Hanging in my office is a very special item. It’s a piece of a burlap sack made into a commemorative banner. It was given to me when I visited Peru as a seminary student in 1997. Besides the sentimental value, I’ve kept it because of the symbolism on the banner. In the center is a church building built on a Bible. The banner pictures what we believe as Lutherans: that our faith is built on the “foundation of the Apostles and Prophets”—God’s Holy Word.
It’s popular in our day to think that the Bible is simply another book with mostly good moral teachings—but that’s all. This thought, however, is directly opposed to God, the Christian faith, and thousands of years of faith and tradition. The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word, not the words of human beings. We use the terms “inspired” and “inerrant” to refer to the Bible. “Inspired” means that God the Holy Spirit caused men to write down the words He intended to be written. “Inerrant” means that everything the Bible teaches is true. On what else could we build our faith? Our congregations?
Without faith in the Word of God, we have only doubts about what to believe. One person may believe one thing, another something else, and still another may believe a third point of view. Who is correct? Three people with different, opposing beliefs cannot all be correct. Instead, our own thoughts and reason are subject to God’s Word. His Word is the foundation for our beliefs and our teachings. Every teaching is compared to the Word to test its truth.
Jesus said to His Father, “Your Word is truth.” As you read this blog in the future, you can expect that everything will be based on this foundation—everything from views on current events to the teachings of our church body.