Dealing with the Inerrancy of Scripture is one of those Dare-Not touch subjects.This is Tim’s story, but it could very well be yours. Anytime you confront the status quo of the religious system, the responses are similar from that which masquerades itself today as church. The discussion here is about the system’s definition of “inerrancy,” but it could be just about any topic.
The first thing that will rear up its ugly head is the hardness of heart and the obstinate donkey – like nature that refuses to budge. They think they are ‘defenders of the gospel,” as if God needs any human help. The real problem is they don’t know themselves! They don’t know how much their hearts are tied to the system because it tells them who they are and finances their livelihood.
The Lord Jesus was hated and talked about behind His back during His earthly life, but it wasn’t till He flipped the tables in the temple (affected their economy) that He became a marked man for the cross.
My prayer is that you would read the following article as a life story from one of your brothers. Not another article to nit-pick it with your flavor of theological correctness. Tim is not out of his mind to attempt to deal with this sacred cow. He may just be out of your mind.
It is one thing to write an exposé about a subject from the safety of ones’ home and post it to the Internet where folks can take it or leave it. However, to take that same exposé and enter what amounts to be a religious octagon; (metaphorically speaking a religious version of an MMA match) is an entirely different adventure.
A couple of years ago, I wrote such an exposé: The Problem with “Inerrancy”. I posted it around and locked out discussion because religious hacks and simpletons would distract anyone else from substantively thinking about what was written. However, in recent months I went to Facebook, signed up with a group in order to enter that religious octagon, posted a few comments to provoke discussion, and my thesis was tested by my peers. For a period of six days, countless responses were posted totaling more than 27,000 words. That is about 4.2 times as much content as is in this current treatise or 10 times the amount of my initial “Inerrancy” treatise. As many as 76 texts ended up being quoted to allegedly support the notion of “inerrancy.” Of these 21 were repeated more than twice during the rapid-fire dialog that occurred between eight participants. Most on the thread were KJV-only advocates. Another person identified himself as a Dispensationalist…. My initial post on this Facebook group was a challenge:
This subject, “inerrancy,” is one of the most harmful to the body of Christ. It espouses something the Bible does not declare of itself. It makes a god out of the Bible. And it puts believers who believe such in an untenable position with aggressive non-believers.
Why can’t the Bible be sufficient to lead us unto Christ instead of “inerrant” only, not really? And if we can think that the Bible is inerrant, what proves that its canonization was “inerrant” or even directed by God?
Let’s stick to the scripture and never mind theology or philosophy to prove our point.
I wanted to see how average church people would respond; what would they say. Would they ponder my piece, The Problem with Inerrancy? Would they see anything good, understandable, or worthwhile in it? Or would they see my piece as an unmitigated attack on what they feel to be a “tenet of the faith”? The thread was an immediate runaway train.
Here are just some of the issues I raised in dialog with those in the religious octagon. We’ll deal with each and show some of the repartee in order to ask more questions, and draw our point into sharp focus.
- One of my chief reservations about “inerrancy” relates to what what such a notion does to people?
- How does one prove that “inerrancy” is either a fundamental fact that upholds God’s purposes, or merely a theological position?
- How does one have a relationship with Christ, when allegedly “everything needed” is in the Bible?
- Why is an “inerrant Bible” so fundamental when very few in any church apply only a smidge of what the New Testament has to say?
- Does the Bible contain everything God ever did in conjunction to mankind?
- If the Bible was inspired, can we prove canonization was also “inspired”? And if so, how?
- Why is support of this topic always a maze of philosophical presentations?
No.1 – How does “inerrancy” affect those who believe it?
One of the things I’ve noticed about the “inerrancy” crowd is their attitude. Christ said His followers will be known by our love for one another; see: John 13:35. We are admonished to keep our behavior proper towards outsiders (1 Peter 2:12) because we are servants of the Most High God, and we are sojourners in their context after having followed Christ. However, I DON’T find this to be the attitude of the “inerrancy” pushers; be it in FB dialog groups, forums, or in person.
