Does it REALLy matter if the Theologians Deny Inerrancy of the Bible?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. JesusFan

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    For example, as in the case of Karl barth, neo orthodoxy,Bible becomes word of God when the HS reveals it to you, orlike NT Wright, having a critical, limited view on it, as pertaining to the scriptures!

    what were calin/Luthor perspectives on the Bible as word of God?
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    It does but we shouldn't disqualify a theologian for disagreeing on a point of theology of this caliber. I'd ask instead what they believe about authority and inspiration.
     
  3. JesusFan

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    But isn't inerrancy tied into authority and inspiration?

    Unless one is solid in all 3, will not be holding to a 'firm foundation?"
     
  4. glfredrick

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    I would tend to want to say "yes" to the disqualification question with one caveat. Theologians tend to be quite nuanced and they may work around blanket terms like inerrency and yet end up in the same place. Nature of the business of theology.

    We might expect our theologians to hold to a very high standard when it comes to the specific revelation of God's Word, but that is in and of iteself a theological statement, and so is subject to interpretation.
     
  5. preachinjesus

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    I would say it is part of the umbrella field of Bibliology but one can reasonably uphold both authority and inspiration without holding to inerrancy.

    Take the good Dr Barth, he would consent to inerrancy but refuted any attempts to show where the Bibe had errors.

    Also, just as glfredrick mentioned, you can't really expect theologians to hold to the same brand of inerrancy as you when, through nuancing, they can qualify themselves as inerrantists that sound nothing like others.

    The areas where I am involved in conversations I am happy to fellowship with sound theologians who don't accept inerrancy but produce amazing theologies. This quest to eliminate anything except inerrancy is, IMHO, wrongheaded in that it is maligning wonderful theologians and believers who have legitimate questions and points.
     
  6. OldRegular

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    YES! I say YES!
     
  7. freeatlast

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    Does it REALLy matter if the Theologians Deny Inerrancy of the Bible?
    Yes it matters. If they cannot believe in the accuracy of the bible then one has to question what they base their beliefs on. The only thing I can imagine is they are claiming personal revelation and if so then run from them no matter how great a name they may have.
     
  8. glfredrick

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    The issue at hand is "inerrant what?"

    The Chicago Statement affirms inerrancy in the original autographs and denies inerrancy in any other text. I and most Evangelicals who hold to a statement of inerrancy hold to the Chicago Statement or something akin to it.

    Others have taken the concept and stretched it into KJVO, with that being the inerrant text.

    Because of these many undercurrent issues with inerrancy, making a simple blanket statement about it without placing limits on the terminology ends up being worse than if inerrancy is not claimed at all, for in the end, it becomes an inerrancy of one's own interpretation not inerrancy of the Text. So, though I do hold that the Scriptures are inerrant, sufficient, accurate in what they speak to, historical, true, and probably a few other adjectives, I can understand why some theologian in a reasoned argument might not claim a simple inerrancy and yet be more on board with the utter necessity of the Word than the one who does hold to that term.
     
  9. Batt4Christ

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    One must understand what inerrancy means.

    Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology has an entire chapter dedicated to the subject of Inerrancy of Scripture (Chapter 5 to be exact). While space and time don't allow me to put it all here - what it boils down to - the Authority of the Bible rests squarely on the Inerrant nature of the Bible. One can legitimately argue "errors" of translation (watch out for those KJV-only monsters that say there are no errors in that version...despite many revisions and "corrections" made to that revered translation). But as God inspired/led/directed/filled faithful men to record His Word - it is inerrant. Any theologian who would deny that is subject to questioning any other parts of his theology - as one can pick and choose what is and isn't "reliable" in the Bible.

    Does that mean a theologian who doesn't buy inerrancy can't cough up truth from time to time? Of course not - even a stopped watch has the right time twice a day!

    Foot - Thomas Jefferson was a demythologizer who re-wrote the New Testament (The Jefferson Bible) to take out all the supernatural/miracles - yet Jefferson correctly stated many times that God was/is Sovereign. Was Jefferson wrong in that assertion because he didn't believe the miracles/supernatural events of the New Testament? Of course not.

    But one must filter VERY carefully through the statements, teachings, and preaching of anyone who does not believe in the inerrancy of scripture.
     
  10. JesusFan

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    think that one must see that God did indeed had written a perfect record of revelation unto us, that in all and every fact was correct, and that there were NO errors in it contained, either of an historical or theological nature...

    think the problems come when we move from disagreeing on say 'did God use Theistic evolution with man?" to " all genesis Fall account was just a myth!"
     
  11. JesusFan

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    That is why I referred to Dr barth and wright, as both of them had some good points, but also had dubious ones, as they were forced to squeeze into their theologies their held convictions, not based upon the biblical texts themselves, they went outside to confirm it!
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Very true!

    I have written a number of inerrant shopping lists in my day, but none of them are inspired by God.

    One's belief in inspiration is actually the key, not inerrancy.

    And that's the rub with the doctrine of inerrancy. It essentially asserts that what we have today is NOT inerrant, which can turn into a problem since many people have taken a theological stance that claims if there is any error in scripture, then we can't trust any of it. If that claim is taken at face value, then we can't trust the scripture we possess now, only the original manuscripts which we do not knowingly possess.

    Precisely. I have several friends to went this way with their theology since they bought the inerrancy position (along with the house-of-cards theology that says if there is a single error in scripture, then it can't be trusted at all).

