One says he is, but he shouldn’t be. Another says he is, but isn’t enough. Another says he’s always been, but wants to be more so. And, another says bluntly “Evangelicals are over-committed to the Bible.”
And all this within the last three weeks.
Mitt Romney says he’s committed to the Bible. In his most recent debate he said, “I believe the Bible is the Word of God, absolutely.” But this is somewhat disingenuous if not deceptive, because three other books are more authoritative than the Bible in Mormon theology (i.e., “The Book of Mormon,” “Doctrine and Covenants” and “The Pearl of Great Price”). So, if he’s informed and telling the truth, he is something less than an orthodox Mormon.
Pastor Bill Hybels just came out with a new book titled “Reveal,” which is research showing that the 12,000 churches that make up the “seeker friendly” Willow Creek Association have not been as effective at creating mature disciples of Jesus Christ as they had hoped, largely due to their under-commitment to the Bible. Hybels says they’ll be changing that. This is great news.
And Pastor John MacArthur is, has always been, and will always be, totally committed to the Bible. It’s this commitment that has made him something of the international standard-bearer for Biblical exposition. In his latest book, “The Truth War,” MacArthur argues for the absolute certainty of God’s truth found in His Word. In a recent interview on my radio program, he said, “The word of God is all we’ve got. God spoke in one book, that’s it. You tamper with that book and everything is lost.” Those two sentences reflect the life passion of John MacArthur. He just doesn’t believe it’s possible for one to be over-committed to the Bible.
So, at the same time as the most readily identified Mormon in the world is saying that he is committed to the Bible, and one of the most influential pastors in America is saying that he wants to be, and another is saying that commitment to the Bible is all we’ve got, you’ve got a big-name professor from Biola University, J. P. Moreland, saying, “Evangelicals are overcommitted to the Bible.”
Ironic. Strange. What’s going on?
At the recent meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society in San Diego, Moreland gave a much-anticipated paper titled “How Evangelicals Became Over-Committed to the Bible and What Can Be Done About It.” His main point is rather non-controversial: The Bible is not the sole source but the ultimate source of knowledge, meaning that there are realms of knowledge outside the Bible. No one denies this.