Why is the belief in Biblical inerrancy important to people?

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  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited January 31
    My hope in entering this thread was to get you, lilbuddha, and some others, to stop othering inerrantists--as you do when you refer to them as "they" even
    when speaking to a self-declared one
    --why not say the more natural "you" under those circumstances? -- and as you do when you frame us as being all of a single mind (and that blameworthy), Can you try to see us as human?
  • MPaul wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    But they do not make Biblical interpretation a free-for-all, either.
    The problem is that everyone interprets, every decides some bits are good/right/wrong. It comes down to competing interpretations and the thing that makes sense is comparing the text to the overall message of the most important bit; Jesus.

    Well, I'm certainly not going to argue with that!

    I will say that it's wise to keep in mind that Jesus is considerably "bigger" than I am, and I may not know his mind quite as well as I think. Which is why we even bother with the rest of the text.
    The problem I have with inerrantists is that they ignore Jesus message in viewing his words to the detriment of particular groups. As they did with slavery, as they do with homosexuality.
    Then your problem is not with inerrancy however that is defined, but with inerrantists, viz people whom you assume do not share your social justice views.
    It isn't that they do not share my views, but that they use their views as weapons.
    For what it’s worth, I am going to a same sex wedding this year. I don’t think they are a good idea but I have been invited and I love the people. Bet that surprises you.
    Actually it doesn't. Your impression of my impression of you is, I think, a little more narrow than it actually is.

  • My hope in entering this thread was to get you, lilbuddha, and some others, to stop othering inerrantists--as you do when you refer to them as "they" even
    when speaking to a self-declared one
    --why not say the more natural "you" under those circumstances?
    Because I was allowing the possibility that you were not as narrow some of them.
    -- and as you do when you frame us as being all of a single mind (and that blameworthy),
    I do not see you all as of a single mind, but I do see you as of a single fault in reasoning.
    Can you try to see us as human?
    I certainly do not see you as more than human, but neither do I see you as less than. That which locks inerrantists in their POVs is all too human.

  • Security. Well.

    I can't deny that there is a certain security in having a reliable text, particularly when one is over one's head with regard to some life problem. Nor would I want to deny that.

    At the same time, I have always had an allergic reaction to anything (anyone) that promised me security or comfort at the price of truth. As in various hand-waving and "don't you bother your pretty head about it, just trust us." It's the reason I learned Greek and Hebrew in the first place. I didn't trust the freaking translators. How could I be sure there wasn't some sort of bullshit conspiracy going on (yes, I was young) to get me to do what someone else wanted? And so I took the languages.

    <snip>

    And really, if it was security I wanted above all, couldn't I have found that more easily in money, or an insurance policy, or a love affair with some staid but dependable person? Or at least some more accessible cult, like Mormonism.

    This reminded me of a great C.S. Lewis quote:
    If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

    There are very few things that I have said, that Lewis hasn't said better.

    FWIW, I agree with your arguments here. As I said in my first post, I probably am an inerrantist for a given definition... But that's not quite the point.

    I hope I am not being unfair, I might be. I think that Biblical scholarship gives us very good reasons to trust the Bible. My argument is that many believers have taken a short cut which means that they have a reflex need to hold on to inerrancy. Note here that I am arguing about why people hold a position not about the position itself.

    I wish I had the depth of knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to do it properly but I have to rely on the scholarship of others.

    AFZ
  • MPaul wrote: »
    In this forum, to admit to being an ‘inerrantist’ is to almost to invite derision.

    I have not seen Lamb Chopped being made the object of derision, not even here on this thread where she is holding forth about the same thing that you are, albeit with logic and internal consistency. So this claim is flat-out false.
  • Everything's fine as long as my personal ideas/wishes/philosophy run parallel to what I find in Scripture, but when I hit a spot where they DON'T--well, that kinda sucks.
    I don't think you have to be an inerrantist to read the Bible that way.

    As I said before, one can treat Scripture as authoritative without believing all the original words themselves are entirely without error.
    Given a sufficient number of independent manuscript lines, one can figure out with high accuracy what the original must have said.
    Wait, what? What happened to
    the usual caveats about interpolations, miscopyings, misunderstood allegory, mistranslations, differing standards and SOPs between now and ancient cultures, and the like.

