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16 Responses

  1. Steve Wright says:

    The problem with decoupling the truth of the Bible with inerrancy is that every English Bible does contain error, and certainly mutually contradictory details are found depending on the translation (which often depends on which Greek family of manuscripts is being used – showing this issue goes back much further than English)

    So one can be a KJV only person. (wrong). One can embrace the idea behind the Jesus Seminar (wrong)…or one can abandon the faith of the Bible as God’s word….OR

    How does one continue to say The Bible is truth (as I do) and explain its errors? Through inerrancy teachings. When you teach through the Bible verse by verse these errors and contradictions can’t be avoided. They are often in the footnotes!! Plus give our congregations credit for seeing such issues even if the pastor did try to whitewash them.

    I do not fear that the people will lose their belief in the Bible as the authority for faith and living, because I point out these things. Since inerrancy, as properly understood, makes such explanations easy to understand and in fact, when properly understood, increases our trust in God’s word. Saying the Bible is “true” and leaving it at that when you then encounter its errors is pastoral malpractice

    And to properly explain some things in life, requires for than one sentence. Anyone able to explain the Triune Godhead of the monotheistic Christian faith in a sentence? Even the historical creeds, while very clear, consist of more than a sentence or two because some topics are complex enough to require such.

    A tiny child can get excited over a happy meal toy from McDonalds. However, as the children grown, the valuable toys are the ones with multiple moving parts that require some assembly.

    Inerrancy (and excellent explanations like the Chicago statement) help Christians grow from immaturity to maturity…a point stressed in the Bible in the context of doctrinal growth.

  2. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t know anyone who is a more mature christian because the think inerrancy rather than simple truth.

  3. Em says:

    without the Bible i would not have discovered a God worthy of the name, worthy of trust and worship… after a lifetime now, what amazes me is how many of those contradictions are embarrassingly irrelevant. or a construct of my own immaturity, my shallow faith

  4. Steve Wright says:

    MLD…take it up with the writer to the Hebrews. He brought it up first. 🙂

    If you can explain how you explain to the Christians you teach when you come to the various errors in the Bible without mentioning inerrancy, then I am all ears.

  5. Steve Wright says:

    I have to run. In CC it is common for people to come up with their Bibles and say “You read X but my Bible says Y” – That is when of course I do not proactively anticipate the question and mention it in the message. I don’t spend a lot of time on these things in a message, and can’t cover all of them (for there are many, many)

    At the end of the day, if MLD says to such a person (assuming Lutherans have similar inquisitive minds) “Look, Paul or John wrote one thing down – and what they wrote is the truth of God (even if later copyists bungled it up and there is discrepancy among the manuscripts that our translators debate)

    Then THAT is teaching inerrancy…even if the word itself somehow scares MLD off 🙂

    Peace all

  6. Linnea says:

    Steve @1….exactly! Here’s how I’ve explained apparent contradictions to myself….

    We tend to think of truth as on a single plane, which makes us bimodal in our thought patterns. Either something is or it isn’t, God either favors someone or He doesn’t, a particular action is always right or wrong, irregardless of the context, the answer is yes or no, etc….

    As I learn more about God, I realize that His perspective is so much broader, bigger, and comprehensive than I can possibly understand. Because I don’t understand yet what God is telling me in His word, doesn’t mean His word is wrong. It’s just that I don’t get it yet.

  7. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve that is not how people use inerrancy in these conversations. They use it to one up those of us who rest on the simple truth of scripture. As I said earlier it is the exact same as those who are not satisfied to call themselves a christian – but they must be a Bible believing christian.

    Also I think you are confusing inerrancy in your example with textual criticism – which I do use with my class… How we know what was really written without the original autographs.

  8. dswoager says:

    Probably wouldn’t do this on a normal day, but open blogging and all, I posted something up earlier today, and wouldn’t mind feedback. A different direction than I usually write, so I am interested in hearing what others think.

    https://dswoager.wordpress.com/2015/03/07/and-that-has-made-all-the-difference/

  9. Em says:

    dswoager, the gap in the wall? you created a great mental picture of trekking the path that few find… only one question: i wasn’t clear as to whether or not you know where you’re going? oriented to a know destination or exploring? enjoyed it and wished there was more… perhaps there is/will be?

  10. dswoager says:

    Em, my wife made the same comment. I started out intending to write more, but when I got to the end of what I wrote I realized that it intersected with where I am.

  11. dswoager says:

    There is the idea not so much that he knows where he is going, as he trusts who he is following. I was trying not to make it too heavy handed.

  12. Em says:

    dswoager 🙂 maybe there’s a compass in your pocket?

  13. dswoager says:

    In my experience sometimes the compass is the word, sometimes the word is the forest.

    When it comes right down to it, we have been called to follow a man (who also happens to be God). Funny thing is that sometimes when I was thinking about this, the path that I was following was that of another brother who was following Christ, sometimes I was conceiving it as following Christ himself. May we find ourselves in lives where people have to strain to see the difference. 🙂

  14. Alex says:

    Good to see Steve W. being more intellectually honest about bible errors and contradictions etc.

    I would take a more liberal view on this issue (not politically, rather theologically) and point to the very clear commands supposedly given by God through Moses that it was righteous and OK to make sex slaves of good looking women among the people’s the Israelites conquered…and that God supposedly commanded that it was righteous for parent to execute their children with stones in a Taliban/ISIS-like manner. Many other examples of similar.

    I do not reject the Bible as “not” containing a lot of truth…I think it imparts some very big basic truths….the issue is sorting out what is truly “Good” in a universal context…and what is truly “Evil” in a universal context. The Bible is not God. The text on the pages is not God.

    One big truth the Bible gets right….God is Spirit…and not the text on the pages that imperfectly describe him at times.

    Your Conscience and Reason with the help of God’s Spirit will help you sort it out…

  15. Alex says:

    I think Michael forgot to set his clock forward 🙂

  16. Em says:

    i guess the question is…. can we confess our belief that we are indeed mortal, sinful creatures – that Jesus Christ, was indeed a historic fact, a sinless man, who, when crucified by us, achieved a mysterious atonement (for our sin); will a benign God then watch us go on to construct our own theology? Is a terrifyingly Holy God beyond credible?
    Must God be “nice?” Is the devil us? Is God a reformer? more questions….

    but i’m out – i like absolutes

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