Faithful readers of this blog will know that I occasionally post articles about why you can believe and rely on the Bible, as well as criticize people like Bart Ehrman for making really stupid arguments to the contrary. That being said, I also believe that there are serious issues with those who claim that the Bible is inerrant, or “without error in any way.”
Believers in inerrancy, I think, find themselves putting more faith in inerrancy than they do in the Gospel; however, the 1st Century Christians didn’t, for the most part, even have the Bible. Yet, it is clear from Paul’s epistles that they had “the Word of God.” I suspect that the real issue underlying inerrancy is that these Christians have become trapped in modernistic thinking, where propositions must meet certain criteria in order to be “true.” In this way, it seems that those requiring that the Bible be inerrant actually suffer from a lack of faith – one of the unfortunate consequences of modernism – rather than having a greater faith, as they would have us believe.
Yesterday Stephen at Undeception posted The Bible and the need for proof, makes some good points about why we don’t need to believe in “inerrancy” in order to believe the Gospel. He asks at the conclusion, “why is it logically necessary, rather than merely preferable for one reason or another, that the Bible be entirely true through and through?”
My question, just because I’m curious, is “What do you believe about the Bible, and why?”
I’ll check it out.
It still blows my mind that so many people who say they walk by faith and not by sight, believe that God can use all sorts of earthen vessels to carry His perfect Word…but the book that He has chosen to use has to be perfect and without error.
Michael Patton at Parchment and Pen has also taken on a discussion of inerrancy. It seems that he has found a way to say he believes in inerrancy without actually holding to it in the way others do who use the term.
This just goes to show how successful the fundamentalists were 30 years ago when the “Battle for the Bible” was going on; they managed to make inerrancy a watershed issue for evangelicals.
I believe that the Bible is entirely the Word of God, and can be trusted.
I do not believe it is inerrant, nor do I believe that it needs to be.
The finite contains the infinite.
Just as God does not need perfect people to carry His message, He does not need perfect elements in the Sacraments, and He does not need a ‘perfect book’.
Jesus Himself was a the finite containing the infinite.
I actually believe that my faith is strengthened by not needing a pefect book.
Great post, Alden.