Some bible critics have claimed that defenders of inerrancy “discredit Christ” by taking qualities that properly belong to Christ, and then attributing them to Scripture. For example, any true Christian will affirm that Christ is sinless and perfect. Inerrantists go one step further; they “take” this property of sinless perfection and give it of the Bible. And this, we’re told, is a problem. Well, how so? Continue reading
In the past few posts (see here, here, and here), we’ve looked at this idea that the Bible isn’t authoritative; only Jesus is. The Bible isn’t perfect and error-free; only our Saviour is. At first glance, these assertions have the ring of piety. Unfortunately, the least bit of probing exposes the painful fact that they are supported by demonstrably invalid arguments. That is, they aren’t supported at all. As far as being logically mistaken goes, this is almost as bad as it gets—a bit like adding 7 and 5, not getting 12, and then pressing ahead blissfully unaware of one’s mathematical gaffe. If we’re going to claim that the bible is non-authoritative and non-inerrant Bible—call this the ‘Errant Scripture View’ (ESV, for short)—it should be on the basis of proper reasoning. Continue reading
One of the “go to” passages for those who deny inerrancy is Paul’s quotation of Epimenides in Titus 1:12 – “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” According to Paul, “This testimony is true.” According to the critics, Paul is guilty of incoherence or at least overstatement. He gets carried away, oversimplifies matters, and consequently lapses into error. So what about this charge? Does it, perhaps, oversimply things? Continue reading
Paul says to Timothy that “All Scripture is God-breathed…and useful” (2 Tim 3:16). So we should use it. That seems right. Recently, however, I’ve noticed some pastors and professors claiming that even if what God breathes out is flatly in error, this shouldn’t deter us from making good use of it. Scripture might be false (and no doubt is in many places), but it’s useful all the same. Our question is: Is that right? Continue reading
In a previous post I argued that it’s not always “lame” (to quote Gregory Thornbury, President of The Kings College) to use ‘Christian’ as an adjective. While I did provide an example of at least one case where it could be helpful (e.g., “Christian philosophy”), I didn’t say much about what makes something Christian. To fix that shortcoming it might be helpful to consider a comment attributed to the President of my own school, Gary Nelson. During a forum this past January, President Nelson spoke about what makes, and what doesn’t make, for a “Christian Seminary.”1 The Tyndale Seminary Student Association relayed part of his talk at the forum in the tweet below.
Tyndale Philosophy is an inerrancy department. We believe that for any proposition p, if the Bible (= God’s Word) teaches that p, then p is true. It seems simple enough. However, the doctrine of inerrancy has fallen on hard times. Many no longer believe it; but when you carefully probe the reasons for its rejection, they frequently disappoint. In this series of posts, Rich Davis and Paul Franks examine some of the disappointments.