At left is one response from a guy who cannot handle questions. John Henry’s comments, in the text box at left, are greatly truncated from the original. To give a little context, earlier in the FB thread, Henry posted this huge abstract of verses that supposedly “prove” the Bible “states directly” that it is “inerrant.” Yet NO text he cited does so. My comment to his first post with all of these texts was that his “inerrancy” conclusion is an extrapolation of what some texts had to say. Let’s look at some of these texts…
Psalms 19:7 reads, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” I totally agree. But is the “law of the Lord” to be construed as the entire Bible? What many call “The Law” usually refers to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament).
This text certainly does not say “the entire Bible is perfect.” And what it does say is perfect cannot be construed to mean the Bible as a whole. Thus, my claim of extrapolation is based on this man’s blatant attempt to make one thing say or mean quite another. This is what extrapolation is.
James 1:17 says, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above…” I totally agree with this text. Yet, what is this text talking about? It’s not talking necessarily about “the Bible,” but rather the many things that God does for us in His grace. This could refer to everything from deliverance to the gift of a spouse, and even a sense of being loved. A point I would like to raise: God gives us things directly and personally: guidance, revelation (not what is termed as special revelation), confirmation, comfort, direction, admonition, brothers and sisters in Christ, and fellowship. These are perfect!
There is NOTHING hermeneutically in the James text above that directly implies, nor can we infer specifically, that this text speaks specifically to “the Bible” as being “inerrant.” It COULD apply that way… But again, this verse could be only speaking of grace or personal interaction with God. The text could quite naturally apply to a myriad of other things, without denigrating or misapplying it.
I specifically asked commenters, to my challenging post, to stick to scripture for “proof” or support of the “inerrancy” question. As you can see under the second mention of 1 Peter 2:2 (noted above), Henry has to employ philosophy and word definitions to try and make his point: a straw-man argument. Since this word means such and such…it’s-use-in-that-verse-means-that-it-is-applied-in-meaning-this-way…which the text or its context does not force, whatever the interpretation happens to be.
Check out Henry’s attitude in his comment: “Can you add 1+1? If so you should be able to figure this out.” Who talks to other grown adults in such a condescending fashion, other than fictional characters on TV like Sheldon Lee Cooper. Does Henry’s “belief” in “inerrancy” not facilitate his arrogant practice? Even though Henry is one of a million people; see what such a belief does to people? In my experience, his attitude represents the most common attribute of “inerrancy” believers: condescension.
Nothing he’d cited proved or supported his ideal of “inerrancy.” Therefore, his view is just a view; a caused way of looking at specific texts because there is an agenda tied to doing so.
Other contributors to the thread were also condescending and users of straw-men arguments. All were sincere that their ideal was and is “correct” in the greatest sense. Does this common negative dynamic—condescension, meanness, and extrapolative citings—accomplish the will of God or reflect following Jesus? I don’t think it does. The incessant and common attitude of the “inerrancy” crowd have become a tremendous black eye and counterproductive reality inseparable from the notion that the Bible is or has to be “inerrant.”
Another fellow, one of eight people on the thread, was especially articulate in an attitude unbefitting of anyone following Christ. What are the chances that this guy amounts to being a red herring? Do his comments speak from the sure place of walking with God, or does it speak more of being rattled about a belief-in-a-belief being questioned, wherein his only reassurance is empty philosophical rhetoric?
Roberto Corral Jr. expended only 84 words, most of which were obfuscations and stonewalling, prior to his acrid comments shown in the text box. He apparently agrees with religious evil all too common in Early Modern Period and beyond (John Calvin’s presiding over Michael Servetus’ burning at the stake).
These are just two examples of poor attitude evident throughout the discussion thread. Of all content thrown around 10 percent was insulting in nature…
Can we thus see, the ideal of “inerrancy” feeds both arrogance and insecurity, which gives way to evil, meanness, and outrage. What NT personage can we point to who struck out at others like this last fellow, or who spouted tons of texts that have nothing to do with the subject other than having been twisted to support a philosophical ideal? I believe that the falseness of the “inerrancy” belief directly feeds both pathologies (arrogance and insecurity). When one is sure or they are convicted that something is so—because God gave them that understanding, rather than beliefs in a belief—they do not in turn try and manipulate or badger others. Neither do they lash out at people who do not agree and conform to their ideals. Mr. Corral is an extremely poor advocate of the “inerrancy” ideal. Yet, out of eight people in this FB thread, he was the second to be not only condescending, but evil in his conduct. If something is actually right and true, does one need to defend it by being rotten? This is to me the greatest indicator that the ideal “inerrancy” is a fraud. It is only a human invention that must be protected at all cost, rather than an eternal truth that axiomatically stands on its own because it is true. No one needs convincing about gravity.
