I mentioned in Gospel Disproof #32 that your salvation depends on believing what fallible men say about God. A Christian commenter named Eric replied:
Not at all. God has given us His supernaturally preserved Word which has proved to be a trustworthy guide for life and practice through the ages.
He is referring to the books of Moses, the prophets, the apostles, and the evangelists, collectively known as “the Bible” or “the Word of God.” For almost 2,000 years, the writings of these men have led and guided the Church in their role as God’s Word—even though none of the authors is God. If you grew up Christian like I did, it seems perfectly plausible and natural, but if you stop and think about it, it’s really a very peculiar situation. Why would you need to be led by a humanly-authored book about God if you had a real God to guide you?
At a few places in his testimony, Eric declared that he was in direct contact with the Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the Trinity and thus is God Himself. The problem, as I pointed out is that this Spirit can’t really do anything more than any other imaginary friend can do. He can make guesses about the future, to the extent that the believer can guess, but He can’t know anything the believer does not know. He can make the believer feel confident about what he believes, but He can’t really reveal what the believer ought to believe. Hence the need for some kind of tangible, objective basis for faith, like a Bible.
Think, for a moment, what role the Bible would play if there were a real God. Imagine God, sitting up in heaven, and calling all His angels to gather around His throne—but they ignore Him, because they’re busy reading the Bible to try and discover what His will is! That’s nonsense, of course. If you have a real God and He really shows up in your life to give you real guidance and teaching, then you don’t need imperfect translations of some ancient documents to help you try and guess what His will and teaching might be.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a genuine God, but want to pretend you do anyway, then an ancient book is ideal, because you can use the book to claim divine authority without assuming any personal accountability for what you say. Just ask Harold Camping. By displacing the source of authority to some holy book that you are studying, you get to claim to speak on God’s behalf, and if anything you say turns out to be wrong, you can just say, “Oh, I must have misunderstood that part, but the BIBLE is still infallible and authoritative.”
The Bible is a book that was written by men. More precisely, it is a collection of books written by men, and selected by other men out of much larger collection of books. Still other men, in turn, translated these books into our native language, while still other men assured us that God was busy making sure the Bible turned out to be just exactly His Word. And thus believers call the Bible “God’s Word,” meaning that they have put their faith in men: in the men who wrote it and the men who selected it and edited it and translated it and promised us that it was all inspired. Men, men, men, men, men.
Why can’t believers call the Bible what it is? Why do they insist on identifying it in terms of putting blind faith in what men say about it? Why do they ignore or downplay its human origins? It’s because they have no real God to lead them in real life, and therefore they need a book to lend them authority without accountability. That is why they exalt their own Scriptures and make extravagant (and unsupported) claims about it. If it were really true, they wouldn’t need it, because they’d have something far better in its place.