Published On: 21 April, 2014|By |

My friend,

Good change is not inevitable.

It seemed for years that the battle against slavery in the British Empire would be lost. Those who fought to abolish the evil of slavery—men like John Newton, William Pitt, and William Wilberforce—felt at times a sense of the impossibility of the task. They knew that this change would not happen by accident. It must be fought for. And there would be a price to pay.

William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce

Last week, my book The Doctrine of Scripture was introduced to our readers here at InFocus. In it, I present a detailed defence of the position on KJV-onlyism for which I have been often singled out. It is with a heavy heart that I chose to publish this work seven years after the first draft was completed. And it is with sobriety that I ask you to consider its content.

For those of us holding to the historic doctrine of Scripture, there is a sense of inevitability in the demise of this new and strange doctrine of KJV- and/or TR-onlyism. New believers tend to intuitively recognise the convolution of the arguments that support it. And young people—young people within the Australian Fundamentalist orbit—are rejecting it, it seems to me, en masse. But good change is not inevitable.

Doctrinal error should not be allowed to saunter gracefully out the door. It should be punted out. It should leave whimpering in shame and licking its wounds. Because truth matters. And because good change is not inevitable.

Many have given their time, energy, and mental abilities—and for some, their reputation and relationships—to stamp out the false doctrines of KJV- and TR-onlyism. My regret in presenting this book to you now is that I did not publish it sooner. It was, I assure you, from a sense of over-caution and personal inadequacy that I held back. But I should not have. Because good change is not inevitable.

I ask you, therefore, whether you are willing to pay the price for change? Will you wait until the tide has turned and the masses see slavery for the evil it is before you stand up against it? Will you be among those who change their vote according to the winds of popularity? Or will you stand while the crowd laughs? Will you have the courage to ask? To read? To question? To challenge?

I implore you, friend, do not be among those who hail the arrival of good change as if it had been inevitable. I urge you to careful research and courageous resolve to obey the truth as taught in Scripture. And I offer The Doctrine of Scripture as a demonstration of my good faith in this admonition.

If you are an Australian pastor and are unable or unwilling to purchase a copy of this book (Amazon | Australia), please write me a note and I will buy a copy for you.

Because good change is not inevitable.

Grace to you.

Jason

About the Author: Jason Harris

Jason loves to communicate God's word both in the local church and at conferences and retreats. Jason has been involved with Worship Music since 1996 and InFocus since 2005. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research and is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in the College of Business, Law, and Governance at James Cook University, Cairns. Jason is also a pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@jasonharris.com.au.

7 Comments

  1. David 22 April, 2014 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Dear Mr Wilberforce/Harris

    I understand what you’re saying. If I don’t buy your book, I’m like the people supported slavery.

    I also understand that you’ve gone completely off your rocker. The one positive thing about this astounding piece of megalomania is that it will help to convince the few remaining people who think you have some credibility that you are now Stark Raving Mad.

    I found this statement interesting: “For those of us holding to the historic doctrine of Scripture…”

    What did Christians historically believe about the preservation of Scripture? The WCF (1644) and LBC (1689) both state:

    “The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by his singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the church is finally to appeal unto them.”

    So the historic doctrine of Scripture holds that:

    1. God inspired the original words;
    2. God perfectly preserved those words ever since;
    3. Those perfectly preserved words remain available and identifiable.

    Even one of your own, Kurt Aland, was at least honest enough to admit that your position is not historic:

    “Finally it is undisputed that from the 16th to the 18th century orthodoxy’s doctrine of verbal inspiration assumed this Textus Receptus. It was the only Greek text they knew, and they regarded it as the ‘original text’.”

    It is either ignorant or dishonest of you to claim to hold a historic bibliology. By your numerous claims of extensive research, we can rule out ignorance.

    Finally, that you have grossly misrepresented Brandenburg’s position in your book betrays the fact that your crusade against what you call “TR-onlyism” has little to do with a pursuit of truth, but of doggedly defending the position you have adopted, even if it means lying to do it.

  2. Jason Harris 22 April, 2014 at 11:46 am - Reply

    David, which of Erasmus’ editions of the TR did the authors of the WCF and LBC have in mind when they wrote this?

  3. Liz 22 April, 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    “I also understand that you’ve gone completely off your rocker. The one positive thing about this astounding piece of megalomania is that it will help to convince the few remaining people who think you have some credibility that you are now Stark Raving Mad.”

    This undoes anything else you’ve written David.

    Speak the truth in love.

    Or not at all.

    Just saying.

  4. Kezia 22 April, 2014 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    @Liz, I agree!

    @ David, I had trouble even finishing the rest of your comment after that beginning and was disappointed that you continued in the same tone and spirit all the way to the end of it. Insults used in discussions such as this one are usually a sign of incompetence in being able to compose an otherwise convincing argument and they automatically nullify any useful input one may have to offer.

    InFocus encourages open dialogue and even disagreement, but there is, I think, an unspoken expectation that everyone behave maturely and respectfully with one another in a God-honouring manner. There simply is no need and no place for put-downs and insults. It is sad that you seem to feel you cannot engage in discussion without resorting to such.

  5. Jeremy Crooks 24 April, 2014 at 1:15 pm - Reply

    I find KJV-onlyism incredibly frustrating. Many KJVO advocates have a desire to uplift the authority of the Bible in our lives. I too have that desire. I also love the KJV. I memorised 100’s of Bible verses using that version and it its word echo in my head for the better.

    However, the elevation of a version (any version) to being the single re-inspired/preserved Word of God is faulty. Such a position is neither internally consistent with Scripture nor even with fundamentalist church history. I have lost many a good friend to the KJVO error and I have seen how it becomes such an unhealthy and unnecessary mark of division.

    Thanks Jason for calling out the KJVO error. I just pray that we will not reject the KJV for all the nonsense of the KJVO movement.

  6. Liz 24 April, 2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    “I find KJV-onlyism incredibly frustrating.”

    I’m there with you Jeremy.

    My husband is not a native English speaker so he reads his bible in German and the ESV.

    and I’m pretty sure he’s saved.

    haha

  7. Jason Harris 17 May, 2014 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    UPDATE: I’ve had someone step forward and offer to help finance the above offer (“If you are an Australian pastor and are unable or unwilling to purchase a copy of this book… please write me a note and I will buy a copy for you”). So the offer stands and I hope you’ll drop me a note.

    Grace to you.

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