No. 2 – How does one go about proving that “inerrancy” isn’t just a meaningless, arbitrary ideal?
Numerous times, throughout the 27,000 words being shared, I asked the question, “Why does the Bible have to be inerrant?” No one answered this question with any level of substance. At that point I knew these FB folks were well short of revelation—or God-caused understanding that the concept of “inerrancy” was true and necessary…
One of the key indicators for me as to whether something is ultimately necessary or true shows itself in how folks live life and how they interact with others given that to which they cling. People do not fight over something that is self evident, axiomatic, or obviously true: up hill is only one way, gravity is unavoidable, or light reveals depth and texture…
There is an authority in what God is doing, whether it is through someone or to someone. Religion, philosophy, and so called “orthodoxy” cannot replicate such. It was noted of Jesus that He taught with “authority,” not as the Jewish scribes and teachers; see: Matt. 7:29. Jesus could deal with questions that challenged what He said. Jesus could also handle people not accepting His teaching without badmouthing them or reacting, see: Matt. 19:22. Religion and apologetics, on the other hand, demand compliance, conformity, and agreement. You cannot talk to an “inerrancy” advocate without them trying to force you to concede or agree with their “superior” truth.
The contention, manipulation, and twisting of what you say in disagreeing with their view is ubiquitous with folks who accept and pedal the traditions of men—such as “inerrancy”. This is as true with today’s Fundamentalists and Evangelicals as it was when Jesus had to deal with Pharisees and Sadducees. There is a sureness of what God shows us over and against the ginned up confident put mental assent toward a belief-in-a-belief that is supposed to assure us. There is an arrogance and mob mentality intrinsic to religion: “inerrancy” notwithstanding. There is a difference between the conviction of God and the sincerity of religion. One is the grace in which we stand; the other is works that we work to keep our minds assured.
This is why I drew note to the attitudes and actions of “inerrancy” folk in the first point. I have not seen or dialoged with an “inerrancy” advocate who at some point becomes just like the Pharisee. They badger, scheme, and manipulate in order to achieve compliance and conformity of all. This is when I know that the traditions of men are leading instead of the conviction of God.
Then we can look to see if “inerrancy” makes a “better” believer. How does this ideal facilitate a believer’s relationship with Christ? Are they filled with grace or rancor? Is there an unavoidable and undeniable reality and essence in their life, or is their life marked by guilt, duty, compulsion, and rightness—not to be confused with righteousness?
The problem for the “inerrancy” folks is that their belief in this ideal is tied to a litany of other presuppositions and conclusions where if “inerrancy” is threatened, questioned, or nullified, an entire house of cards comes down, right following. Unfortunately, “inerrancy” is the basis of faith, not God. “Inerrancy” is the resting place of many religious people, not God. The book is where everything begins and ends for the “inerrancy” mob. “Inerrancy” is a stealthy cover for the fact that its believer has no relationship with Christ, while they claim they do.
An anecdotal story that upends the notions of fundamental necessity “inerrancy” people place on that ideal comes from Richard Wurmbrand. Wurmbrand, a Jewish, Romanian, Lutheran pastor was an evangelist in Romania from WWII until the early 1960s. He spent 14 years in Nazi and Soviet prisons; most of it was solitary confinement and much of it was under torture. Listen to his words about what is truth and where he drew his strength from:
God is ‘the Truth.’ The Bible is ‘the truth about the Truth.’ Theology is ‘the truth about the truth about the Truth.’ Fundamentalism is ‘the truth about the truth about the truth about the Truth.’ Christian people live in these many ‘truths’ about the Truth, and, because of them, they have not ‘the Truth’. Hungry, beaten and doped, we had forgotten theology and the Bible. We had forgotten the ‘truths about the Truth,’ therefore we lived in ‘the Truth.’