    This strikes me as inconsistent.

    Functionally, it seems to me that inerrantists want to insist that their interpretation is the definitive one on the basis that it is what the 'inerrant Word' 'clearly says' (thus giving their interpretation the force of Scripture) and that any alternative interpretation is ipso facto 'unsound', 'liberal', etc. Then as soon as there's some major difficulty they invoke all the kind of things you do in the above quote. It seems much simpler to me to run with all your caveats. Which is why I now believe in the value of interpretation as well as the value of the original texts.
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The problem I have with inerrantists is that they ignore Jesus message in viewing his words to the detriment of particular groups. As they did with slavery, as they do with homosexuality.
    Which particular words of Jesus about slavery and homosexuality did you have in mind?
    MPaul wrote: »
    For what it’s worth, I am going to a same sex wedding this year. I don’t think they are a good idea but I have been invited and I love the people. Bet that surprises you.
    Yes it does, because I seem to remember you saying on the Old Ship that you were intending not to go, and it looks as though you have changed your mind :smile:
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    That doesn't surprise me at all. I'm surrounded by decent people with the most horrendous beliefs as bad as yours. Luckily beliefs are two a penny.
  • What, everyone's, or everyone else's?
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    I've said it before. My arguments against inerrancy, Chicago Declaration style, are methodological, not psychological.

    The methodological argument was probably expressed best by James Barr in his book Fundamentalism. He sees sources of riches in the evangelical viewpoint, is very clear that not all evangelicals have an inerrantist view of scripture.

    The summary of his argument is not at all that inerrantists are dogmatic wooden literalists. By looking at many examples of inerrantist apologetics, he points out that the defence of the inerrantist position is intellectually incoherent, varying from the literal to the allegorical, being selective in its approach to semantic arguments re translation, adopting conservative views over dating and textual variations, applying scientific and archeological findings selectively.

    The defence is consistent, the methods are not. I found his methodological criticism to be convincing and his use of sources compelling. It is an honest and scrupulous analysis of inerrantist apologetics. A scholarly work.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    And BTW, if you want to see an example of incoherent argument, look at the inerrantist legacy thread.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    What, everyone's, or everyone else's?

    Sorry! Not @you, @MPaul.
  • Hear that whooshing sound?

    That's the point passing you by.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The problem I have with inerrantists is that they ignore Jesus message in viewing his words to the detriment of particular groups. As they did with slavery, as they do with homosexuality.
    Which particular words of Jesus about slavery and homosexuality did you have in mind?
    Regarding slavery, that was mostly from Paul. But Jesus lack of condemnation for it and that slave and servant are derived from the same word used in the source for translation.
    With homosexuality, Jesus' teaching on divorce are twisted to be anti-homosexual.

  • Just to be sure I've got this right, the problem you have with the words of Jesus are essentially the words he didn't say?
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    Just to be sure I've got this right, the problem you have with the words of Jesus are essentially the words he didn't say?
    Way to read for comprehension. The problem I was discussiing is the misuse of Jesus' message.
  • viewing his [Jesus'] words to the detriment of particular groups.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited January 31
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Everything's fine as long as my personal ideas/wishes/philosophy run parallel to what I find in Scripture, but when I hit a spot where they DON'T--well, that kinda sucks.
    I don't think you have to be an inerrantist to read the Bible that way.

    Sure, never said you did. You must admit, though, that for the inerrantist the number of places where conflict comes up is going to be higher, as we don't have the option of saying, "Well, that's flat out wrong and I'm going to disregard it."
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Given a sufficient number of independent manuscript lines, one can figure out with high accuracy what the original must have said.
    Wait, what? What happened to
    the usual caveats about interpolations, miscopyings, misunderstood allegory, mistranslations, differing standards and SOPs between now and ancient cultures, and the like.

    This strikes me as inconsistent.

    I fear I can't demonstrate to you that it isn't, without, well... demonstrating the process on some passage or another. And nobody's going to stick around while I walk us through a lengthy demo of that, and we then argue about the choices I made, etc. Frankly, I don't think I personally have time for that, given that it's a text medium. It would make for a fearfully long screed.
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Functionally, it seems to me that inerrantists want to insist that their interpretation is the definitive one on the basis that it is what the 'inerrant Word' 'clearly says' (thus giving their interpretation the force of Scripture) and that any alternative interpretation is ipso facto 'unsound', 'liberal', etc.

