And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:15-16. ESV.)
Last week, I read chapter five ("The Inerrancy of Scripture") and six ("The Clarity of Scripture") of Wayne Grudem's book SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY (© 1994. Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI.) Second Peter 3:16 mentions "[some things that are hard to understand] the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures."
In his book Grudem states,
"We use our minds to pass judgment on some sections of God's Word and pronounce them to be in error. But this is in effect to say that we know truth more certainly and more accurately than God's Word does (or than God does), at least in these areas. Such a procedure, making our own minds to be a higher standard of truth than God's Word, is the root of all intellectual sin." (p.100)
How easy is it to edit God's word and discard what is not favored, agreed upon, or that which does not mesh well with the world (i.e. controversial issues)? I have heard it said, "Well, the bible applies to how things used to be. It is not referring to present day." I am sure it would be effortless to file the parts of the bible one does not wish to follow under "Past Generations" or "Cultural Differences" however, my response to this is God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He, unlike man, is unchanging. We do not have to guess where the line is in the sand because it is marked and never moved.
I, for one find that refreshing! In a world where individuals are deceitful, manipulative, and change the rules, it is a comfort to be able to rely on God's word. He does not lie. He does not trick. And He does not change His mind about anything! In other words, "He says what He means and He means what He says". It is my opinion most human beings are wired with similar ethics and practices. However, there are others that operate in a completely contradictory manner.
All Believers are Capable of Understanding the Gospels
The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130. ESV.)
Regarding this Grudem states,
"Here the 'simple' person (Heb. Peti) is not merely one who lacks intellectual ability, but one who lacks sound judgment, who is prone to making mistakes, and who is easily led astray. God's Word is so understandable, so clear, that even this kind of person is made wise by it. This should be a great encouragement to all believers: no believer should think himself or herself too foolish to read Scripture and understand it sufficiently to be made wise by it." (p.106.)
That indeed is good news! I am not educated in theology or even extensively in History. But the Scripture passages (especially Proverbs) are stated in such a way I can wrap my brain around it and be well-informed. Not only does History corroborate events in the bible, God also states He will grant wisdom to ANYONE who asks. It is not limited to men, nobles, masters, theologians, professors, etc. It is a free gift. So, may I encourage you to read and BELIEVE!
Every word of God proves true;
he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
6 Do not add to his words,
lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6. ESV.)