If “inerrancy” is so basic to our following God, then why was it NOT SO for Wurmbrand, or those before the Bible, or those illiterate who come to faith, or those who have never had the chance to read or hear the Bible who come to faith? “Inerrancy” paves the road and prepares the ground for burgeoning acceptance of Universalism which is currently storming what calls itself church right now. “Inerrancy” embattles believers in unnecessary controversies and removes the conversation about what God has done in my life, to arguing over the believability of a belief.
No. 3 – How does one have a relationship with Christ, when the Bible allegedly provides everything about God?
It is commonly touted that “Christianity” is “a relationship with Christ” over and against a mere religion—a belief-in-a-belief. Promoters of “inerrancy” seek to differentiate between “mere religion” and actual truth given by God. A high number of church people believe this adage about relationship with Christ in all sincerity. A follower of Christ has to be in a relationship with Christ because following God requires His leading us on a personal level: communication, guidance, admonishment, practical application of the scripture, and contextual interpretation… If we don’t have a relationship with Christ, then we cannot follow Him. Without an actual relationship with Christ we would only be religionist mimicking what we can and interpreting for ourselves of what was once inspired. And with 28,000 denominations and counting, it would appear that many Christians do not have a relationship with Christ because God is not the author or disunity and factions.
I’ve noticed that when I talk to the “inerrancy” crowd, in person or online, “relationship” takes on an alternative description. Since I know where the “inerrancy” folks go in this area—dependency on the book—I thought I would provoke conversation to expose their duplicity observable in their responses. I posted:
The notion of “inerrancy” is merely a belief-in-a-belief. It’s appliqué, it’s purely a mental position, which folks hide behind. There is NO relationship with an inerrant book. Start talking to the “inerrancy” folks about their relationship with Christ and you will be aghast at the responses.
Speaking to one specific person I asked:
Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Or do you have a relationship with a book that was only meant to lead you unto Him and to provide some overarching guidance about what He (God) wants?
Below is more of the dialog regarding relationship with Christ in the text box. Gene asks a great question… One which, answered in the way of “inerrancy” thinking, also exposes their inherent weakness. What is a relationship? According to one definition, it is the way in which two or more people regard and behave toward one another. Relationship involves connection between participants…
What does a relationship involve? One author, Ayra Moore, writes in terms of communication, trust, and commitment, which is true of any sort of relationship.
What do the “inerrancy” folks participate with in anything related to God: only the Book! Peter Zacharoff intimates this reality in the next post shared at left. In some of my comments to Peter Zacharoff, I focus on how the position of reliance on “the book” fails within scripture as well as philosophically before and since the scriptures.
According to Peter Zacharoff’s logic and ideal—God reverted to silence when God’s word—the Bible—became available. Intimated is that we don’t have a relationship with Christ, because God spoke to Abraham in “that dispensation” but “now we have God’s word.” His comments imply that God is done communicating to us or anyone else. Does Zacharoff realize the similarity of what he is saying to Deism—God wound up the universe and isolated from it—probably not!
Gene McClure virtually admits that we cannot know everything about God because it is not revealed even in scripture. If “the book” is the only thing that declares anything about God, in other words God is silent today, then the “inerrancy” crowd has a relationship ONLY with the book.
How does an infinite God contain Himself to a finite book? No person is going to have a relationship with Christ if they are confined to a book, left to their own device in interpretation, and devoid of personal interaction with God about what His word means in practical terms within the context each person finds themselves.
The word “relationship” in the thread about “inerrancy” was used 22 times by 3 of the 8 people in the discussion. Peter Zacharoff used it once—noted above in the text box—to basically admit that only people before scripture could have a relationship with Christ. Gene McClure used the word 3 times in quoting me and obfuscating the subject of relationship with Christ. I used it another 18 times to press the silence and aversion to an actual relationship with Christ by the “inerrancy” crowd.
I posed the direct question, “So, how do we have a relationship with Christ in the view of the Fundamentalist? What are the components of relationship with Christ? Does God strictly communicate through the book? Does God speak to our understanding? Are we left only to barrage heaven with prayer…?” There was NO direct response from anyone of the Fundamentalists or Dispensationalist to my questions. This silence is a huge indication of where “inerrancy” folks really sit.
