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November 16, 2011


"The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God's mode of thought and expression.  It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented.  Men will often say such an expression is not like God.  But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on  trial in the Bible.  The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His  pen."  (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, Chapter One "The Inspiration of the Prophetic Writers")  Seventh-day Adventism teaches merely thought inspiration instead of verbal inspiration of the Bible.  Thus, their weak stance on biblical inspiration makes provision for the many errors found in the writings attributed to Ellen White.

In stark contrast to the preceding quotation, The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, adopted at a meeting of more than two hundred evangelical leaders in October, 1978, rightly affirms that "the authority of Scriptures is a key issue for the Christian church in this and every age."  The authority of the Bible is based on its being the written Word of God, and because the Bible is the Word of God and the God of the Bible is truth and speaks truthfully, authority is linked to inerrancy.  If the Bible is the Word of God, and if God is a God of truth, then the Bible must be inerrant--not merely in some of its parts, as some modern theologians are saying, but totally, as the church for the most part has said down through the ages of its history.

The human writers were not machines and ought not be conceived of as being without personality.  What is overcome or overridden by  inspiration is not human personality, style or literary structure, but human tendencies to distortion, falsehood, and  error. If the original text were errant, the church would have the option of rejecting the teachings of that errant text.  If the original text is inerrant (and the science of textual criticism must be depended upon to reconstruct that inerrant text), we have no legitimate basis for disobeying a mandate of Scripture where the text is not in doubt.  The Bible is God's voice speaking to us.

Indeed, "All Scripture is inspired [literally meaning "God-breathed"] by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB).  There is a technical difference between "infallible" and "inerrant."  But anything that is infallible, that is, incapable of erring, cannot at the same time err.  For if it errs, it proves that it is capable of erring and therefore is not infallible. In fact, however, the term infallible in its original and technical meaning is a higher term than the term inerrant. But that which is infallible could not theoretically be at the same time errant.

Since the mid-1950s, Seventh-day Adventists have had a deep yearning to appear as authentic evangelical Protestants.  A highly controversial book entitled "Questions on Doctrine" was published in 1957 by a select group of SDA administrators, editors, and teachers in response to a challenge from the  late Dr. Walter Martin, a professional cult watcher.  This 720-page book serves as a prime example of their desperate strategy to disguise themselves as fully embracing biblical Christianity and to thereby long for the day when their shameful stigma as a cult would be somehow lessened or even removed. Since then, however, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has officially replaced and deleted key words in some doctrinal statements (e.g., the words "all-sufficient" and "unerring" were removed from their statement on the authority of Scripture).  This action allowed room for the extra-biblical writings attributed to their revered messenger and prophetess, Ellen G. White.

CREDIT:  Selected excerpts taken from Explaining Inerrancy by Dr. R. C. Sproul; Ligonier Ministries, 1980.

courtesy of

Worldwide Chaplaincy Services
E-mail:  dfministries@gmail.com