    But this is not what I'm saying. Some other inerrantists, maybe; but I'm the one you have here and now (and my ilk with me). And it does no good for a couple of you folks to re-define me as "not an inerrantist, really" or "you think you are, but you're not," or "unusually decent given the community she comes out of" or the like. I self-identify as an inerrantist. My community (some millions of us) also identifies that way, and holds the same methods and positions. Sorry we don't fit the stereotype, but that's why I spoke up--because you (plural) need that data. There are inerrantists like me, a great many of us. We just most of us don't go running around on the media making arses of ourselves. Which is why you don't hear of us, I suppose.
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Then as soon as there's some major difficulty they invoke all the kind of things you do in the above quote. It seems much simpler to me to run with all your caveats. Which is why I now believe in the value of interpretation as well as the value of the original texts.

    [bangs head against wall] Yes, inerrantists DO admit the value of interpretation. Those who don't--well, I assume they exist, since so many of you are saying they do, but I've personally never met one in real life, and I live among inerrantists. So assuming we're both right and both groups actually exist, then it would be helpful if y'all could stop talking about "inerrantists" as a unified mass of frankly stupid, un-nuanced people.

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate

    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    And BTW, if you want to see an example of incoherent argument, look at the inerrantist legacy thread.
    If that is not a dig at me then apologies. If it is then this is an assertion that a POV you cannot wrap you head around is therefore incoherent. You are assuming the intellectual high ground here.

    The discussion goes like this:

    X is an error in chronology

    No it is not an error despite being non chronological and here is the reason

    Yes it is because it is non chronological

    No, the fact that it is non chronological does not make it an error
    I’ve told you why it can still be non chronological and not an error

    But it is non chronological so it has to be an error..

    No it does not

    You’re being incoherent.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    It is not a dig at you, MPaul. Methodological criticism looks at the quality and coherence of arguments. That was the point of my post. Try reading James Barr.
  • Eutychus wrote: »
    viewing his [Jesus'] words to the detriment of particular groups.
    It was part of an exchange, if you cannot be bothered to read it, then I won’t be bothered to explain it.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited January 31
    @Lamb Chopped
    Inerrantists are going to get thrown in the same pile as long as they claim that errors are not. As long as they make bizarre justifications of behavior that doesn’t match their projection of their God.
    Interpretation does not cut it for everything.
    That you are not all wooden, literalist fools doesn’t change the basic problem.
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited January 31
    Sure, never said you did. You must admit, though, that for the inerrantist the number of places where conflict comes up is going to be higher, as we don't have the option of saying, "Well, that's flat out wrong and I'm going to disregard it."
    (...)
    [bangs head against wall] Yes, inerrantists DO admit the value of interpretation.

    If we take, say, Paul's teachings on women, or possibly homosexuality, just about every inerrantist I know (and I certainly know a shedload of people who are in churches that sign up to that position) will indeed perceive his position as coming into serious conflict with contemporary Western values.

    And when other people seek to contextualise such teachings, or suggest they can be reinterpreted in the light of contemporary culture - or indeed suggest alternative hermeneutics based on the Greek - or that Paul should be read as not setting out the rules for all time, the inerrantists I know tend to start throwing their toys out of the pram.

    Is there value in interpretation or not?
  • by lilbuddha
    With homosexuality, Jesus' teaching on divorce are twisted to be anti-homosexual.

    Not so. I assume you refer to Mark 10; 2-12 and its Matthaean parallel.

    Three things to be said initially here, I think....

    1) There is no biblical problem about the notion of men loving other men and women loving other women. See for example 2 Sam 1 where David laments the death of Jonathan with the words "Your love for me was greater than the love of women".

    The issue is whether it is/can-ever-be appropriate and fitting to express such love by explicitly sexual acts.

    2) Because this is about acts and their appropriateness it is NOT, as pro-gay propaganda tries to suggest, in the same category as people 'being' red-haired or of black or other ethnicity; things which people indeed are, have no choice about and can't do anything to really change.

