Arthur at “the voice of one crying out in suburbia” has written an excellent post called “Academic responsibility.” He takes an author to task for making statements about Scripture that are simply not true… that is, the facts are not in Scripture. Instead, Arthur says, the facts are found in the author’s tradition or theological system.
I’ve found the same thing, especially when the church is concerned. People have made statements to me that are not found in Scripture. They stand by these statements and believe them to be 100% true. When I point out that this or that is not actually said in Scripture, I usually hear something like this: “Well, I haven’t studied it for myself, so I really can’t discuss it with you.”
To be honest, I think many people (myself included) believe many things to be scriptural which are not found in Scripture at all. Of course, Arthur is right… if someone is writing a book, they should probably check their facts. But, many of these traditions are simply taken for granted. In other words, we often don’t even consider the possibility that what we believe may in fact be wrong.