An Evangelical Church in the Heart of Thatcham

Circular thinking

Talking about whether the Bible is a divine book or a thoroughly human production is one of those subjects that usually produces more argument than discussion and more heat than light. One claim the Bible makes for itself is: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3 verse 16

As a thinking person you may well say, ‘That is all very well, but just because a book says that it is God-breathed does not make it God-breathed. Just because a villain says he is innocent does not automatically make him innocent. To adopt what the Bible says about itself is plainly circular thinking and therefore is not valid.’

However, is it really the case that self-witness must always be inadmissible? Imagine I have a dream one night that I am being chased by a lion and I tell my wife the content of the dream, is she right to respond, ‘Sorry I can’t accept what you say because you are acting as your own witness’?

The only reason self-witness is considered suspect is because of sin, because mankind is patently unreliable. But just like the dream there are many things that we simply could never know unless God chooses to spill the beans about them. We cannot know that He is angry towards sin and loving towards sinners unless He tells us that that is the case. Jesus faced this very challenge and replied: ‘Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid… You judge by human standards…’.

I wonder whether we too just end up judging things far too humanly and not accepting the Bible for what it says on the box ‘God-breathed and useful’?

I am the Pastor at Thatcham Evangelical Church in West Berkshire. This is an FIEC (Fellowship of Evangelical Churches) affiliated church.