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James McGrath & Inerrancy

21 Jun

James McGrath is another professor we have talked with through his website over the years, until we were banned. We do not see eye to eye on many things, including inerrancy. We are using his meme article as it is short and says the points we like to address. Unfortunately, we cannot copy memes, but will do our best to manually quote them

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2018/06/inerrancy-redux.html

But first a look at his opening statements.

#1. As I emphasized in recent posts, the reason that I abandoned biblical inerrantism is that it is not merely unbiblical, but anti-biblical

What authority makes this claim? if you follow the link in the quoted words, you have to go to his article to do that, you will see that his conclusion is not based on any religious authority, it is not based on God’s words, but merely of his misunderstanding of the bible and the way it was written. His reason is as follows:

The contradictions, discrepancies, and difficulties are there within the Bible, because human beings have put these texts with their differences into the collection we call the Bible.

He cannot prove those claims and most contradictions are not contradictions. The same goes for discrepancies. Rational and logical research has borne that out.

#2. It silences all but at most one of the diverse voices within the Bible, and denies or explains away rather than accepts the evidence that the Bible itself provides for its own human fallibility

Actually, it silences false teachers, false prophets and those who reject the truth.  There is no evidence showing any hint of human fallibility. These are mere accusations to allow someone to pursue and believe their own personal subjective ideas about Christ, God and Christianity. By removing the label of inerrancy, people get to import their personal preferences into the faith and the Bible.

#3. Bible inerrancy has no real impact on making the Bible clearer or making those who read it correct, but rather the only effect of Biblical inerrancy is to make its adherents more dogmatic

Dr. McGrath is in error here as we see that his argument is not really against inerrancy but the truth. He does not like what the Bible says so he needs a way to change it. Instead of providing real evidence, from alternative divinely inspired material, he goes after the softer and easier target. Inerrancy does make the Bible clearer for we see that God created as he said he did and we learn in Genesis 2 that God provides different details about his creative act. If the Bible was not inerrant, then any opinion, theory and conjecture would be clouding the issue.

Confusion is not of God but that is what Dr. McGrath is promoting with these words and his stance on biblical inerrancy. He takes away the answers God gives us and opens the questions up to a multitude of ideas that would overwhelm anyone who didn’t know any better.

#3. Inerrancy is about the desire to have one’s own views regarded as inerrant

There is more to that quote but this is the main point. It is a wild accusation because Dr. McGrath cannot verify this and he cannot state that those people he claims to be presenting their own views are actually presenting their own views over the truth. The above statement also flies in the face of Jesus’ words– ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Inerrancy helps us see the truth and know it. Any other status for the Bible does not do that. Those alternatives merely hide the truth from its readers.

and the failure to humbly recognize one’s own human proneness to err… shows that this doctrine is not merely wrong but a direct frontal assault about the Bible’s teaching about God…

What makes that quoted statement wrong is the fact that Dr. McGrath thinks that anyone who disagrees with him is wrong. Changing to the truth actually does show that people recognize humbly that they made an err and now change to what God is saying in the biblical text. Inerrancy helps correct those erroneous views. His words also show that he and others like him are the ones doing the frontal assault on biblical teaching about God. They are changing the Bible and who God is, not those who declare it inerrant.

We are not going to quote more from that article because the issue of inerrancy has ramifications that Dr. McGrath does not like to think about. if the Bible is not inerrant and filled with human thinking, then we have no assurances of salvation or eternity. It is impossible for anti-inerrantists to pinpoint exactly which scripture passage is inerrant and of God and which one is from a human point of view.

Under their thinking, we cannot know God or Jesus and we can never find the truth even though Jesus said we could. In that article, that we quoted from, there were many links to other articles. We took the time to read through some of them and what we found was that Dr. McGrath and others he quotes, do not use one biblical argument to support their view.

It is all their personal opinion and the faulty use of passages that bring them to their conclusions. It is not God leading them to the truth because Dr.McGrath and others like him have never found any alternative divinely inspired scriptures to replace the passages they claim are in error and of human origin. We have made that point before but it is an important point.

Without those verified alternatives, and by verified we mean approved of by the ancient church, written by apostles, etc., they have no foundation for their arguments. Those alternatives have to meet the ancient criteria and not modern ones.

If their arguments are correct, then we must ask, where are the replacement scriptures to guide the church and believers today? Who gets to decide which  scriptures are out and which new ones are in? Obviously, we cannot appeal to the apostles because they have been gone for some time now. We should note that when the apostles caste lots for replacement disciples, they did not impose their personal views or preferences at all. They left the selection up to God. We do not know of one Bible scholar willing to do that today.

The argument against anti-inerrantists is not long. We just point to the passage that says God is not the author of confusion. Anti-inerrantists introduce confusion not bring the truth to light. Who are the anti-inerrantists that they think they know better about the Bible than God does? They do not have any smoking guns, they do not have any historical verification for their words and they do not have textual confirmation for their claims. If you get a chance to compare the ancient manuscripts, you will see that they all basically say the same thing.

Dr. Bart Ehrman and others may claim that there are over 400,000 errors found in the NT alone. According to Dr. Daniel Wallace that is more than the number of words in the NT .Also, according to Dr. Wallace over 99% of those errors do not change a doctrine, an instruction, a command and so on. In other words, anti-inerrantists have nothing to stand on except the fact that they cannot humbly accept God’s word and feel the need to change it according to their personal preferences.

The Bible is inerrant and that should scare a lot of people.

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