You never hear the “inerrancy” folks speak in terms of listening to God and a personal connection where God directly communicate with us in our mind and heart by various means including the reading of scripture. Their “answers” are more in terms of events and happening going according to their desires and what “the book” says. Otherwise, God is in a tightly sealed box where He cannot direct anything that could appear outside the Bible; such as having a prophet marry a whore, or God telling Abraham that he was going to be the father of many nations… What a sad narrow and lifeless existence.
No. 4 – Why is an “inerrant Bible” so fundamental to everyone’s belief when very few believers ever apply the New Testament?
This would have been a tremendous question to ask “inerrancy” believers… “So, you have a perfect text in whatever means…” Does it make any difference if everyone doesn’t apply it all? The majority of the NT has been tossed by modern Church teaching and practice. It seems silly to stand and fall upon a concept, which means nothing because actual application is so infinitesimal.
Where in the NT do we find pastors as sole leaders of a local fellowship? Where do we find that pastors are supposed to be the business administrator of a religious business? Where does it command preaching on Sunday or Saturday for that matter? Where in the NT is “Sunday School” advocated, directed, or encouraged? Where do we find Paul instructing choirs, cantatas, and pageants? Where in the NT do we find “church buildings” encouraged or directed? How about denominationalism? Where do we find support in the NT for 501c3 status (or equivalence)? On top of all unsupportable additions to what is called church, where do we find that they’ve increased the accomplishment of modern believers? Do modern believers outstrip the accomplishment of early church? Are you kidding?!
Then, how do religious people fare in concerns to things we do find in the New Testament… Jesus taught on the Kingdom of God as a now-reality some 90 times. Yet in my 50 years on this planet, I’ve never heard a sermon on this topic and it doesn’t make the top 50 list of sermon subjects. How about applying Matthew 18:15-20? I’ve never seen anyone go to someone who has erred and admonished them, or end up taking that brother in front of the fellowship for correction or kicking someone out because they refuse to deal with said issue. I’ve never seen “have nothing to do with immoral believers—continually greedy, hateful, or angry believers”—see: 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 6:9-11; Ephesians 5:5-7. On the contrary, there thousands immoral believers who run “churches.” How about the churches’ treatment of women over and against Christ teaching that raises their value and status? These are all indictments against believers who cry out “inerrancy” as so important, but who’s practice shows egregious disregard for the Word of God that they say is inerrant, which they in turn toss in their praxis and culture.
No. 5 – Does the Bible contain everything God ever did in conjunction to mankind?
Most “inerrancy” folks will contend that the Bible contains everything we need concerning God. Yet, this is on its face a falsehood. While God treats everyone “the same” so to speak; He is personal and specific to each of us rather than a take-two-pills-and-call-me-in-the-morning generalist. John 21:25 tells us that Jesus did many things in the course of His earthly life that could not be contained by all the books ever written. This is not an exaggeration, but an admission that Jesus did many things of which the Gospels only contain a fraction.
This fractional admission is fine. It shows that the scripture is sufficient to bring us to Christ, even though it does not contain everything Christ did: God the Father notwithstanding. The other thing this scriptural admission shows is that God is and has been doing many things beyond what we need to be aware of. The “inerrancy” crowd thinks that “the Bible” is it: all that God has for mankind. This view also leads to them thinking that those who do not have the Bible are automatically without eternal hope.
How many people in the Bible show us that God spoke to them before there was such a thing as a Bible? In keeping with the text in John 21:25, are we foolish enough to think that all that God has ever said to any person in history has been recorded for us? And if not, is God still reaching out to draw people unto Himself? We are told in Revelation 7:9 that people from every nation, tribe and language will be in heaven. IF that is so, then there will be people in heaven from BEFORE the Bible was written, from places that do not have a written language, and from those cultures that have been extinguished and absorbed by the progress of history. This is not to say there are many ways to God or embrace Universalism. It is to say that God is reaching out in mercy and love, even as His disciples have been doing as they have been commanded to do.
