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On Inerrancy Again

My previous post refers to Preserving Democracy, written by my friend Elgin Hushbeck, Jr., but doesn’t actually mention that we have been friends for some time. I say this because I’m about to take his name in vain (sort of). We’ve been friends since the mid-90s when we met on the Religion Forum on Compuserve.

One of the books I publish is Elgin’s book Evidence for the Bible. Now he doesn’t explicitly argue for inerrancy in that book, but he does affirm the doctrine of inerrancy, while I do not. I recall when I had occasion to drive him from Pensacola to the airport in New Orleans, after he’d spoken at a conference I had organized, and we spent the nearly three hours involved in discussing inerrrancy and applying it to specific scriptures.

What we found was that we stated our view of scripture differently, but when it came down to specific cases, we handled passages in a very similar way. Our practice was much closer than our theory. Now I would maintain, and I suspect Elgin would as well, that a good theory works in practice, and thus there is probably some weakness in the expression of one or the other view of inspiration, if not both.

I was reminded of that conversation when I read the iMonk Classic: We thought he was such a nice boy…and then we found out he didn’t believe in….Inerrancy!!, and a response on JOLLYBLOGGER. Many of the arguments are very similar, even though I’m not a Calvinist. In the places one refers to belief in Calvinism one could, with equal force, refer to similar positions from Arminianism.

I commend these two posts for re-reading and discussion. I haven’t yet changed my mind, but there are serious points here that deserve consideration.

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