I do believe in the inerrancy of scripture.
Roger J Carlson

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I always appreciate that whether we agree or not.

One of the main reasons I think inerrancy is the wrong question (or answer, depending on perspective) isn’t so much even about how accurately the interpretations have been transmitted. To find contradictions one only has to look at our own theologies and denominational differences.

Is there free will or is it predetermined? Are there dispensations? Cessationism or not? Immersive baptism? Christus victor or substitionary? Total depravity?

And that’s just the superficial ones I can remember. I have long ago let them all go. I used to know the more esoteric.

The point being everyone says their position is based on scripture. If that is so, then either scripture contains errors or we do. But if we admit to our error, then we contradict that the Spirit is our teacher. How could the Spirit teach contradicting doctrines?

So someone is wrong. But I don’t think it is God and I don’t think inerrancy is either the answer or important.

The thing to remember about the statement of inerrancy that is housed at the DTS is that it came about at a particularly heightened time of apologetics, specifically when apologists like Francis Schaefer were high on the reasonableness of scripture and Christianity. In order for Christianity to be real and reasonable, so to had scripture. And in order for scripture to be real and reasonable it had to be inerrant.

That’s a rationalist’s line of thinking. Also surrounded by a serious dose of literalism.

I heard an interesting phrase about the the other day and I now own it. There is a difference between taking the Bible literally and taking it seriously. As a Christian I believe scripture is far too important to do violence to it with literalism.

To dip into my arts background, I have never seen a top ten list of reasons to support the arts turn any opponent to supporter no matter how reasonable, logical, and demonstrable. Only experience will justify art. Otherwise it is an intellectual ascent.

What makes scripture relevant to me is that it reflects life. Life is messy, filled with contradictions we need to navigate daily. There is nothing easy about figuring out life. Such is it with scripture. It relates to us people who have to sort out contradictions and turmoil of life. It documents a history of experiences with life and with God so we can see we are not the first to face the issues we wrestle every day.

The Bible is not a propositional book of dos and don’ts. Except that the greatest do is to love God and the second greatest is to love my neighbor as myself. And since all the commands hang on those two, when in doubt refer back to those two.

Inerrancy is not the point of scripture. Scripture doesn’t have to be inerrant. It has to be real. And when it reveals to me people who struggle at every level of humanity and a God who takes our struggles seriously, then I can take scripture seriously.

Whether or not transubstantiation is true or not is not the point of scripture.

Thanks again for reading!


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