I have again been reminded of a way to functionally undermine the authority of the Scriptures. Bible teachers or Christians frequently proclaim their allegiance to the Scripture and its truth yet often only vaguely reference its contents out of context or (worst) (mis-)use the text to suit their own ends; in these moments they demonstrate that all the talk about authority and sufficiency is smoke and mirrors, propaganda, and hypocrisy. I also see people consistently elevate and emphasize secondary material in the text above things of greater importance. Sometimes, wholesale theological fabrications are held in higher esteem than the gospel.
All of this reminded me of an excellent message by David Nelson delivered at SEBTS during convocation a few years ago. His message (“How to Undermine the Authority of Scripture”) gave four ways to functionally undermine the authority of the Bible:
1. Make loud claims about the inerrancy of the Bible and then fail to teach it all.
2. Insist that what is not in the Scripture is in the Scripture.
3. Neglect to teach what is in the Scripture or fail to give it the proper emphasis given by the Bible.
4. Make loud claims of the authority of Scripture and then fail to live a truly Christian way of life.
I would highly recommend listening to the entire message.