C S LEWIS & THE NARNIAN DECEPTION PART 2

1 Corinthians 1:20-21  Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

The Bible has seven attributes that define what it is and separate it from every other object.   These seven attributes are: necessity, inspiration, authority, self-authentication, sufficiency, perspicuity, and finality.

NECESSITY

Romans 1:18-20  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.  For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.  For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.

Psalm 19:1  The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.

God’s created handiwork, from the earth beneath to the skies above, proclaim the truth about God’s eternal power and divine nature.  What they do not proclaim is His plan of salvation.  They give no knowledge of the things that are necessary for salvation.  What they do instead is leave men inexcusable.  They do nothing else.

Men need additional knowledge.  They need to know the things that are necessary for salvation.  They cannot obtain this knowledge by staring up at the stars in the sky or by studying the rocks beneath their feet.  This knowledge is not to be found anywhere in the created order.  Rather, this knowledge is to be found only in a different kind of revelation.

This other knowledge is to be found in the written testimony of a revelation that God gave to certain men at certain times and in certain ways.  Beginning with Adam, Noah and the patriarchs, God revealed to them the knowledge of salvation in promises He gave to them.  From here, He revealed this knowledge of salvation to Moses and the nation of Israel in patterns of worship and service.  He then revealed this knowledge of salvation to the prophets in visions and miracles, before He next revealed this knowledge of salvation to the apostles in the life, death, and the words and works of Christ Jesus.  Finally, He reveals this knowledge of salvation to His people today in the testimony of the apostles, who themselves give witness to the truth of the testimony of Adam, Noah, the patriarchs, Moses and the prophets.

And what does this knowledge consist of?  It consists of nothing less than propositional statements that concern themselves strictly with the glory of God found in Jesus Christ and His atoning death.  In other words, God revealed the truth about Jesus Christ to certain men at certain times and in certain ways.  What He did not do was reveal the truth one time in one story to one man.  Rather, He revealed the truth to certain men at certain times and in certain ways.  Therefore, a written testimony of what He revealed to them is a necessity.

INSPIRATION

2 Peter 1:20-21  Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.  For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Samuel 23:1-2  The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the psalmist of Israel.  The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me His word is on my tongue.

John 17:17-21  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.  And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.   I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may also be one, just as you Father, are in Me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent Me.

Luke 24:44  Then He said to them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Psalm 119:138  You have appointed Your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness

Psalm 119:144  Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live

Psalm 119:151-152  But You are near, O Lord, and all Your commandments are true.  Long have I know from Your testimonies that You have founded them forever.

Psalm 119:160  The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous rules endures forever.

The Bible is the Word of God to men, and for this reason, all of the Bible’s propositions are true.

AUTHORITY

Joshua 1:7-8  Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do  according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  This Book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.

The Romans Catholic Church teaches that the authority of the Bible depends upon the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, since, in the Church’s opinion, it was the Roman Catholic Church that determined Scripture’s canon.  This position distorts the fact that the Church had only received and preserved the already authoritative text as it had been written, and that the Church merely declared canon what God had already decided should be in the New Testament. This said, the authority of the Scriptures do not rest in any way whatsoever with the reputation or traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.  What the authority of the Scriptures rest upon instead are its own claims.

This means that the Bible is internally self consistent.  The Bible claims it is the Word of God.  It never claims to be less than the Word of God.

The Bible is also epistemologically consistent.

This last is where the best of intentions get people into the most trouble.  The Bible is a book whose propositions are dogmatic.  That is, the Bible never claims to be a book whose propositions can be verified by the scientific method.  Rather, it is a book that claims to be the Word of God, and therefore is to be accepted as truth based entirely upon that claim alone.  Take, for instance, the creation account.

We are told in the book of Genesis that God created the earth and everything in it in six days.  Furthermore, we are told that He created it all fully mature, with plants yielding seed and fruit trees bearing fruit.  Even Adam himself awoke for the first time to find his body fully mature and adult sized.  Had he no knowledge of God whatsoever, had God not spoken a word to him, he might have gotten the idea by studying the rocks that the earth was billions of years old.  Nope.  Only hours old.  Yet today there are men who assert the earth is billions of years old, and that it took millions of years for those seed bearing plants to develop into seed bearing plants.  These men have lots of measurements and empirical data which they claim proves they are right.
Who are we to trust, God or men?

But someone will say, “but Dave, come on, it’s just a book.”

To which I answer, “Ah, but what a book!”

