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In a recent post, “Hey Mate!” one commenter, Pastor Wally, has had extreme frustration with your authors’ Scriptural understanding and the tools used at arriving at that understanding. We also have had extreme frustration when our language and world views seemed to be misunderstood.
We felt that continued dialogue was pointless. At that stage Cdonges then commented, in a moderator’s role, asking questions of Wally and us. Here’s the recent comments:
As this conversation is wasted at the base of dozens of comments under a post, we have created a full post in order that the Katie and Martin community, might share and participate.
Thanks Chris for stepping in where there seemed little hope of communicating.
We believe that Scripture was penned by fallible humans, writing within a culture and worldview, which we no longer adhere to, are part of, or subscribe to. I believe that Scripture is the inspired Word of God. Our task is to discern God’s will with all the tools of modern theological scholarship. We will therefore place more value on certain texts than others, not just when it comes to internal textual contradictions but also when it comes to right and just values that have evolved with society.
Opponents of this method of reading Scripture deem it to be ‘liberal’. It appears to be the same issue in the LCMS that precipitated the walkout from Concordia Seminary by professors and tutors in 1974. The accusation from conservative clergy was that historical criticism was being used by Concordia lecturers and that it was heretical. In Australia the argument is not generally as focused but the issues underneath remain the same.
Arthur Carl Piepkorn, a colleague of Pr Norm Habel (who was at Concordia Seminary when the paper was presented) and (according to some) “one of the most significant theologians in the 20th Century”, wrote an important paper on “inerrancy”. It demonstrates that the word, which didn’t exist in English until recently, has an evolving meaning.
It is an 18 page article. We quote from p588 III
It does not seem to this writer that we are serving the best interests of the church when either we continue formally to reaffirm the inerrancy of the Sacred Scriptures or even continue to employ the term. Outside our circles, with the possible exception of the Roman Catholic Church, the term “inerrancy” has in general become the shibboleth of sectarians, often of obscurantist sectarians. For them the term usually implies the commitment to certain traditional interpretations which they place on certain Bible passages and which they apparently deem essential to their spiritual security.
If ALC graduating students wish to be ordained they have to swear that the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God. This is part of the current LCA structure and was introduced recently (research needed) but isn’t part of the Confessions. I suggest that the use of such language will one day be examined in the LCA.
- Even Pastor knows of the Folly of Biblical Inerrancy (bittersweetend.wordpress.com)
- The Sin Of Inerrancy Assery (jamaljivanjee.com)