Biblical Inerrancy: Announcing a New Series

Earlier this month the Counterpoints: Bible and Theology series came out with Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy.1 Inerrancy has long been a topic of (usually heated) discussion among Christians. Five Views attempts to make this discussion more accessible and provide equal opportunity for arguments to be made one way or the other. Five different people were selected to write their perspectives. After each perspective is given, the other contributors have the opportunity to give a response.

For anyone who has known me long, you know that this is right up my alley. I think it is immensely important for believers to survey all sides of an issue and critique and challenge one another.

I would love to hear from my vast audience of readership (all six of you) on this issue, so I have decided to blog through the book. I’ll devote a post to each perspective and give my own response to each. Finally, I will give my own perspective.

{Disclaimer: I’m using the Kindle Edition of Five Views, which uses “locations” rather than page numbers, so my citations will be noted accordingly.}

null.jpg_174The Structure and Scope of Five Views

Here is the list of contributors and the essays we will discuss:

  • Al Mohler – “When the Bible Speaks, God Speaks: The Classic Doctrine on Biblical Inerrancy”
  • Peter Enns – “Inerrancy, However Defined, Does Not Describe What the Bible Does”
  • Michael Bird – “Inerrancy is Not Necessary for Evangelicalism Outside the USA”
  • Kevin Vanhoozer – “Augustinian Inerrancy: Literal Meaning, Literal Truth, and Literate Interpretation in the Economy of Biblical Discourse”
  • John Franke – “Recasting Inerrancy: The Bible as Witness to Missional Plurality”

To keep the contributors on the same page, the editors (J. Merrick, Stephen Garrett, and Stanley Gundry) gave four foci on which to write: “1) God and his relationship to his creatures, (2) the doctrine of inspiration, (3) the nature of Scripture, and (4) the nature of truth” (Loc 256).

In addition, the editors chose three passages of Scripture that reflect challenges to inerrancy on the levels of historical accuracy, intracanonical coherence, and theological coherence. Each contributor was asked to deal with the passages according to his own perspective. The passages are:

1) “Joshua 6, since current archaeological and historiographical evidence calls into question the details of the text’s account” (Loc 265).

2) Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9, which give conflicting accounts of Saul’s conversion.

3) Deuteronomy 20 and Matthew 5, where Jesus appears to set himself at odds with the Old Testament Law.

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy is the standard, historical definition of Inerrancy, so the contributors were asked to develop their position in reference to that statement.

My Hope

My hope with this series is to stir up healthy discussion—or at least get our minds churning. This topic usually draws some passionate dialogue, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on where that passion is directed. I have two requests for those of you who wish to join me:

1) Don’t rush to conclusions and dismiss any perspective before considering that they could be right and you could be wrong. (Admittedly, I find this to be most difficult.)

2) Remember that our unity is in Christ, not in our perspective on the nature of Scripture. If you come away with deep conviction that one perspective is wrong, be considerate of the fact that others may hold that view. Be open to learn from and be challenged by them.

I’m excited to see where the discussion takes us!

  1. Bird, Michael, Peter Enns, John Franke, Al Mohler, and Kevin Vanhoozer. Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy. Edited by J. Merrick, Stephen Garrett, and Stanley Gundry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. 

5 responses to “Biblical Inerrancy: Announcing a New Series

  1. Pingback: Biblical Inerrancy: John R. Franke – Redefining Inerrancy | Tylor Standley·

  2. Pingback: Biblical Inerrancy: Kevin Vanhoozer – Augustinian Inerrancy | Tylor Standley·

  3. Pingback: Biblical Inerrancy: Michael Bird – Innerancy is Unnecessary | Tylor Standley·

  4. Pingback: Biblical Inerrancy: Peter Enns – An Argument Against Inerrancy | Tylor Standley·

  5. Pingback: Biblical Inerrancy: Al Mohler and the Classical View of Inerrancy | Tylor Standley·

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