When Man’s Word Prevails

Guest essay by Eugene Clingman

It’s either Man’s Word or God’s!

Whose word will prevail, man’s word or God’s? This question confronts you and me continually. Man’s word currently prevails in the Media, education, medicine, science, law, politics, government, and business. When it comes to the church, there is one guard against the word of man prevailing. That guard is God’s Word, the Bible. But when many within the church believe the Bible, though true in many respects also has errors, the word of man, to that extent prevails within the church.

Inerrancy is that doctrine which the Bible teaches about its own nature. The Bible testifies of itself that it is the infallible, inerrant Word of God. The Bible’s opening words speak without explanation, apology, or hesitation, “In the beginning God…!” From there  the Bible flows across the centuries telling of stories/histories, precepts, commandments, judgments, laws, genealogies and more, all the while assuming the reader will receive every bit as true truth. The prophets spoke and wrote in terms of “Thus says the Lord…” When Jesus came, He unhesitatingly placed His seal of approval on the entire Old Testament, saying, “…the Scripture cannot be broken”, and summarized our duties to God and man as love on which “… hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). Jesus spoke of Adam and Eve as genuine historic people. Jesus spoke of Noah and the Global Flood as history, and of David and Daniel as genuine flesh and blood people who lived in history, and who communicated God’s words. Never once did Jesus intimate anything other than that the Old Testament Scriptures are inspired by God, and that they are the Word of God (John 10:35). In other words, Jesus believed in and taught Scripture as the inerrant and infallible Word of God. If we look to Jesus as the Lord, we must receive Scripture as what He and Scripture itself teaches.

If we deny inerrancy, the Bible becomes a book containing truth, but also containing errors. Thus, the foundation for certain truth is removed and we must then rely on “experts” to tell us which parts of the Bible are true, and which parts are false. Wherever this occurs, the word of man prevails; for it is men who sit in judgment over the Word of God! And so the Salt loses her saltiness and the word of man prevails throughout every institution of society and, to a large extent, in the church.

We recognize Inerrancy as the chief and foundational issue. Of all the 24 International Church Project (ICCP) issues, Inerrancy is the most foundational and essential. If we do not have an inerrant Bible, there is no way to speak either authoritatively or accurately; the other 23 issues are up for grabs as is all truth, including the words of Jesus when he said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Without inerrancy, there is no certain truth. For 37 years, the Coalition on Revival has held forth the necessary and essential doctrine of inerrancy. For the past two decades, the ICCP has labored to set before the Body of Christ the truth of inerrancy, calling her also to recognize 23 additional issues which need to be dealt with, and the truth of them set forth from the inerrant Bible, and agreed upon, in order that the global Body of Christ may hold the truth in these areas and thus be strengthened, fortified, and equipped against all enemies of truth and against the Enemy of Truth, the devil.

May our heart cry be that of the Psalmist, that we would love God’s inerrant Word, and by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, be strengthened to stand in our day, quickened to advance the cause of truth and righteousness in the earth, as we pray and labor, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Amen!


The original of this essay, January 29, 2015, appeared in a circular newsletter of the ICCP and on Dr. Clingman’s ICCP blog.

With Dr. Jay Grimstead, Dr. Eugene Clingman is co-author of Nordskog Publishing’s important new title Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible: Proclaiming the Truth on 24 Controversial Issues. Eugene also serves as executive director of the International Church Council Project, an outreach ministry of the Coalition on Revival, contributes to the Publisher’s Corner, and serves as Nordskog Publishing’s marketing and promotions manager. Eugene also writes a blog for ICCP and a personal blog.

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© 2015 Used with permission

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