Secondly, God’s word does not contain EVERYTHING we need to know to follow God. I made this point in the thread, to which the “inerrancy” crowd did not have a response. In 722 BC, when Hosea lived, the Law, history, and books of Wisdom were probably all that any religious person had access to. NOTHING in those texts would have supported God’s word to Hosea to marry the prostitute Gomer. We can point to many things with the other people in the Old Testament in similar fashion to Hosea’s case. Point being, if we are going to follow God, He is going to tell us specific things that in no way will be found in the Bible. God IS NOT going to tell us something that conflicts with what we have in the Bible… But He could tell us infinite details about the Bible’s specific application. This reality is something of which “inerrancy” folks are scared to death.
No. 6 – Can we say/prove that the canonization of the Bible was “inspired?”
“Inerrancy” proponents want desperately to have “a book” that is unquestionable because they then have something to trust. In my dialog on the theological FB group, the issue of what could be trusted IF the Bible was not inerrant came up frequently, which shows where there trust is: in a book, only!
In my first treatise, The Problem with Inerrancy, I raised the serious question about completeness, or as the Bible record has it, incompleteness of the New Testament. Incompleteness is just one detail that brings “inerrancy” into serious question. In addition to this problem, the “inerrancy” crowd is led into serious scrutiny concerning the “canonization” of the Bible (NT). If the Bible was inspired, can we say the same of it’s canonization? And if not, the human agency has often been the weak link in God’s economy. God did inspire the writings we have. But there is NO evidence that canonization was inspired.
It took more than 200 years to “decide” which books were considered by “experts” to be “inspired” and recognized as the NT. The question was still in serious contention until the 2nd Council of Trullan, in 692AD. At the same time the worst event in ecclesiastical history took place utterly changing what Christ and Paul taught. This error is called Constantinianism: a marriage between church and state. The church was no longer the bond servant of Christ but rather the handmaiden of the state: a mechanism of control, identity, and belonging to the temporal order. Under this extreme degeneration, do you think that Council leaders and attendees were paying attention to God, seeking His leading and under His inspiration as to the canonization process? It was during this same period that the Constantinian Church fielded an army and whipped out an entire group in North Africa who wasn’t drinking the Constantinian Koolaid—check out the Donatists.
Saying as much doesn’t put everything out of God’s hand, God is sovereign! We can’t understand how God rules over the affairs of men. But we cannot declare that canonization was inspired, nor even complete. There are more than 50 “non-gnostic” books that were not canonized: classified as Pseudepigrapha and Apocrypha, plus historical books. Even through the Reformation, there was significant contention if Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation were inspired.
In my first treatise I mention how the ideal of “inerrancy” embattles believers with a philosophical contention from anti-believers, atheists, and the like. Because of “inerrancy” the battle is no longer about how God changed my life. It’s about a philosophical position that defends “the book” which has become the new focus of faith. “Inerrancy” has traded what should be undeniable and unavoidable in a believer’s life for a philosophical position that is indefensible.
No. 7 – Why is support of this topic always a maze of philosophical presentations?
When you question the “inerrancy” folk, you won’t get actual straight answers. They gruffly contend that they are right and they have emphatic support biblically for their ideal. Yet, this is not how it works out. There IS NOT a genuine text that gives a direct quote: the word of God—the Bible, the Scriptures, or whatever—is inerrant. This ideal is a philosophical position, not truth, not necessary, and not helpful to the believer or the contender. I’ve provided just a few examples—at left—of the philosophical pitch used by everyday “inerrancy” folks.
Gene McClure posts one of those if/then philosophical devices. One of the Fundamentalist/Evangelical core tenets is “once saved always saved” or “eternal security.” Without side tracking into that morass, lets just say there is a ton of scriptures that does not support that extreme position. Thus, Gene is using a theological extrapolation, which cannot be conclusively proven to support another extrapolation of God sovereignly preserving His Word. The only problem is, why didn’t God just save mankind the headache and prevent us from sinning in the first place? Why didn’t God prevent Israel from screwing up God’s kingdom through them so that He would have to take it away from them? See: Matt. 21:43. Gene’s logic makes no sense.
