Inerrancy - Bellingham Statement 1

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Deacon, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Deacon

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    Michael Heiser has been working through the doctrine of Inerrancy over the past few months on his blog, The Naked Bible

    He's beginning to develop his thoughts and put together a document relating to his views.
    I thought I’d post these statements as he offers them.

    This is his first statement:

    Bellingham Statement 1
    Is it:
    Orthodox?
    Baptist?
    Radical?
    Heretical?

    Any comments?

    Rob
     
  2. Bob Alkire

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    Heretical from my view, it looks like the same old fight from the late 1800's. Many a theologian and pastor have fought this view and harsher views about the Scriptures. Men from different theological view points have went hand and hand to fight this type of teaching, such as Philip Mauro, William Moorehead, E.Y. Mullins, C. R. Erdman, A.C. Dixon, R.A. Torrey, W.A. Criswell and R.G. Lee.
     
  3. Deacon

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    Oopps
    Double post
     
    #3 Deacon, Sep 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2008
  4. Deacon

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    This first statement of Michael Heiser alligns closely with the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

    Heiser: I affirm that the Bible is revelation from God produced in writing through the agency of human authors.

    CSBI: Article III
    WE AFFIRM that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God.


    Heiser: This agency involved human authors writing on the basis of their own abilities, education, styles, worldview, backgrounds, and idiosyncrasies.

    CSBI: Article VIII.
    WE AFFIRM that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared.
    WE DENY that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities.


    It's at this next point that Heiser begins to clarify areas that many theologians don't explain as plainly.

    Heiser: I deny that the writing of the Bible required encounters between God and the writers where the human authors came under divine control as though God’s delivery of his revelation necessitated seizing the mind of the writer to produce the words of the text.
    I further deny that the words of the text were given to the authors by God through some sort of dictation process, whether audible or mental.

    CSBI: Article VII.
    WE AFFIRM that inspiration was the work in which God by His Spirit, through human writers, gave us His Word. The origin of Scripture is divine. The mode of divine inspiration remains largely a mystery to us.
    WE DENY that inspiration can be reduced to human insight, or to heightened states of consciousness of any kind.

    While some may disagree, the theory of divine dictation is usually denied as the mode of Scriptural transmission.

    Rob
     
    #4 Deacon, Sep 27, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 27, 2008
  5. preachinjesus

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    Certainly

    Probably, depends on what kind of Baptist you are I guess.

    Not really, I mean he is holding a position that orthodox Christian theologians have held for 2000 years.

    Outside of the Bible being authoritative I don't believe any talk about inerrancy or such can fall into the heresy category. Heresy has to do with the foundational truths of Christianity that are broadly spoken of in the Bible. Things like Trinity, Divinity of Jesus Christ, Bodily Resurrection, etc.


    For what it's worth I don't mind his position. I affirm the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy once a year as a matter of habit. The verbal dictation theory of inspiration is one that I disagree with as well.

    Well this should be an interesting conversation. :)
     
  6. Marcia

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    I may be being picky, but the wording "that the Bible is revelation from God" bothers me. I would prefer "The Bible is the revelation of God."

    "Revelation from God" almost sounds like the "The Bible contains the word of God," which at first sounds okay, but really is not okay.

    I'm not so sure about "worldview." A worldview colors how you perceive things and so would impact God's word with a human view. I think "backgrounds" is sufficient for showing that the backgrounds of the writers (culture, Jewish or not, profession, etc) colored their way of writing or transmitting the words, without using "worldview." This to me implies that some of the views expressed might not be from God.
     
  7. Brandon C. Jones

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    I agree with PreachinJesus. Marcia, wouldn't you want to say that if you want to make anything or anyone the revelation from God, you would want to pick Christ not the Bible? Or do you have another meaning in mind here with your statement?
     
    #7 Brandon C. Jones, Sep 28, 2008
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  8. Marcia

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    No, I would not say Christ is the revelation of God as opposed to the Bible.

    The Bible is the revelation of God. Jesus is the Son of God incarnated as man. They are both from God, but should not be compared or contrasted.

    One is the Redeemer and Savior, and the other is God's word, our spiritual food.
     
  9. Brandon C. Jones

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    Okay, well then you were clear above. I must disagree with you on that one though. I won't derail the thread, but how can you not affirm that the Bible speaks of Jesus as the revelation from God (e.g., Hebrews 1:1, John 1:17-18, etc.) ? John even calls Jesus the Word who was with God and God himself who became flesh and dwelt among us.
     
    #9 Brandon C. Jones, Sep 28, 2008
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  10. Revmitchell

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    Marcia you are correct. The statement Revelation from God does not line up with scripture and allows for the heresy that the Word of God contains truth but not all is truth.

    Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

    Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    1Co 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

    2Co 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

    2Co 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

    Eph 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    There is no "Baptist" theology per se (hopefully, Baptists will believe biblical theology and not make up their own!) but Dr Heiser is certainly orthodox and assume most here would agree with it.
     
  12. Deacon

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    ...from God...
    ...of God...

    Both indicate a point of origination.
    IMO they are almost interchangeable.

    Marcia brings out a good point regarding the word, worldview
    We can see plenty of views expressed the authors that are not from God expressed in the Scriptures, God uses them for his purposes.

