Thanks to the generosity of my church, I was able to travel to Los Angeles last week and attend the annual Shepherd’s Conference at John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church. My traveling partners included my own pastor, a fellow pastor from O’okala Fellowship and a pastoral intern from my former church, Kailua Baptist Church. I had a great time at the conference and I had wonderful companions to share the experience with.
This year’s Shepherd’s Conference was special in that it served as an Inerrancy Summit. The summit was designed to give special attention to the ongoing attacks on biblical inerrancy within the evangelical world.
Inerrancy Under Attack
Honestly, before attending the conference, I didn’t feel that the doctrine of inerrancy (that the bible is without error) was under any significant attack. Now that I have returned from the 4 day conference, I can see that I was wrong to think that. I failed to remember that the accuracy of God’s word always has and always will be under attack. Satan has no other tactic.
From the beginning, the serpent questioned God’s word when he said “Did God actually say ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Gen. 3:1). Satan continues to encourage doubt in God’s word and the neglect of God’s word on a daily basis for the purpose of fostering ungodliness.
Sin and Inerrancy
I also learned that while doubting God’s word can lead to sin, sin can also lead to doubting God’s word. Having a lack of love for God and his word always leads to sin, but we often forget that loving sin and worshiping idols can cause you to have a low view of scripture. Thus, if someone is starting to have questions and doubts about God’s word, it might very well be because they want to justify sin in their life.
Godliness and Inerrancy
If sin is a possible indicator of a low view of scripture, godliness is certainly an indicator of a high view of scripture. John MacArthur is a godly man with a high view of scripture who teaches his church to also have a high view of scripture. I could see that in the many volunteers from the church that served the conference attendees. And, no, I didn’t ask each volunteer what they think of scripture. I was simply served well by each volunteer. They believe the bible’s teaching on sacrificial love rooted in the sacrificial love of Christ. I know they believe that because I was loved and served at the conference in just that way.
Praise God for a blessed conference! I pray that people will repent of their sin and live in godliness for the sake of upholding the inerrant word of God for the glory of God alone.
My favorite sermon from the conference was by Ligon Duncan which I’ve included below: