I believe that we and our interlocutors agree on the point that the word of God should be publicly preached in public worship and that is should be preached as the power and authority of God in all things that pertain to life and godliness.
Such an agreement should then exclude preaching things we know are not the word of God for these kind of things are not the power and authority of God in all things that pertain to life and godliness.
Additionally, we ought to avoid preaching things we are unsure are the word of God because in doing so the preacher is unsure if the words he is preaching are indeed the power and authority of God in all things that pertain to life and godliness. And any conscientious preacher would rather avoid preaching certain words as if they were the words of God and as if they possessed the power and authority of God when in fact it is possible that said words are not the words of God and do not carry the authority and power of God in all things that pertain to life and godliness.
So then the question of the hour is, “Do preachers preach the word of God because they know it to be the word of God as such the power and authority of God in all things that pertain to life and godliness?”
If they do know, how do they know? If the argument propounded here at StandardSacredText.com is rejected, then the natural transcendentless alternative seems to be something like, “Because my professor says so” or “Because I like the way this is the version of God’s sounds” or “Because the editors of the ECM are smart guys and I trust them.”
The I-like-the-way-it-sounds response is merely Expressive Individualism wearing dressed up in its Sunday bests and ought to be flatly rejected as a primary reason for reading the Bible. Regarding the professor and the editors of the ECM responses, the follow-up question would be, “Well, how do they know?” They don’t know. Rather they think it is probable that this or that reading is the Bible based on evidence. As such the Red Sea probably parted, Lazarus probably rose from the dead, and Jesus probably fed 5,000 people from a small lunch, and the belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins is probably true.
Finally, then, our Christian faith is anchored in something that is probably true which makes faith itself probable seeing it is said to be a deliverance of Scripture [i.e., faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God]. So those who profess faith in Christ are probably saved.
And before you say that I’ve gone to far in that last line, both Dr.’s Van Kleeck have pressed this line of argumentation regarding the probability of faith with professors whose names you would recognize if we were to name them, and these professors have, in front of the whole class, admitted that in the interest of epistemic humility and given the limitations of the human capacities to know and believe they could only be at best 99% sure that they were saved by faith in Christ. In other words, for these two prominent evangelical professors from two different schools, it is only highly probably that they are saved and they are so sure of this fact that they are willing to say it out loud in class. I can’t imagine what they expect from us who are less informed and are not as gifted intellectually.
In sum, if the Bible you read is probably the word of God then the best you can say is that you are probably a child of God and therefore probably going to Heaven.
If the Bible you read is the word of God, then all other Bibles are not the word of God. They merely contain large amounts of the word of God. So then here are the two ways you can have it:
Option 1: My Bible is probably the word of God and as such I am probably saved by accepting its teachings.
Option 2: My Bible is the word of God and as such I am saved by accepting its teachings, but all the other Bibles which differ from God’s word are not the word of God at least in the places they differ. Still, a Bible that is 75% God’s word and 25% men’s word is not properly called God’s word.