No Wiggle Room (The Non-Negotiables) Part 1
If you were to look up the definition of “No wiggle room,” you would find it means “no flexibility of interpretation or of options,” in other words, not negotiable. There may be few non-negotiables in life. Some would suggest there are no absolutes. I would argue that there are absolutes and they are found in the Word of God.
What are the non-negotiables in your life? What will you not budge on (no wiggle room), no matter what?
In this and the next number of blogs I will look at some non-negotiables found in Scripture.
The Inerrancy of Scripture
The first place we must start is the Scriptures themselves. All Scripture is inspired by God, that is, “God breathed”(2 Timothy 3:16). What process did God use to reveal Himself in Scripture?
“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NASB).
Scripture is not the product of men. It is not the product of the will of men. “But men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” The Holy Spirit filled them. The idea is like putting your sails to the wind on a ship and being borne along by the breeze.
When speaking of the Bible being “God breathed,” it means the Bible is inerrant and infallible in the original manuscripts. Inerrant means “totally free from error,” and infallible means “incapable of error.” Inerrancy applies equally to all parts of the Bible as originally written. You can’t pick and choose what you like and what you want to believe.
Why is the inerrancy of Scripture so important? In his book, Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Charles Ryrie writes,
“If the Bible contains some errors, however few or many, how can one be sure that his understanding of Christ is correct? Perhaps one of those errors concerns something about the life of Christ. It would not be impossible that there might be an error about the crucial matter of His death and resurrection. What then would happen to one’s Christology? It would be changed, perhaps even so drastically that there would be no Christian faith to embrace.”
“Or suppose the biblical teaching on the Holy Spirit were inaccurate. This could affect the cardinal doctrine of the Trinity, which in turn could also seriously affect Christology, soteriology, and sanctification. Even if the errors are supposedly in ‘minor’ matters, any error opens the Bible to suspicion on other points that may not be so ‘minor.’ If inerrancy falls, other doctrines will fall too” (Ryrie, 87).
It is crucial that we believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. The Bible is our only rule for faith and practice. If it is not reliable, then on what do we base our beliefs?
It is not a mixture of doctrine that we are free to believe or not believe. Many people like the verses that say God loves them, but they dislike the verses that say God will judge sinners. We simply cannot pick and choose what we like about the Bible and throw the rest away.
God has said what He has said, and the Bible presents us a full picture of who God is. “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89).