Unlike the scientific method, our just-a-book is epistemologically consistent.  What does that mean?  It means that all those scientific measurements and empirical data that certain men claim proves God is a liar actually proves that these certain men are liars.

The scientific method begins with a dogmatic claim that cannot be proved using the scientific method – “the scientific method is the only way to know truth.”  If that is where it stopped, then we would indeed have a problem, but it doesn’t stop there.  Instead, it then drops the dogmatic claims and instead begins to assert propositions from an empirical viewpoint.  That is, it begins to take measurements using the five senses while working under the assumption of something that it cannot prove using the five senses.  And therein lies the self refutation.

What is stated about what is learned by using the scientific method cannot be trusted, because the scientific method itself is not a valid epistemology.  In other words, how do people scientifically know that what they learn scientifically is true?  They can’t!  They just assert that it is.  In other words, they dogmatize.  Any epistemology that must make use of another epistemology in order to validate itself is an epistemology that is itself invalidated.  It cannot be trusted.  I can take measurements of the stars all I want, but as long as I labor under the notion that taking measurements of the stars is the only way to know how old the earth is, I will forever be chasing my tail, because I cannot prove by taking measurements that taking measurements really is the only way to know what is true.

How do I know the Bible is true?  Because the Bible says it is the Word of God, therefore, the Bible need not look to anything else but the Bible itself to prove it is true.  Sometimes, the especially ignorant Atheist argues that this is circular reasoning.  It is the furthest thing.  If the Bible really is the Word of God, then the Bible is indeed the sole source of all truth as it claims to be.  As such, it would utterly stupid for the Christian to rely upon anything but the Bible itself to prove the Bible’s claims.  If the Atheist wishes to reject the Bible’s claims, then that is on his own head; he is without excuse.  So is the Christian who tries to use science to prove the Bible is true.  God does not validate the scientific method.  Quite in fact, He hates it.

2 Peter 3:3-7  Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  They will say, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction for the ungodly.

SELF-AUTHENTICATION

The Bible authenticates its own claims.  We saw some of this in the previous section, under dogmatism and the necessity of Scripture’s appeal to itself.  The Word of God needs nothing else to authenticate it.

Hebrews 6:13  For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, He swore by Himself

John 8:14  Even if I testify on My own behalf, My testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.

The majesty in which the Bible presents its propositions, the efficacy (effectualness) of its doctrine, the internal consistency of all its parts, the purpose for its existence (to reveal the glory of God in Christ Jesus), and the full disclosure it makes of the only way of salvation, testifies to its entire perfection.

SUFFICIENCY

Everything concerning things necessary for God’s glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life is either stated in Scripture or can be deduced from Scripture without adding any new revelation or tradition of men.

Ephesians 2:19-20  So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation f the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone.

2 Timothy 3:14-17  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  So then brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

The Bible is the sole source of all truth.

John 16:13-15  When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things are to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you.

PERSPICUITY

Although not all parts of Scripture are equally plain and clear as others, nevertheless, those things which are necessary to be known, believed and observed for salvation are made so clear in other parts that even the most unlearned can understand them.

The Roman Catholic Church takes exception to Scripture’s perspicuity.  The RCC claims that the task of interpretation must be entrusted solely to the Bishops who are in communication with the Pope  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, paragraph 85).

Scripture rejects the claim that interpretation is something to be entrusted to certain men only.

1 John 2:26-27  I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you.  But the anointing that you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. 

Joshua 1:7-8  Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do  according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.  Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.  This Book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.

2 Peter 3:15-16  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to he wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters.  There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

2 Thessalonians 2:15  So then brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

John 20:30-31  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

1 John 5:9-13  If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that He has borne concerning His Son.  Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself.  Whoever does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning His Son.  And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.   I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.

FINALITY

The Bible claims to be the final authority in all matters of truth, spirituality and righteousness.

Proverbs 30:5-6  Every word of God proves true, He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar.

John 16:13-15  When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things are to come.  He will glorify Me, for He will take what is Mine and declare it to you. 

Hebrews 10:15-17  And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”  then He adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

2 Thessalonians 2:15  So then brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

Luke 24:44  Then He said to them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

These seven attributes of the Bible define what the Bible is, and also separate it from every other object.   There is no other book, story, myth, legend, fable, tale or newspaper article that can be mistaken for the Bible.  What does that mean for C S Lewis?  Nothing good.

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About David Bishop

Gospel of Grace Church http://www.gospeldefense.com/about.html
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