    …but I think the hesitancy you express in accepting this statement is acceptable.
    Your concerns may be justified by later statements.
    We’ll have to work through them.

    I hope you participate in the discussions later when portions of his statements won’t be so clearly in line with orthodoxy. :smilewinkgrin:

    Rob
     
  13. canadyjd

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    It is weak. What it doesn't say (nothing about inspiration, nothing about the work of Holy Spirit, nothing about the accuracy in which the revelation was recorded) allows for heresy to creep in.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Do you already know the other statements where he is not "orthodox"? Is there an "advance text" so that I am not tied to waiting for Mike's blog?
     
  15. Deacon

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    No, I don't know what future statements will be, I can only guess.
    He began this topic (Inerrancy) back in June.
    Over the past 4+ months, he has presented lots of evidence and there has been some lively discussions (I've not participated).

    Here are two places that pertain to this first statement if his:

    Parsing the “God Alone” View of Inspiration

    Pre-Scientific Worldview “Problem” and Inerrancy

    Rob
     
  16. Marcia

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    Jesus is the Logos - it is not the same word as "word" for a spoken or written word. Jesus and the Bible are not one and the same and should not pitted against each other.

    It's not a matter of choosing one over the other. Both are revelations from God, but one is a Person. So they are different categories.

    And how do we know about Jesus without God's word?
     
  17. Brandon C. Jones

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    Marcia you are correct in much of what you say here (e.g., Logos, which I think bolsters Jesus as revelation compared to the mere spoken or written word). I think it is you who are pitting Jesus and the Bible against each other. You say here in your last post that both are revelation from God, but it seems to me that your earlier posts denied as much. I may be confused here.

    I never claimed that Jesus and the Bible were one and the same, but I think there is no doubt between them who is more deserving of being called "the" revelation from God if one insists on naming anything "the" revelation from God.

    Your initial quibble was that the Bible is more than revelation from God but "the" revelation from God. My point was that Christ and the Bible are both revelation from God (this is not exhaustive because I do believe in general revelation), and if I were to say one is superior, then it would be Christ.

    In other words, why do you insist on claiming that the Bible is "the" revelation from God? What do you mean by "the"? I suppose those were my initial questions to you and I still haven't figured out your answers. You say in your last post it is not about choosing one or the other, so why quibble when someone claims that the Bible is revelation from God (without the "the")?

    Christ and the Bible may be different categories of revelation as you say, but they are both revelation and can be compared as such.

    Lastly, we know Jesus through the church, the Bible, and the Spirit's work through both.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    And that is the crux of catholic thinking, Brandon, so be very careful going there. Jesus didn't reveal Himself through the church, doesn't reveal Himself through the church and won't reveal Himself through the church. He revealed Himself to a small group physically and to the world through the written finite revelation - His Word.

    YOur statement elevates the "church" to the "revealed Word of God written for us" and opens the door to every vile error imaginable (ie, catholicism today). Mysticism runs rampant as well (the "spirit told me to . . ." as in charismania when they feel the revelation of a dream/vision = or even supercedes the written Word of God.
     
  19. Brandon C. Jones

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    Not at all Dr. Bob. I mentioned the Spirit working through both and I will never back away from it. I've heard plenty of the catholic beware talk in my Baptist upbringing, but I love the church and have no intention in belittling it in order to hold up Scripture (whose canon was produced by the Spirit working through the church).

    Your doom and gloom is neither necessary or warranted, and I will proudly say that the Spirit has, does, and will continue to use the church.

    Sure the church has erred in the past, in the present, and it probably will in the future, but the Bible's track record in producing mystics and heretics is just as ignoble in my opinion. And when people appealed to Scripture for their false beliefs, it was the church that had to deal with them and they dealt with them through Scripture. Thus, I see no need to separate what God has joined.

    If Jesus didn't reveal himself through the church, then I wouldn't have been saved Dr. Bob. I doubt my experience is all that untypical.

    FTR: I affirm Scripture as the "norming norm" so to speak over the church, but claiming that the church reveals Jesus does not elevate it to the same status as Scripture. You're right that the RCC has one deposit of the faith that includes Scripture and the church, and even Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution for Divine Revelation wants to place Scripture over the church but still has the Magisterium nearly deciding its true meaning. I disagree with them there. Yet, there is no need to deny that the Spirit reveals Jesus through the church as well as through Scripture. This does not mean that Scripture has no special place, but I am willing to say that the special role Scripture has was conferred on it by the church under the Spirit's guidance. The church affirmed these writings as indeed apostolic, useful, etc. (cf. Webster's "Holy Scripture" or MacDonald's excellent work on the canon). Neither is there a need to affirm that the Spirit reveals Jesus through the church apart from Scripture. I also would not have been saved had not members of the church been faithful to Scripture and introduced me to it. My position is in between both the extreme in the RCC and the opposite extreme that I see among Baptists.
     
    #19 Brandon C. Jones, Sep 29, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2008
  20. Dr. Bob

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    Serious question (may pm me if you'd like) - what sort of Baptist are you? Most every type of Baptist I know would run quickly from your position on this.

    Tanks. ;)
     

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