    It is in the territory of things people do and therefore very much have choice about. And in the territory of feeling urges and desires. And in that territory there are of course many things which are good or even excellent - but also plenty of things which are anything but good or excellent and on which nobody on the Ship is likely to be arguing that merely because you feel such desires and urges they are perfectly OK and nobody should complain at you satisfying said urges.

    On the contrary it is precisely in such matters that there can be legitimate disagreement about the rights and wrongs of what is done, and about whether the urges and desires are truly 'natural' in a 'made by God' sense or whether they are 'natural' only in the sense in which Paul speaks of the desires of a 'natural' - ie sinful - man. And therefore may quite rightly be considered as 'temptation'.

    3) In a plural society, in which freedom of religious/philosophical belief is allowed, the differences of opinion may mean - and in the case of gay issues certainly do mean - that people are entitled in the state to believe that gay sex is OK, and to practice it; but on the same grounds of freedom of belief, others are fully entitled to say it is wrong and to not practice it and to be critical about those who do practice it. NEITHER party is entitled to 'set the law on' the other to force the other to conform to their beliefs....

    And now turning to Mark....

    Yes, Jesus is asked a question about divorce. But it could not be much clearer that he chooses to answer that question by taking, as it were, 'a step back up the logic tree' and put divorce in the wider context of "What is marriage?" And the things he says about marriage basically preclude 'gay sex'. Just starting with "He (God) made them male and female...."

    In some ways the important bit here, which people often slide round, is where Jesus further quotes the OT point that "They shall become one flesh" - which is decidedly not easy to interpret any other way than that a male and a female shall unite via the different but complementary anatomy designed by God for sex. And further, they may become one flesh in a secondary way, in children who are 'one flesh' combined from the flesh of their parents.

    And put bluntly, no male with male nor female with female can possibly 'become one flesh' in those ways. They simply don't have the kit. And what they do instead is, well, not actually sex in God's terms at all, and is hardly respectful of sex as God intended - is it really 'just as good as' the designed male-with-female sex for two men to basically shove their dicks up each others' shitholes or down each others' throats?

    Atheists, agnostics, and various 'other-believers' are perfectly entitled to believe these things to be OK - and as I say, in a plural society to practice such things among themselves and not have the law set on them. Christians will prefer to respect God who clearly says that sex is for male-with-female.

    This is not 'distorting' a teaching on divorce, but following logically a wider teaching on marriage in general

  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    It is not a dig at you, MPaul. Methodological criticism looks at the quality and coherence of arguments. That was the point of my post. Try reading James Barr.
    Does it! Rather condescending perhaps..’those of us in the know, the ones who grasp methodological criticism.’
    The point was simple.
    What can you define as an error? You were shown clearly why it is not necessary to see a chronological aberration as error and you cannot accept it.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    Hear that whooshing sound?

    That's the point passing you by.

    What that my beliefs are weightless too? Of course they are. Like all products of the ego. But some beliefs are more weightless than others. Un-rational/empirical ones especially. Nasty ones. You know, the kind that most religious people have.
  • @Steve Langton
    The Dalai Lama said that if science and Buddhism clash, it is Buddhism that must change. A heathen with a more enlightened view than you present.
    This thread is not the place for the rest of that inferred tosh.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited January 31
    MPaul

    Happy to leave it to others to decide whether that is a satisfactory interpretation of our dialogue. I will give you a fuller response on the thread itself.
  • Eutychus wrote: »

    Is there value in interpretation or not?

    I have said yes already. What more do you want of me?

    Look, I think everyone here will admit that there is value in SOME interpretation. What we disagree on is WHICH interpretation. Which appears to me to be a subject for the other inerrancy thread, or for various dead horses, and not for this particular thread on what makes inerrantists tick.

    I didn't come here to convince anybody of my inerrantist position. I feel no need to do so now. I DID come here with the intention of showing you all that it is possible to be an inerrantist and an at least semi-logical, semi-decent human being (or so I think myself to be) and not a mere caricature.

    We do too much unopposed caricaturing of out-groups on the Ship. It's one reason why we have much more limited participation than we used to. Somehow we just don't manage to hold space in our discussions for people who disagree with us in fundamental ways anymore. The "Go away, your stance is inherently evil" vibes are palpable. And that is a sad loss to the Ship.

