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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Biblical Inerrancy—A Shibboleth

This is a really good comment on biblical inerrancy from Roger Olson. Worth reading.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

.... but doesn't the Bible say at Psalms 138 verse 2

"thou hast magnified thy word ABOVE all thy name."

Robin Parry said...

Dear anonymous

right but ... you've lost me. What is your point?

Robin

James Goetz said...

I mostly agree with Olson. I call my view doctrinal inerrancy; that is, all of the teachings in the Bible are true. And I strongly reject the Holy Spirit and ancient Mediterranean Bible authors wrote with modern standards of history.

Celestial Fundy said...

I do feel a strong attachment to the inerrancy view. I think it needs to be carefully qualified, so that one can take into account literary genre.

I am not sure that it is a bad thing that inerrantists have to qualify and pedantically define the doctrine. We have to qualify and define the doctrines of the Trinity and the atonement.

James Goetz said...

Celestial,

I agree with you. And the first place to start qualifying biblical inerrancy is to clearly state that the Holy Spirit and ancient Mediterranean Bible authors didn't write with modern standards of history. But I suppose many evangelicals unclearly state that the Holy Spirit and ancient Mediterranean Bible authors didn't write with modern standards of history.

Robin Parry said...

Matt

the point is not that there is a problem with inerrantists nuancing and qualifying a doctrine of inerrancy. The point is that the more they do so the more their theology of scripture looks like that of non-inerrantist evangelicals. So why are the latter considered with suspicion?

I think that this is what struck me from Olson's comments.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll come clean about the 1st comment above:

.... doesn't the Bible say at Psalms 138 verse 2

"thou hast magnified thy word ABOVE all thy name."

Someone once tried to imply that God had elevated the Biblical text above himself, and therefore it had to be even more perfect and "inerrant" than God himself!

Actually, I agree with Olson. When we assert inerrancy, then go on to qualify it with a thousand qualifications, it's like death by a thousand cuts. It's better to deal with the text as it really is, in all its humanity, and find the Divine message in the meta-narrative of the Bible as a whole -- and what a wonderful message it is!