Article XIX

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. Per our last post, we have not received a response from Pastor Tim and my posts mentioning my blog were deleted, although thankfully someone else has posted a link to my blog. We’ll just wait and see what happens. For tonight, we’ll continue with our look at the ICBI statement and see what we find in Article XIX, which reads as follows:

We affirm that a confession of the full authority, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture is vital to a sound understanding of the whole of the Christian faith. We further affirm that such confession should lead to increasing conformity to the image of Christ.

We deny that such confession is necessary for salvation. However, we further deny that inerrancy can be rejected without grave consequences both to the individual and to the Church.

Let’s get one thing clear, and fortunately I have not seen this being said in the Geisler/Licona debate, but this is not a salvation issue so if anyone thinks it is, they’re wrong. Also, I do not think that one can rightly accuse Licona of holding a watered-down version of Christianity. Licona has spoken out in favor of miracles a number of times and his book is in fact a monumental work establishing the reality of one miracle, the resurrection of Christ.

However, Inerrancy is important, but it is not an essential, and we must be careful to draw the line there. I have no doubt that there are several people out there who do not affirm Inerrancy who have a greater love for Jesus Christ than I do, and I do not doubt as well that I have much that I can learn from them when I read their opinions on the Scriptures.

It’s my belief that Inerrancy is a great help to us in that we can trust that whatever it is that we find that the Bible is teaching, we can be sure that that something is true. The question comes down to “Well what is the Bible teaching?” Inerrancy cannot tell you that. You cannot simply say that because someone has a different interpretation, then they are denying Inerrancy. Young-earthers have said this about old-earthers. Old-earthers have said it about young-earthers. All it does is get the debate emotionally charged with each side now not defending their view so much as defending the idea that they’re not going against Inerrancy and with one side thinking that if that view is shown to be false, then that person is shown to be violating Inerrancy. It doesn’t work that way.

How do we know what the Bible is Inerrant on? Well basically, we can say it is on everything, but we want to know what that everything is. What we must do is what we don’t usually want to do. We must study the text. We will have to work with it and let us not shriek at the mention of that term “Extra-biblical sources.” The Bible was not written in a vacuum. For instance, pick up your normal English Bible. Here are some facets that weren’t found in the originals.

The originals did not have English. They were written in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew.

The originals did not always have names. Matthew’s gospel did not include his name on it.

The originals did not have chapters and verses.

The originals did not have capitals, punctuation, and lower-case letters as ours do.

So in essence, all of these are “extra-biblical” but we would not dream of throwing them out! (Although I have thought it would be nice to read a Bible without chapter and verse listing sometime)

Inerrancy is a truth, but it is not a weapon and sadly, it has been used like one, much like the word “liberal” has been and the word “Denial” or some variant thereof. Other words include “Midrash”, “Apocalyptic” and “Dehistoricizing.”

Thus, I have concluded my look at the ICBI statement. I don’t have too much trouble, but I do see a statement that needs to be refined. The statement is very basic and is open to many different views on who’s violating it and who isn’t. This is to be expected. We refine our doctrine as we go along in many ways.

Let us make it a point in this debate however to not throw out the baby with the bathwater. While we may not agree with a view of Inerrancy, that does not mean Inerrancy is itself wrong. I hope to blog on this in the near future.

We shall continue next time.

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6 Responses to “Article XIX”

  1. Bryan Says:

    You said: The statement is very basic and is open to many different views on who’s violating it and who isn’t.

    Why didn’t you itnteract with the official commentary at all? Seems like you are potentially allowing for the ICBI to be taken in a variety of ways because you didn’t interact with the book, Explaining Inerrancy by RC Sproul.

    You should at least appeal to the much larger work on the statement by the Framers of the ICBI.

  2. Nick Says:

    Because this is in reply to those who think simply flashing around the ICBI statement is sufficient. I have no problem with further commentary. There is more as there should be, but just posting the statement does not settle the debate.

  3. Bryan Says:

    Yeah, I agree the mere posting doesn’t. But those statements have larger contexts and to not read them in light of the official commentary is to misread them. You really should consult the commentary because some of your blogs would either be better or more precise should you have consulted them. In fact, they wrote them for that very purpose. Statements are by definition short and commentaries at more meat to those statements.

  4. Nick Says:

    No problem there. I’m just wanting it to be known that just posting the statement is not sufficient, particularly the ones wanting to target Licona.

  5. John Says:

    http://quodlibetalblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/breaking-my-internet-silence-on-mike-licona-and-inerrancy/#comments

  6. Kyle Maze Says:

    Kyle Maze…

    […]Article XIX « Deeper Waters[…]…

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