Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why Inerrancy Doesn't Matter?

An article by Roger Olson is professor of theology at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary.

Why Inerrancy Doesn't Matter
The trouble is that... “inerrancy” has become a shibboleth—a gate-keeping word used to exclude people rather than to draw authentic Christians together for worship and witness...[inerrantists] attribute inerrancy only to the original manuscripts, which do not exist... [In so doing] [t]hey kill the ordinary meaning of the word with the death of a thousand qualifications...

...If the Bible’s authority depends on its inerrancy but only the original manuscripts were inerrant , then only the original manuscripts were authoritative. The logic is impeccable and irresistible. And if “inerrancy” is compatible with flawed approximations, faulty chronologies, and use of incorrect sources by the biblical authors, it is a meaningless concept...

...I just don’t think... [inerrancy is]... the best word for what we believe. What we all believe that really matters is that the Bible is inspired, authoritative and infallible in all matters of faith and practice. Our difference lies in the fact that I don’t think a word is all that important; what’s important is our common belief in the Bible as God’s word. (emphasis are mine)
I'll go further to say that the belief in the Bible as God's word is not common. I prefer Karl Barth's view that the Bible is a media that bears witness to God's word rather than to say the Bible is God's word.

4 comments:

Kar Yong said...

You DID touch on inerrancy! Does that make me a "prophet" after my comment in one of your earlier posts, albeit a "nasi sesat"?

:-)

Sze Zeng said...

Hi KY,

goodness...I think we just discovered that you have the gift! In fact, I'm thinking of typing a few posts on the (in)famous Chicago Statement on ierrancy.

If you have a friend who is a prophet, what's the next natural question to ask?

To me, it's "do you think Christians can buy TOTO or 4D?"

Kar Yong said...

Hi JW,

The Nabi Sesat (opps - typo error in my earlier comment) will remain a nabi sesat - he will tell you not to bother with TOTO or 4D. Give him some money instead, and he will tell you that the Almighty will bless you in return....many many fold...So the more you give to the Nabi Sesat, the more you will get in return....

Hahaha...

When can I expect the first cheque? Haha

Sze Zeng said...

hahaha... u r reminding me of some self-claimed prophets who say the similar thing! :)