The doctrine of scripture is fundamental to our faith. If we believe that the Bible is the word of God and that God speaks and when he speaks he tells the truth then it follows that the Bible would be inerrant. Inerrancy is basically saying that the Bible is without error. An easy thing for Evangelicals to say and believe isn’t it? Or is it?
In recent times there has been a growing unease with the term inerrancy and we have seen this in two areas:
- We have seen the denial of inerrancy taught from a doctrinal point of view. We are told that the Bible never claims to be inerrant and when we see the so called contradictions we can see that inerrancy doesn’t work. Therefore, some conclude that inerrancy is theologically indefensible.
- We have seen the willingness of biblical scholars to accept the findings of historical critical scholarship at the expense of defending the historicity of the biblical text. Now I am not against scholarship or even critical scholarship but when we use scholarship to say that the Exodus didn’t happen like the Bible says it did or events in the Bible that purport to be historical aren’t but they still convey truth we are on the rocky ground where we are sitting over the Bible in judgement.
I am an innerantist and I think inerrancy is defensible because of who God is. Because we believe in a God who speaks clearly and who speaks clearly through his word (2 Tim3:16) and because God tells the truth (Numbers 23:19) I think we can safely say that the Bible is inerrant. That then means any so called contradictions need to worked out so that we harmonise them and not let them inform our doctrine of scripture because this is putting the cart before the horse theologically.
The problem once again is influence. I am not saying that everyone in Sydney denies the historicity of the Bible but there have been number of people very influenced by these positions. History shows us that when we significantly modify our doctrine of scripture it does take a few generations for the chickens to come home to roost.
I pray that it doesn’t, I pray that I am wrong.