things that they want to do! Honest people will admit this to be true. Paul described this tendency quite well in his description of the Gentiles in Romans 1:18-32. The people rejected God’s nature and law because they wanted to do what they wanted to do!

I suppose that in the list of passages that such people choose not to believe are passages like Proverbs 16:18, which says, “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” It is the absolute height of arrogance for one to assume for himself the right to “pick and choose” which Bible verses are right and which ones are wrong.

2. The Bible presents itself as a holy, unified and infallible document. The apostle Paul wrote, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The four categories of doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness cover all conceivable categories of human conduct and behavior. According to 1 Timothy 5:18, “Scripture” includes the writings of both the old and the new Testaments (see Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7). One cannot believe “some” of the Bible and reject the rest, for “belief” requires the acceptance of all that constitutes God’s word (Romans 10:17).

In the previous verse Paul had referred to these writings as the “holy Scriptures.” They are “holy” because they are “God-breathed” (inspired). The Scriptures present themselves as being a divinely authored package or unit. It cannot be partially rejected. It must be either accepted or rejected as a whole. Events and concepts discussed in the first book of the Bible (Genesis) are developed and discussed in the last book (Revelation). Jesus said that “the Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35), and this unity of theme and teaching is what we see throughout the entire Bible. It cannot logically be partially believed. It must be wholly believed.

—Tim Haile

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