A Week (or so) on Inerrancy
For years now, I have carried with me a dirty and terrifying secret: I did not believe in inerrancy. Not exactly that I didn’t believe, but I didn’t know what I believed. I had a lot of questions, and I listened to a lot of people who amplified those questions into full scale doubts.
It hasn’t come up because I haven’t had to sign any doctrinal statements. Until now.
With the application to a mission bearing down on me, the question of whether or not the Bible is inerrant – or, more to the point, whether I will believe that the Bible is inerrant – could no longer be avoided. I recently spent this past week intensely studying the issue, and can now in good conscience sign off on inerrancy.
Although I usually like to work my thoughts out while I am posting/writing, this is a really serious topic! I did not want to raise doubts and questions about the authority of the Bible if I had no answers to those questions. I did not want to « open that can of worms » until I had sufficiently settled it in my own mind, and thus could provide answers to the questions I would be posting.
I very much do not want to cause people to stumble: no millstone-neckties for me, thank you!
Now that the topic is settled, however, I am going to be writing these next posts as though I am still sorting through the issues, and discovering the facts. It would be boring to write six « this is what I believe » posts, and it wouldn’t accurately convey the long and complicated process which was involved in bringing me to this place.
So keep in mind that my questioning/searching/confused tone in these posts will be somewhat feigned, as I « pretend » to be still working through this issue, and write posts which describe the journey I took towards affirming inerrancy.
If you are going to read these posts (and there are some people, I know, who will just find the topic too unsettling, and I wouldn’t blame them AT ALL for skipping it), I would like to ask two things of you:
1) If you begin, please finish these posts. I will be laying out a mini-saga of the mind, and my whole point is describing my finished position. The journey is useless without the destination.
2) Obviously, please take all my posts in context: the point of this is that I now know what I believe on inerrancy. So obviously, don’t quote me from one of the earlier posts and come to the conclusion that I am still struggling on this one. In the concluding posts, I will make my final position clear.
Finally, I just want to credit and thank Tim for buying me Norm Geisler’s book Inerrancy. It was the book which arose our of the Chicago statement, and is the go-to source for this topic. I highly recommend it. Thanks Tim!