Will Kinney uses one adage—God cannot lie—as a philosophical, sleight-of-hand in the attempt to prove “inerrancy.” First, “heaven and earth passing away” before God words do. This could mean anything from a promise God gave Abraham (a personal word) to everything God has ever said (whether it was ever recorded or not). Point being God lying about preserving His Word (making it happen whether it was lost, minimized in the awareness of mankind or buried) has nothing to do with the Bible being “inerrant.” This extrapolation to make things say what was never intended is nuts. Heaven and earth passing away before God’s Word on anything is a statement of transcendence, omnipotency, and sovereignty…not one of “inerrancy.”
Gene McClure posted, “Faith cometh by hearing the word of God” which I totally agree with. Yet, McClure attempts—through simpleminded trickery—to make all that is “God’s word” to mean what we have as the Bible. Faith came to Hosea and Abraham, NOT because of what was written in a book. Was what God told Hosea and Abraham to do, in what they had from the Bible at that time: a direction, or truth, or general will? NOT EVEN! Faith comes to many by hearing God from the Bible or otherwise.
These “inerrancy” folks will go to stupendous lengths to support their view. If you question their theology they, through philosophical means, attempt to paint you as questioning God or call Him a liar. This type of manipulation is insane and is to be avoided or called out for what it is. God is not like the religionist who seeks to control you and silence your questions or the questioning of their logic by demonizing you. This isn’t what Jesus did, but rather a carbon copy of the actions of the Pharisees.
In Conclusion concerning the Inerrancy of Scripture
I have a very high view of the Bible, but not because it might be inerrant. My high view is because the Bible sufficiently tells me about God, His purpose, and what He wants me to know. The Bible ISN’T an exhaustive repository concerning God because God is both infinite and active. The Bible only allows us to “know about” God. It ONLY facilitates us “knowing” God as He inspires application and gives us direction in living what the Scripture tells us. Even so, the Scripture is not a destination, but rather a jumping off point in the near infinite places, things, and purposes for which God seeks to send His followers in behest of His will and objective: the Kingdom of God amongst the kingdoms of men.
My aim is not to weaken or destroy people’s faith or cause a weak believer to stumble. I hope that folks will see the tendency of “inerrancy” teaching towards idolatry and religion. The ideal of “inerrancy” hasn’t raised the impact of what calls itself church. “Inerrancy” has not shut the revilers mouths, but rather emboldened and empowered them. “Inerrancy” has not stopped the implosion of institutional Christianity. “Inerrancy” hasn’t increased church peoples’ love for one another or for others. If “inerrancy” has failed in all these ways, of what good is it?
We can’t look at the essence of “inerrancy” or the praxis of those who hold to it without scratching our heads wondering, is this what Jesus died for? The “inerrancy” folks’ sincerity and commitment is prodigious, but so is the error of their belief-in-a-belief. We must reject something that fosters such failure in the ways Christ taught us to live and think. We have to dump religion and duplicitous ideals that allow people to talk in glorious high-minded meaninglessness while they act, live, and operate in devilish realities. The discrepancy between essence and high ideals amongst “inerrancy” folks could not be more intrinsic to the error of that to which they’ve committed themselves. One causes the other.
God seeks followers who seek Him instead of accepting the delusion of a perfect book. The Bible is unique, the Bible is practical, the Bible is of unequaled value. However, it is not a replacement for a relationship with Christ. The effort to prove “inerrancy” is the attempt to cover up for lack of relationship with Christ and the believer’s complicity in that reality. “Inerrancy” is a surrogacy with a deistic god. God is very much involved with mankind, believers, and the every day involvements of life. If Jesus and Paul didn’t run around badgering non-believers about a “perfect” book, why do modern believers? At the final judgment God is NOT going to ask you if you believed in His “inerrant book,” see: Matt. 7:21-22. “Inerrancy” doesn’t help a person to know God better because the relationship is between a believer and a book.
“Inerrancy” is belief in dead religion. Inerrancy folk are what church folk look like who do not know or walk with God. Can a person accept “inerrancy” and be okay? Can a recovering alcoholic sip booze and still recover? God wants people to break out of religion and control mechanisms in order to walk with Him directly. “Inerrancy” is no help in that regard. It is akin to a bird accepting a crutch in order to walk when they were meant and equipped to fly.