    My apologies, but MPaul is to a large extent correct. It can be damn scary posting on a thread like this one, and I nearly chickened out. And I say that as a long-term denizen of Hell.



  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    @Steve Langton
    The Dalai Lama said that if science and Buddhism clash, it is Buddhism that must change. A heathen with a more enlightened view than you present.
    This thread is not the place for the rest of that inferred tosh.

    1) Where are science and Christianity allegedly clashing here?
    2) seems you've dropped the claim that I'm distorting Jesus' teaching.....
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »

    Is there value in interpretation or not?

    I have said yes already. What more do you want of me?

    Look, I think everyone here will admit that there is value in SOME interpretation. What we disagree on is WHICH interpretation. Which appears to me to be a subject for the other inerrancy thread, or for various dead horses, and not for this particular thread on what makes inerrantists tick.

    I didn't come here to convince anybody of my inerrantist position. I feel no need to do so now. I DID come here with the intention of showing you all that it is possible to be an inerrantist and an at least semi-logical, semi-decent human being (or so I think myself to be) and not a mere caricature.

    We do too much unopposed caricaturing of out-groups on the Ship. It's one reason why we have much more limited participation than we used to. Somehow we just don't manage to hold space in our discussions for people who disagree with us in fundamental ways anymore. The "Go away, your stance is inherently evil" vibes are palpable. And that is a sad loss to the Ship.

    My apologies, but MPaul is to a large extent correct. It can be damn scary posting on a thread like this one, and I nearly chickened out. And I say that as a long-term denizen of Hell.



    I guess the nature of polarising positions is that fierce exchanges can be a consequence. Interpretations can be based on evidence, authority, conviction or a combination. If someone uses an expert so called to settle a point, they don’t settle it normally, they just add a layer of confusion unless the addressee is cognisant of that so called expert.
    Conviction is the most hidden at first and evidence is the most slippery since what one calls evidence,another may deny.

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    @Steve Langton
    The Dalai Lama said that if science and Buddhism clash, it is Buddhism that must change. A heathen with a more enlightened view than you present.
    This thread is not the place for the rest of that inferred tosh.

    1) Where are science and Christianity allegedly clashing here?

    Homosexuality for one.
    2) seems you've dropped the claim that I'm distorting Jesus' teaching.....
    Not in the slightest. Debating those claims isn't within the scope of this thread, IMO, so I'm not continuing that tangent.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    @Steve Langton
    The Dalai Lama said that if science and Buddhism clash, it is Buddhism that must change. A heathen with a more enlightened view than you present.
    This thread is not the place for the rest of that inferred tosh.

    1) Where are science and Christianity allegedly clashing here?

    Homosexuality for one.
    2) seems you've dropped the claim that I'm distorting Jesus' teaching.....
    Not in the slightest. Debating those claims isn't within the scope of this thread, IMO, so I'm not continuing that tangent.

    1) OK, so in what way is science clashing with Christianity about 'gay sex'? Though actually that probably is one for another thread somewhere.

    2) Well it was you that raised the point about Jesus' words supposedly being 'twisted' - I reasonably thought you did believe that issue was within the scope of this thread. And actually given the way issues of interpretation affect understandings of the inerrancy issue, I'd have thought it was actually quite important.
  • LouiseLouise Dead Horses Host
    hosting
    Please stop all discussion of homosexuality or same sex marriage on this thread. Take it to the appropriate legacy thread please and kindly stop derailing this thread.

    Thanks
    Louise
    Dead Horses Host

    hosting off

  • [Admin comment copied from parallel Inerrancy thread as there is cross-over.]

    This is now a formal warning to everyone posting on these threads. The admins have seen the hosts issue multiple warnings about personal attacks on these threads. We are watching these threads and will not look kindly on any further posts which appear to ignore those warnings.

    Alan
    Ship of Fools Admin
  • Eutychus wrote: »

    Is there value in interpretation or not?

    I have said yes already. What more do you want of me?

    Look, I think everyone here will admit that there is value in SOME interpretation. What we disagree on is WHICH interpretation. Which appears to me to be a subject for the other inerrancy thread, or for various dead horses, and not for this particular thread on what makes inerrantists tick.

