I Believe—Literally

10 thoughts on “I Believe—Literally”

    1. Church of the Nazarene: Article IV – We believe in the plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, by which we understand the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith.

      1. I assume you posted that in agreement with Sam’s comment? I’m a big fan of our statement of faith in the Scriptures because it lets us avoid the silly inerrancy battles.

      2. “Inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things NECESSAY TO OUR SALVATION”. Are you claiming that a literal interpretation of scripture is necessary to our salvation?

  1. Right, inerrant in all things concerning salvation–not in absolutely everything–which is why most female ministers in the Church of the Nazarene aren’t on the side of inerrancy or a literal interpretation of all things. Because, you know, literally, we wouldn’t be able to minister.

  2. Literal interpretation is not part of the Nazarene belief system … see below from Report of the Scripture Study Committee of the 28th assembly of the Church of the Nazarene.

    Click to access Report%20of%20the%20Scripture%20Study%20Committee.pdf

    In all honesty while I resonate with much of what you have said I find it incomplete it describing the interpretation process upheld by the CoTN

    God bless,

    Dave

    FYI: Sub section of that report is below … (sections on inspiration and inerrancy
    (a) Plenary, divine inspiration

    First, the article clearly states the inspiration of Holy Scripture as ‘divine’ and ‘plenary’:
    that means that the whole Bible is inspired and that it is inspired, not just in the sense that a work of art may be said to be ‘inspired’, but by God. To say that the Bible as a whole is inspired is to say that we cannot take texts out of context and quote them arbitrarily as ‘the word of God.’ We have to understand biblical theology as a whole. Nor do we believe that divine inspiration cancels out the human authorship. Each book has a distinct style, vocabulary, and idiom reflecting the quite different human authors and contexts, whether of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Luke, Paul, or even writers unknown. We do not believe in a mechanical idea of inspiration in which their minds were blotted out and they became mere puppets. Rather their mental powers were heightened and their free wills guided by the subtle and sensitive Spirit of God. Whether they were gathering
    information to write a narrative, or editing what had previously been written, or were putting into writing speech directly inspired by the Holy Spirit, the result was a collection of documents fit for the purpose of revealing God’s will and way, God’s acts, and supremely God’s revelation in his Incarnate Son. We agree therefore with the Cape Town Commitment of the Third Lausanne Congress when they say in their confession of faith:

    We receive the whole Bible as the Word of God, inspired by God’s Spirit, spoken
    and written through human authors. We submit to it as supremely and uniquely
    authoritative, governing our belief and behavior. We testify to the power of God’s Word
    to accomplish his purpose of salvation. We affirm that the whole Bible is the final written
    word of God, not surpassed by any further revelation, but we also rejoice that the Holy
    Spirit illumines the minds of God’s people so that the Bible continues to speak God’s
    truth in fresh ways to people in every culture.

    We strongly endorse the emphasis in this Cape Town Commitment that we love God’s Word because we love God, love his world, love the gospel, love the people of God, and love the mission of God (b) Inerrantly revealing the will of God

    (b) Inerrantly revealing the will of God

    Secondly, Article IV clearly states that the Holy Scriptures reveal the will of God
    inerrantly. That means that what Holy Scripture tells us about God and his saving acts and purpose cannot be set aside by any merely human philosophy, metaphysics, or ethics. Human reason and culture are all fallen and therefore suspect when it comes to discerning the will of God, but we each may trust the word of God given to us in Holy Scripture as ‘a lamp to my feet and a light to my path’ (Psalm 119:105). Human reason and experience may guide us in many things, but when it comes to the things of God (which shapes all of life), they must bow to what he has revealed to us in the inspired Scriptures. This belief is what is usually known as the ‘infallibility’ of Scripture, that it ‘inerrantly reveals the will of God in all things necessary to salvation’ as distinct from absolute ‘inerrancy’ in every factual detail. This implies that, while the Holy Spirit
    guides us as we listen for the voice of God speaking to us through Scripture, no claims to private revelations of the truth of God which are additional to Scripture are acceptable.

    This does not imply however that we are infallible in our interpretation of the Bible.
    Some Christians think that they are merely stating what the Bible says, but that is naïve. Whether we like it or not, every Christian is actually engaged in interpreting the Bible. Accordingly, we must interpret each word in its sentence, each sentence in its paragraph, each paragraph within the argument of the book as a whole, and each biblical book within the Scriptures as a whole. We interpret the New Testament against the background of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament and particularly as progressive revelation leads up to the final
    revelation of God in Jesus Christ. We follow the guidance of the ancient creeds of the Church as we interpret the Scriptures together. All of this calls not only for careful scholarship, but also for dependence on the Holy Spirit. We expect all preachers and teachers particularly to be committed to the interpretation of the Scriptures given in the ancient creeds and the Articles of Faith, but on other matters we affirm freedom of interpretation provided it is in a spirit of loyalty to the Church. As we interpret Scripture together within the fellowship of the Church, we look to the Holy Spirit to guide us in the future into ‘the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect’ (Romans
    12:2).

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