    They are now vitriolic KJVO advocates who assume that all problems in the church today can be traced directly back to translations other than the 1611 KJV (even though they unknowingly use much later versions of the King James translation).

    Yes, that's a tremendous point, well-stated.

    Yes.

    That's where I stand. I do not claim inerrancy because I believe it is a misplaced emphasis. I do claim that the scripture is the word of God and is fully inspired and complete for the purposes God intended. I do acknowledge that they are problems with some of the numbers in the Old Testament, there are Hebrew words we do not know how to adequately translate, there are some significant textual variations, and there appear to have been some very minor additions to the text over the years. However I have seen no difficulties in our current texts that have doctrinal/praxis implications.
     
  13. JesusFan

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    the bibles that we have today to use are infallibile and final authority, but weren't the originals also fully inerrant/inspired by God?
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    They are not inerrant though. That's the topic.

    You are mixing two different concepts.

    The originals are inspired, just like our very slightly errant copies today.

    The assumption that the originals must be inerrant is only essential if you hold to a dictation theory of inspiration, where the humans who wrote the Bible are only scribes who jotted down the exactly what God said. However the dictation theory doesn't seem to hold true for what we actually have in the scripture. For instance, Luke freely informs the reader, Theophilus ("lover of God"), that he has compiled the Gospel of Luke from many different sources (see Luke 1:1-4) in order to create an orderly account.

    God has apparently allowed a lot of human latitude in the writing of the scriptures, where for instance, Paul gives his opinion about things but is careful to note that it is his opinion, not a command of the Lord. There are also variations in some of the gospel accounts according to the purposes and emphases of the Gospel authors. None of this should be troubling to us, but unfortunately an attitude of suspicion and unbelief through Western "modernistic" thinking has trained our minds to reject anything that is not "certain." Therefore, we tend to have difficulty accepting the idea that witnesses may see and comprehend different aspects of the same reality, yet be reliable witnesses without 100% accuracy. We can trust their testimony, especially since we have available to us the abiding presence of the Spirit and a living and intimate relationship with God.

    We are not like deists who have only a holy book and each other... we have a living and interactive connection with God.

    All that being said, I don't believe the Bible is full of errors. I think it is shockingly free of errors, especially for a book of its age, history, and the temptation for people to alter the text. I believe the scripture we have today is essentially inerrant for doctrine and praxis, although I reject the concept of inerrancy as a misplaced emphasis that does more harm than good. Because of the constant sniping and fighting over inerrancy, we spend too much time talking ABOUT the Bible instead of knowing scripture and putting into practice.
     
    #14 Baptist Believer, Dec 29, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  15. glfredrick

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    The errancy of any given translation of the text seems to be more critical when one is of a theological stance apart from a high view of God's sovereignty. When one holds that God can and does interject Himself into the lives of those whom He desires, the issue with slight discrepancies in translation seems to go away (or at least one can process the concept that they are still God's Word), but for the more synergetic of doctrines, every single jot and tittle IN THE TRANSLATION must be declared perfect less their carefully constructed anthropomorphisms fall apart.

    In very simple English, they make the text perfect instead of letting God deal with the Text in the heart of the individual through the power of the Holy Spirit who enlightens and illuminates the Word. And, no, I am not going Barth on anyone. I don't hold to his doctrine concerning Scripture.
     
  16. JesusFan

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    Actually, the full inerrancy of the original manuscripts were such that God indeed used each individual author to write as he 'saw fit to", included historical sources, like Luke and eyewitnesses, but final result was superintendeed by the HS...

    NO errors in ANY historical/theological aspect to them, as God Himselfdirected them being wrote, he even had each letter/word there !

    So originals NO errors/mistakes in them, PERIOD...

    Now the hebrew/Greek text we have are extremely close to that, so would be fully infallible/and the final authority on all issues for the Church that they speak on!
     
  17. JesusFan

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    the holy Spirit brings us Illumination to understand the meaning of the scriptures, but regardless if we have an 'encounter" with them, still would be the infallible and authoratative word of God!
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    Perhaps, given your extensive reading of both Wright and Barth you could help those of us not so familiar with them what might be these "dubious" points in their theology.

    For instance, maybe a starting point is showing how either handled the issue of historiography in the theological prolegomena, and what that differs from the biblical position(s) on historiography.

    Since, in Wright's work particularly, historiography occupies a significant portion of his (renowned) trilogy it would be vital to his initial theological framework.
     
  19. preachinjesus

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    So you're assenting to a dictation theory of inspiration?

    Listen, I'm happy to sign my annual ETS statement. But it is so loose when it comes to inerrancy that you can hold to something other than the Chicago Statement (which I don't think is normative) and still sign the ETS statement. Most of the great theologians in the history of the Church have not been inerrantists and you can't pigeon-hole them into that belief. So why is it such a significant doctrine for theology?

    Now I'm not saying it isn't important, but when I am reading a theology I don't begin with whether the person is an inerrantists, that is a fallible initial step. But I also don't disqualify them if they aren't.
     
  20. jaigner

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    "Inerrant" is a brittle, broken word. It means so many things to so many people that it's not useful for us anymore.

    Personally, I believe the Bible is without error in its original autographs and that it is true in all it affirms. If that equals inerrant, then that's what I believe.

    I prefer to use to word "infallible," as that's what we're really getting at: that the Bible is completely trustworthy.

    So, I would listen to a theologian's explanation instead of making them comply with the one label.
     

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