The society that we have today is a by-product of continuous changes changes that generations before us believed to be for the better. Such schools were and often still are very conservative institutions that serve as high schools for parents who Insist on sending their children to the best universities. The story is an all-common scene in our history.
That is as much a function of the development of language in a culture as it has to do with truth. In most contexts today, we would not normally tell people, for example, that they look gay, although I heard that exact expression used in an old "Brady Bunch" episode a couple of weeks ago.
If the meaning of a theological term has shifted so that its use is no longer clear, then for the sake of communication we probably need to find terms that will communicate rather than risk being misunderstood, or not heard at all.
I think we are in such a position in our modern culture with the term "inerrant" or "inerrancy" applied to Scripture. Even though that term has been used in the past as a faith confession about the nature of Scripture on some level, usually affirming the Bible as a reliable guide for the Faith and practice of the church, it has come to mean something quite different.
In many contexts it has become a shibboleth in promoting certain ideological agendas, and is being used by some as a means to divide and judge other Christians to the point that it creates more controversy and debate than it communicates anything positive about the Christian Faith or about Scripture.
In the larger social and cultural scene, the whole concept of the inerrancy of Scripture may actually be having the opposite effect than many intend. It is intended to affirm the authority and value of Scripture as the sole guide to the Christian Faith, as the source of inspired instruction for meeting the spiritual and ethical challenges of a modern world.
The result has been that in many cases beyond the narrow circles of those who promote the concept, it has weakened the credibility of Scripture and created tremendous controversy, friction, and pain within the Christian community.
I think we would be able to move further toward maintaining the credibility Reflecting on the dead essay the Bible to skeptics of our day, as well as providing a more positive witness to the transforming grace of God revealed in Christ, if we discard the whole concept of inerrancy, at least in the way it is advocated by many today.
I think it simply creates more problems in our communication of the Gospel message than it solves. Wesleyans can affirm and defend the truth, authority, and reliability of Scripture far better on other grounds, and even other theological camps have better ways to affirm the authority and trustworthiness of Scripture.
Roots of the Modern Inerrancy Debate Beyond the problem of communication, one of the main problems with the argument for inerrancy of Scripture, or even the companion argument for near total historical reliability of Scripture, is that it is based on a very modern and quite rationalistic premise.
The modern debate arose between and the s, and was developed into the s, as a defense against historical skeptics who were launching some very scathing attacks against the authority of Scripture from the perspective of historical positivism and scientific naturalism.
However, in the zeal to defend Scripture, many simply capitulated to the rationalistic mind set and tried to defend the Bible on that alien turf by ground rules set by the critics.
The ensuing "battle for the Bible" is thus a battle largely fought in an area far removed from Scripture itself, and by the premises and logic of very rationalistic categories.
The scientific premise that forms the basis for modern historiography, and the basis for challenge by skeptics, is that only empirically verifiable events can be accepted as true. They contended that since many biblical events could not be verified by external documents or records or empirical data to have happened, then they never happened.
The defenders, on quite different grounds than empirical evidence, assumed that the Bible was true as a starting point. No problem there, at least from the perspective of faith confession. But the defense took shape as a logical syllogism that worked backward toward the rationalists.
Since the Bible is true as an assumption, and since only verifiable historical events can be true thus accepting the premise of the rationaliststhen the Bible must contain only actual and verifiable historical events and can contain no error.
Thus inerrancy as a very rationalistic response to the rationalists was born. A similar line of reasoning developed against those who assumed historical positivism as the only way of explaining human history.
Historical positivism is an outgrowth of the empirical model. It assumes that truth consists only of that which can be empirically verified.
It also rejects any metaphysical aspect of reality and assumes a closed world in which historical event can be explained in terms of preceding historical events and the relation of events to their cause in those preceding events. To counter this, in addition to the above assertions about the inerrancy of Scripture, the defenders also adopted a near total metaphysical explanation of history in which God was the prime cause of all human history.
He was "in control" of all human events, and there needed to be no other explanation for human history than God. Scripture, then, was just the writing down of that history, both past and future, and so was inerrant because it simply recorded what God was causing to unfold.
This could lead, for example, to the often quoted definition of prophecy from that perspective as "prewritten history. But it seems that many never asked whether or not Scripture could even fit within those rationalistic categories; that is, whether Scripture was ever intended to be provable by the canons of scientific empiricism.
One other factor came into play in the development of the inerrancy debate. Most of the "defenders" in the early stages were from the Reformed tradition, especially fundamentalist Southern Baptists nothing at all here against Baptists; it is just a historical fact.
That simply meant that the debate was cast nearly from the beginning in terms of narrowly focused theological concerns and agendas. Two closely related theological ideas from that tradition affected how the debate took shape: Wesleyans would, for example, oppose Pelagianism, which holds that human beings are inherently good or can on their own choose the good.Below, I’ll show you how to create a killer reflective essay outline, and I’ll even give you a downloadable template you can use to make your own outline.
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foreign policy shapes events in every corner of the globe. Nowhere is this truer than in the Middle East, a region of recurring instability and enormous. Notes From Patmos. Notes from Patmos Hot off the press! An Attitude of Gratitude Last Wednesday night, I was in our church, reflecting on a gift of kindness .
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