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In a comment regarding the post which preceded this one, Byker Bob made a statement that really caught my attention. He wrote: "I beli...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Is the doctrine of inerrancy an affront to God?

Fundamentalists and Literalists would do well to give some consideration to the following statement:
"Inerrancy is only ever used to defend sin, whether that sin happens to be the enslavement of other human beings or the inappropriate exaltation of one’s own thinking." --James McGrath at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2015/11/inerrancy-is-used-to-defend-sin.html#disqus_thread

Think about it. Most Fundamentalists consider the Bible to be their FINAL AUTHORITY in things spiritual/religious. The foundation of this belief is the doctrine of biblical inerrancy - that Divine inspiration means that Scripture is without error or inconsistency. They claim to get all of their beliefs from the Bible, but have you ever noticed the HUMAN REASONING that this belief launches when you challenge one of them about the slavery, misogyny, racism, homophobia or genocide apparent in Scripture? They REASON around why all of those things are not inconsistent with the image of a LOVING, FAIR and MERCIFUL God. Moreover, by adhering to Scripture as their FINAL AUTHORITY, many of them are perfectly comfortable with asserting the superiority of their thinking and interpretations to those who do not adhere to the doctrine of inerrancy.

Is Dr. McGrath the only one who sees the irony in this position? Aren't Fundamentalists being just a little hypocritical and disingenuous when they accuse their critics of employing HUMAN REASONING? What about those of us who acknowledge God as our FINAL AUTHORITY in matters of faith? Hmmmm, Aren't there a couple of scriptures about placing ANYTHING before or in place of Almighty God? Don't see the irony yet? Ask a Fundamentalist minister about why Abraham marrying his sister Sarah was not a sin, then sit back and enjoy the explanation that follows!


  1. You Liberal Christians would have us forget that for 99% of Church history inerrancy was the norm!

    Christians are an Adaptive lot: You knock them down, and they bounce back up again in a mutated reiteration!

  2. Where are you getting your history? As you well know, Christianity didn't even have access to the New Testament (at least in terms of our modern understanding of that piece of literature) for the first four hundred years of its history. Individual churches might have access to some of Paul's letters and a gospel or two, but most did not have access to all of the books of our current canon.
    If one studies the statements of the apostles and church "fathers," one is certainly left with the impression that they viewed Scripture as being inspired and authoritative; but there is no sense that they believed in the relatively modern concept of inerrancy. Indeed, there are numerous statements within the scriptures that would contradict such an assumption (reference past posts on this blog - including the recent offering on the Glory of God).
    It is also clear that the Roman Catholic Church has a much different slant on the teaching of inerrancy/infallibility than most American Protestants. Moreover, if one looks at the writings of Luther and Calvin, one would be hard pressed to say that they subscribed to the doctrine of inerrancy. Remember, the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was issued in 1978!
    Moreover, if we want to discuss the Old Testament, it is clear that the Protestant doctrine of inerrancy was not inherited from the Jews. In fact, that teaching finds very little common ground in the history of the Jewish community and Rabbinical tradition/literature.

  3. Tell me of some pre-Darwin era examples, if you can, of church leaders endorsing errancy views, that would help your case I would think.

  4. Although Luther is often credited by modern Protestants as the first proponent of Sola Scriptura, many of his statements about Scripture are ignored or forgotten by them. For instance, his famous statement to the Council at Worms appealed to Scripture AND MANIFEST REASONING. Check this out too:

  5. That is a good piece on Luther, I like what he says about book of Revelation:

    "Moreover he [the author of Revelation] seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly -- indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important -- and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all..."

  6. Luther is definitely a Flaming Liberal with his skepticism of the Roman church's canon. He seems solid on the Gospels however.

    What would he think of the present day Gospel skepticism, now quite in vogue?