This morning, during my pre-work walk, I was for some reason thinking about the doctrine of biblical inerrancy.
I don’t know why, but I was.
Some of the following statements I’ve made before.
I was thinking about people who say they “just believe the Bible.”
Many of those also insist the Bible is inerrant/infallible.
They do not see the incongruity.
The thing is, the writings of scripture make no claim of inerrancy about themselves. Therefore, to believe said doctrine, one must look to extra-biblical teaching. This, of course, means their beliefs about the Bible do not in fact come from the Bible.
Put simply, as someone once said, the doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy isn’t Biblical.
Now, that’s all well and good. I certainly believe things about the Bible that do not come from the Bible. But I can do that, since I do not claim to “just believe the Bible.” (Which isn’t really something anyone can do anyway. Well, not without being schizoid.)
Some will point to “divine inspiration” as a proof-text for infallibility. “If God inspired it, it must be infallible. God doesn’t make mistakes.”
That approach only works if we misinterpret “inspiration” as “dictation.”
I’ve written and recorded a number of songs. False modesty aside, I believe many of them were, in fact, divinely inspired.
However, it was still me who wrote them.
There are (hopefully) elements of divine truth in some of my songs. There’s also a lot of me in my songs.
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, et al, may have indeed been inspired by their Creator, but their writings are still their own. Their human compositions are flavored, influenced by, and reflective of their individual perspectives, personalities, life experiences, flaws and personal goals in creating their records of events.
None of that even remotely lends itself to inerrancy.
These people still believed that the sun revolved around the earth! Using their works as some kind of science text, as some do, is not just religious devotion. It’s willful ignorance.
This antiquated doctrine is so easily proven false, there’s really no way to affirm it without burying one’s head in the sand. The hoops people will jump through to defend their cherished tenets is astonishing.
I’m pretty sure the doctrine originated as a means for the Church State to have “God’s authority” for their unquestioned rule.
That’s still how many institutions use it today. That’s how some politicians want to run the country.
God help us.
Again, for the record, I love the divinely inspired community library we call “the Bible.” It certainly is, as it does say of itself, “useful.” (II Timothy 3:16)
Well, my title states this is a brief post, so I should attempt to keep it that way.
Although, it may not in fact be brief, since this post, like the Bible, makes no claims of inerrancy.
Additional information, not adding to the length of the above BRIEF post:
“There have been long periods in the history of the church when biblical inerrancy has not been a critical question. It has in fact been noted that only in the last two centuries can we legitimately speak of a formal doctrine of inerrancy.” (Click HERE for some history and discussion.)
Oh, I mentioned I write songs. Check THIS out.