Inerrancy 5-Conclusion

Inerrancy is a topic this new theological generation is open to debating. Do not ignore the tradition of inerrancy in the name of debate. There is a rich heritage forged by the lives of many in the name of defending the inerrancy of God’s Word. Geisler points to some of the problems of the debate within the new generation, “However, a new generation has arisen that knows not Lindsell, Henry, Archer, Schaeffer, Gerstner, Nicole, or Boice— all of whom have passed on to their reward— and once again inerrancy is being challenged.”[1]

As there is an orthodox heritage found in inerrancy, a parallel progressive movement attempts to subvert the doctrine of inerrancy. There were several scholars of the seventeenth century that were laying the groundwork for Historical Criticism. Historical Criticism is a methodology that seeks to discover the meaning of the Bible through studies in history, linguistics, and multiple scientific areas. It seems to be innocent enough, but a review of its presuppositions reveals a very different motive. Linneman documented many of these presuppositions: rejection of divine inspiration, rejection of the Bible as a divinely written book, the insistent belief the Bible is like any other book of antiquity, and the Bible not being a source of truth.[2] The goal of historical criticism is to show the Bible to be a document that should not be part of the twenty-first century.

There is another point of view by many. The Bible is a divinely inspired book that not only is trustworthy and reliable, but should be a part of mankind’s life. Geisler points to many reasons to support this, but his a priori logic is simple but succinct: (1) God is perfect, (2) God inspired the Bible, and (3) God’s word is error free.

In a point of summary, in 1978 the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI) listed nineteen articles detailing the definition of inerrancy. Since that time CSBI has defined inerrancy. This author listed those nineteen articles along with some reflections on each. Second, a review considered those prominent individuals and their positions who reject the doctrine of inerrancy. Third, a summary of those who have determined to defend inerrancy and the trustworthiness of the Bible, completed.

The limits of the inerrancy debate, as seen in the USA, is not the opinion of the global church. Many scholars in the United Kingdom do not see inerrancy as an all-encompassing issue. Bird believes one can be a faithful Christian and not be an inerrantist. He prefers to think of the infallibility and authority of the Scriptures. He also pointed out all the many organizations that do not include inerrancy in their foundational statements and still can move forward and conduct ministry.

In conclusion, the Bible is the most attested book of all mankind from the sheer weight of all the manuscripts available and the work of textual-critics. With over 20,000 manuscripts, many in the field believe the Greek New Testament is as close to the original as is possible. Second, the questions that do still exist affect no major doctrine of the Bible. As stated in the CSBI, the inspiration of God applies only to the original autographs. Believing the current Bible is as close as possible to the original autographs it is logical, reasonable, and defendable to declare the Bible is inerrant.

[1] Geisler, Defending Inerrancy, p. 15.

[2] Linneman, pp. 83-103.

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