Biblical Inerrancy

I haven’t got much to say recently, but the Internet Monk does. Check out this introduction to his excellent post on inerrancy:


Five Reasons + Two Resources

five-fingers.jpgFive Reasons I Don’t Use The Term Inerrancy:

1. Inerrancy is a term that requires too many intelligent, honest Christians to violate their consciences over what they read in the text of the Bible, and no amount of “Resolving Bible Difficulties” resources can solve these issues. The result- those who are convinced shouting derision at those who are not- is an embarrassment to the church.

2. Inerrancy is a term that needlessly divides the church, making many Bible-believing, Christ-following, Kingdom-pursuing believers into outsiders and enemies in their own house.

3. Inerrancy is a term that requires too much special definition to be generally useful. It requires such massive, scholarly, near circular, qualification of the term “error,” that it succeeds in making the word “inerrant” as applied to many Biblical texts a non sequitur.

4. Requiring allegiance to the term inerrancy has proven to be ineffective in producing the predicted revitalization in denominations, churches or the evangelical movement. “Inerrantist” evangelicalism is more idolatrous, culturally captive and spiritually impoverished than ever. In many cases, the worldliness and pragmatism of evangelicalism stands in bizarre contradistinction to their loud proclamation of belief in “inerrancy.”

5. The term inerrancy is a recent innovation, absent from most of Christian history and almost every major confession. How do contemporary evangelicals get the right to insist that a term created in their time be binding on those who say they share the same faith in the Bible as those who did not use the term? If I say, “I am going to use the same words about the Bible that _____________ used,” are you going to condemn me if I don’t use “inerrancy?”

I couldn’t agree more. Bible idolaters take note.

Please read the rest of his post for a little background and further explanation. (For the record, I’m not getting into inerrancy arguments here. Take it up with Internet Monk instead. He’s far more equipped than I). IMonk’s ten points about the bible can be found here, but the Christian meme has made the rounds. Read Rev. Sam’s ten points here. I much prefer Sam’s. More succinct and to the point. In fact Rev. Sam’s entire post about fundamentalism and inerrancy is worth reading because he explains so well how both fundamentalism and inerrancy can kill spirituality and faith. I really don’t agree with the rest of his article about salvation, but hey, he’s on the right track. The entire point is that inerrancy cannot and must not be made a condition of faith without doing violence to the gospel of Jesus.

5 thoughts on “Biblical Inerrancy

  1. Suresh,
    It’s one of those crazy terms fundies use to concretize their beliefs. Like Internet Monk said, it’s not an historical term by any means. It’s a modern invention used to keep people in nice, neat little compartments. It’s a good thing God isn’t confined by human terms.

  2. In defense of inerrancy, Dave Miller wrote (The Skeptical Review, ’92):

    “If the doctrine of inerrancy is not true, then the Bible lacks the very criteria and credentials necessary for authenticating its divine origin. Human beings would be incapable of distinguishing between it and all other religious books which seek acceptance by men (e.g. the Koran, Book of Mormon, the Vedas). If the biblical writers demonstrate incompetency and fallibility in matters of ordinary knowledge where uninspired humans can check their credibility, then their infallibility in all other areas is discredited…”

    What then makes the Bible so special?

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