I add some comments to those of another blogger over on my Participatory Bible Study blog. This passages speaks to our understanding of what inspiration and god-breathed actually mean in practice.
Scot McKnight has a post asking this question, starting from a book he’s read. This is a few days old, but that just adds more discussion in the comments!
Just in case anyone wonders, my position–the position I argue for in my book–is that God still speaks today. In fact, my aim in the book was to provide a coherent and simple theology for understanding how God speaks at any time and place.
One of the problems I have with the word “inerrancy” is that it is understood in very different ways. If I were to ask most people in my home church what biblical inerrancy means, they would probably conflate it with certain literalistic renderings.
I disagree with the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, even as laid out in the Chicago statement, for example, but it is important in debating for, about, or against this doctrine to define how one is using the term.
Jacob Allee writes a post in the context of the controversy over Mike Licona. Norman Geisler, amongst others, has accused Licona of denying biblical inerrancy for suggesting that the raising of the saints in Matthew might be apocalyptic language and not literally true. (I write about this and provide some links here.)
I appreciate his simplified definition, which I do think is good, and much closer to what you would expect a biblical scholar to mean when referring to the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. He also distinguishes interpretation from the actual text, which is a valuable point.
None of this changes my mind, but I think it all clarifies the debate.
The emphasis is on hearing. I maintain that hearing is most often neglected. We often debate about whether the word is inerrant while ignoring whether our understanding of it can ever be inerrant. If we do not understand without error, of what value is an inerrant text?
He has some very good suggestions.
Tony Breeden has taken Joel Watts to task over his understanding of Genesis and origins. As if frequently the case with such discussions, Breeden has mistaken his own interpretation for “what the Bible actually says.” It’s “disagree with me, deny the Bible.” Joel responds rather well, I think, using some excellent scriptures.
I suggest that we need to derive our doctrine of inspiration more from observing it in action, as we can in Scripture, and less by trying to apply particular proof texts.
Though I disagree with the term “inerrant,” in all other ways I think Keith Matthison is right on target. I would add that you can be just as firm regarding the basis for your interpretation and why you believe it is right and other interpretations are wrong, without saying that your opponent simply doesn’t believe the Bible.
(HT: Dr. Platypus)
(I’m crossposting this from my Participatory Bible Study blog. It’s too short to bother with extract and link.)
Though my experience is largely outside of academia, I can relate to much of what Dr. Olson says. Inerrancy is not understood in the pews of any church I know in the same way as it’s defined by evangelical scholars. I often find that when I discuss with someone who affirms inerrancy I’m even arguing a more conservative position than theirs, which always feels odd.
In any case check out Dr. Olson’s comments.
I’ve just added a couple of good links and some brief notes on inerrancy at my Threads blog.