The TGC-Bruxy Inerrancy ‘Debate’

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Thus ends T. S. Eliot’s immortal poem. And thus ended the short and superficial ‘debate’ between Bruxy Cavey and The Gospel Coalition (TGC) Canada. According to Bruxy, the Gospels err [1], the Apostle Paul errs [2], and the Bible is without authority [3]. We shouldn’t follow it [4]. Further, in an unexpected twist, the Bible itself forbids our defending it against these charges [5]; indeed, to do so is to discredit Jesus Christ [6]. What we have here, one thinks, is a ‘head’s I win; tales you lose’ gambit. We must acquiesce to the assaults on the Bible’s integrity lest we disobey the Scriptures and dishonour the Saviour.

By way of reply (see here), TGC (Canada) comments:

  • “We think there is deep wisdom in using certain time-tested language.”
  • “We particularly treasure the word inerrancy.”
  • “We hope and pray that the Meeting House will come to use the language of inerrancy to describe the Bible.”

But this isn’t much of a response. For the disagreement between Bruxy and TGC (Canada) was never about “the language of inerrancy”—no matter how much either party was fooled into thinking it was. That was a red herring and a serious confusion all along. There was always something far deeper at stake–doctrinally–than another tiresome clash between ‘language games’.

The doctrine of inerrancy isn’t about the language we use to describe the Bible. It’s a matter of agreeing that for any proposition p expressed by a sentence in the Bible, if the Bible (= God’s Word) teaches that p, then p is true. To deny this is to affirm (like it or not) that the Holy Spirit—the Omniscient, Omnipotent Third Person of the Holy Trinity—has actually “carried along” (2 Pet 1:20-21) biblical writers into falsehood and error. It is to affirm that Scripture is both God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16) and mistaken.

Well, it isn’t possible [7]. The fact of the matter is: the Holy Spirit of the errantists is just too small—more like an imperfect and misguided angel.

We can do much better.


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