    I didn't come here to convince anybody of my inerrantist position. I feel no need to do so now. I DID come here with the intention of showing you all that it is possible to be an inerrantist and an at least semi-logical, semi-decent human being (or so I think myself to be) and not a mere caricature.

    We do too much unopposed caricaturing of out-groups on the Ship. It's one reason why we have much more limited participation than we used to. Somehow we just don't manage to hold space in our discussions for people who disagree with us in fundamental ways anymore. The "Go away, your stance is inherently evil" vibes are palpable. And that is a sad loss to the Ship.

    My apologies, but MPaul is to a large extent correct. It can be damn scary posting on a thread like this one, and I nearly chickened out. And I say that as a long-term denizen of Hell.



    I've been thinking about this.

    You are right and I seek to explain not to excuse. I think it comes from the association between 'inerrantism' and a kind of aggressive judgmentalism. I think it comes from the association between 'inerrantism' and the areas of the Evangelical movement who have so closely associated themselves with Trump. The same parts of the church who have a massive problem with abuse and have used the Bible as a weapon to protect their leaders from having to face their own sins.

    An interesting parallel for me is that I am very Pro-life. As a paediatric surgeon, I often look after and operate on very premature babies. I feel very strongly about the rights of unborn children. However, I very, very rarely use the term 'Pro-life' to describe myself as it automatically aligns me (in many people's minds) with some people and groups with whom I really do not wish to be associated.

    There is a problem here of semantics and specifics. As always, of course. I did notice how you(@Lamb Chopped) faced the No True Scotsman fallacy up-thread for daring to explain that your views were not the caricature that people wanted to pigeon-hole you with.

    I think I should revise what I wrote. There are some who could be described (and would usually describe themselves) as inerrantist for the reason of safety and security I alluded to above. I started here because I think it explains why the belief is important to people - which is specifically what this thread is about. I hope I allowed enough room in my comments to demonstrate that that does not make inerrantism wrong. I believe in (a form) of inerrantism which is essentially the one @Lamb Chopped outlined and for the same reasons. Based on what I think is sound foundations; good scholarship and critical thinking. My faith is in Jesus but I have so much more to learn about God and I have his book to do this. How I deal with the difficulties this throws up with lots of parts of the Bible is an important and interesting question. The answer to this is that I don't have all the answers - I don't have it all worked out. There are many parts that I still struggle with. And probably always will be. This is a strength, not a weakness of this view - God is so much bigger than me.

    Another important truth is that I used to belong to the first group - who were inerrantist as it's a safe place to be. I maybe still do, a bit.

    But to return to my point - I think the problem is, rightly or wrongly (and mostly wrongly) inerrantism has become very strongly associated with a brand of Christianity that uses horrendous hermaneutics to excuse evil and pursue worldly power. It is difficult to look past such things sometimes.

    As a personal note, I got sent something on Facebook by one of these groups a couple of weeks back. I described to a good friend how reading this made me an atheist for a while. She wisely suggested that these people even turn God into an atheist....

    AFZ
  • But to return to my point - I think the problem is, rightly or wrongly (and mostly wrongly) inerrantism has become very strongly associated with a brand of Christianity that uses horrendous hermaneutics to excuse evil and pursue worldly power. It is difficult to look past such things sometimes.

    There is no doubt that the concept of inerrancy has been refined and weaponised in this way to further political ends in the evangelical world. Many people think the term 'evangelical' has become too toxic to be retrieved for similar reasons; I'd say 'inerrancy' is even further gone than that.

    I would still like to know by what authority the Chicago Declaration, say, "asserts" inerrancy, as compared to the Catholic church's assertions, for which some extra-biblical argument is at least produced. @Steve Langton hasn't as yet got back on that as promised.
  • 1) Thanks Louise, noted. Will deal with homosexuality elsewhere in due course.
    2) Yes, Eutychus, I know I haven't got back on the RCC issue as promised. As I've mentioned I'm in process of transferring to a new computer from one which is nearly dead and it's been difficult to keep up at all. I'm now writing on the new machine and all should be well. But after a long 'housekeeping' session don't want to be doing the argument stuff right now. Should be back in the evening.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    edited February 1
    Having lived happily in a local congregation which has a lot of folks whose view of scripture is that it is trustworthy and without fault, I can testify to the fact that there is no direct connection between their belief and aggressive rejection of those who see things different. They are not politicised.

