- The evangelical doctrine of inerrancy allegedly proclaims that only the autographs of Scripture were inerrant. Therefore, ironically, the doctrine of inerrancy does not offer any sort of theology that takes into account the entire phenomenon of Scripture, its canonization, transmission, etc.
- It is difficult if not impossible to see how the term “inerrancy” could apply to all of the many different genres in Scripture. What might it mean for a parable of an aphorism to be “without error”?
- Inerrancy ironically discourages the in-depth study of the Bible. When we know at the outset that the Bible is a systematically consistent whole which is completely seamless and has no internal tension, we have no need to enquire about possible contradictions, tensions, or questions of the historical formation of the Bible. Or, even if we make such inquiries, we are asked to quickly accept “harmonizations” which fail to really delve into the depths of the texts in tension.
- That inerrancy appears in nearly all evangelical doctrinal statements prior to the doctrine of God as Trinity is (inadvertently or not), idolatrous and theologically disastrous.
- Inerrancy encourages uncreative, uninteresting, and ultimately, unfaithful theology. It assumes that the questions of theology are simply givens, which the Bible must then be mined for answers to. This is why most evangelical systematic theologies sound exactly the same, even when they have different perspectives on a given issue. There is no sense in theologies written by inerrantists that perhaps the questions theology should ask are not static givens to which the Bible is a handy propositional handbook. Thus, inerrancy discourages the theologian from addressing questions that arise from the needs of the church in a given cultural setting because the questions theology must answer are always-already predetermined. This is theological unfaithfulness. The task of the theologian is to faithfully proclaim the gospel in a multitude of cultural settings, which means to always be doing theology differently than before.
- Whether proponents acknowledge this or not, inerrancy tends towards a view of hermeneutics that does not acknowledge the provisionality and mediated-ness of all acts of interpretation. Inerrancy encourages the assumption that an inerrant text correlates to an immediately accessible meaning contained in texts.
- There is an odd correlation between the Catholic doctrine of the immaculate conception and the inerrancy of Scripture. The idea that the Scriptures are inerrant sounds a lot like the doctrine that Christ did not bear a fallen human nature due to Mary’s immaculate conception.
- Inerrancy sees the Scriptures as constituting the foundation for a Christian epistemic framework, rather than as an element of such a framework which is constituted by the Triune God. This is highly problematic.
Some Random Thoughs on Inerrancy
Posted by Halden on July 2, 2007