Re: [asa] Dowd, Miracles, and ID-TE/ASA-List Relations

From: Dave Wallace <>
Date: Thu Apr 23 2009 - 09:48:31 EDT

Dehler, Bernie wrote:
> Ted:
> "I believe that is the elephant in this particular room, and I'll show it to everyone by using this cartoon...
> The Bible says "do not go beyond what is written." I think the cartoon claiming the Bible is 'infallible' is 'going beyond what is written.' It claims to be God-breathed or inspired, but not infallible or inerrant. The cartoon, I think, starts with a false premise.
agree with you Bernie, people are scared of the slippery slope.

I tend to have a very negative gut reaction when 'infallible' or
'inerrancy' is discussed. Yet if you look at an except from the text
from the Chicago statement (below) it does not sound all that
unreasonable. It seems to me that too many people assume that their
decision on which parts are poetic, literal etc... are the only correct
ones. It becomes especially destructive when people claim that unless
say early Genesis is viewed in the same way that they do, that you are
not one of the chosen. Since there is misuse and strong negative
reaction maybe the words 'infallible' or 'inerrancy' themselves may have
outlived their usefulness? I'm not saying that I accept all of the
Chicago statement but neither does it look all bad.

Dave W

Excerpt from the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy
> We affirm that canonical Scripture should always be
> interpreted on the basis that it is infallible and inerrant. However,
> in determining what the God-taught writer is asserting in each passage,
> we must pay the most careful attention to its claims and character as a
> human production. In inspiration, God utilized the culture and
> conventions of his penman's milieu, a milieu that God controls in His
> sovereign providence; it is misinterpretation to imagine otherwise.

> So history must be treated as history, poetry as poetry, hyperbole
> and metaphor as hyperbole and metaphor, generalization and
> approximation as what they are, and so forth. Differences between
> literary conventions in Bible times and in ours must also be observed:
> Since, for instance, nonchronological narration and imprecise citation
> were conventional and acceptable and violated no expectations in those
> days, we must not regard these things as faults when we find them in
> Bible writers. When total precision of a particular kind was not
> expected nor aimed at, it is no error not to have achieved it.
> Scripture is inerrant, not in the sense of being absolutely precise by
> modern standards, but in the sense of making good its claims and
> achieving that measure of focused truth at which its authors aimed.

> The truthfulness of Scripture is not negated by the appearance in
> it of irregularities of grammar or spelling, phenomenal descriptions of
> nature, reports of false statements (for example, the lies of Satan),
> or seeming discrepancies between one passage and another.

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Received on Thu Apr 23 09:49:54 2009

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