    Which is why, again, my view is that it is better to approach things in methodological terms, rather than presume links between the attraction of inerrancy and failings of character or intellect. That's a more value-free approach.

    We give each other freedom to provide reasons for the hope which is within us.

  • AFZ, thank you so much, and awesome post! I'm sorry to say that I'm a member (of sorts) of several outgroups at this time (including the "pro-life" one) and am facing exactly the same stigmatization and stereotyping in real life, for the same reasons. If only it were possible to push a magic button and shut up the jerks who are "on our side"! Or as the Bible has it, "God's name is blasphemed among the nations because of you."

    Pretty much every week I face the question of whether to out myself as a member of a hated group or not--to identify myself and explain my position in the hopes of showing that inerrancy/pro-life/conservative/Christian/what-have-you is NOT identical with the caricature (which is itself fueled by the evil behavior of people who use the same self-identifier). All too often I chicken out. And yet if we say nothing, how is anybody to realize that the jackasses are NOT in fact the only, or even principal, ones to carry that name?

    I'm trying to teach a seventeen-year-old the same balancing trick right now--how to live as part of several hated groups without taking more punishment than absolutely necessary for the bad behavior of others in the group. It isn't easy for him, as getting unjustly punched in the face, even metaphorically, begets the desire to punch back.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    @Lamb Chopped far from for the first time, you move me by your courageous, open honesty despite the fact that I have pushed back hard to the point where you, like others here I also admire, cannot respond. There you stand, you can do no other. There is a humility, an acceptance of personal responsibility about you. Thank you.

    I'll spoil it by saying that inerrantism has no meaning for me beyond extreme deconstruction.
  • I'm trying to teach a seventeen-year-old the same balancing trick right now--how to live as part of several hated groups without taking more punishment than absolutely necessary for the bad behavior of others in the group. It isn't easy for him, as getting unjustly punched in the face, even metaphorically, begets the desire to punch back.
    OK, so here is the problem. Even the "good behaving" affect other lives. Really hard to discuss this without violating the "keep topics within the appropriate threads" admonishment, but I do not think one can be a true inerrant without this conflict between belief and effect. So, whilst treatment of you mightn't be completely fair, it is not without reason.
    Sort of like the Trump supporters who weren't actually racist. Doesn't completely matter.
  • Gee, you're so kind. I shall try to bear up bravely under my guilt-by-association.
  • MPaulMPaul Shipmate
    t inerrantism has no meaning for me
    Give the thread title it is a mystery why you bother then. Ah but life is full of mysteries. It does not have much meaning for anyone, the way it is caricatured.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Dead Horses Host
    I think the caricature is typically prejudice about character. I remember someone who knew him well observing about the late David Watson that he was much nicer than the God he appeared to believe in. But I think the criticism of interpretative methodologies is justified.
  • Gee, you're so kind. I shall try to bear up bravely under my guilt-by-association.
    Not guilt by association. Just a more complicated guilt than you are allowing, as far as I can tell.
  • @Lamb Chopped
    If you are willing to follow me to the Homosexuality thread, I can give you reasons that I think the grouping has merit.
  • Nope. I said upthread that the only reason I was here at all was to demonstrate that inerrantists come in more stripes than the caricature. I have no interest in arguing over dead horses, at least at the present time.
  • Nope. I said upthread that the only reason I was here at all was to demonstrate that inerrantists come in more stripes than the caricature. I have no interest in arguing over dead horses, at least at the present time.
    Then I cannot let go the contention that you all belong in the same catagory. Where you see differences,I see similarities.
    I am not trying to be mean, I am trying to let you see how I see this issue.
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Nope. I said upthread that the only reason I was here at all was to demonstrate that inerrantists come in more stripes than the caricature. I have no interest in arguing over dead horses, at least at the present time.
    Then I cannot let go the contention that you all belong in the same catagory. Where you see differences,I see similarities.
    I am not trying to be mean, I am trying to let you see how I see this issue.
    I’m afraid that sounds awfully close to “you people are all alike” to me.

  • Whatevs.
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