In the book, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, Kevin Vanhoozer (responding to Michael Bird’s essay), wrote:
Why should the rest of the world care about North American evangelicalism’s doctrinal obsession with inerrancy? First, it may be only a matter of time, given globalization and patterns of higher education, until the rest of the world is faced with similar challenges to biblical authority posed by biblical criticism, naturalistic scientism, and skeptical historicism. If you can find McDonald’s or Starbucks in Taiwan and Timbuktu, can Richard Dawkins or Bart Ehrman be far behind?
James Merrick and Stephen Garrett (ed.), Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013; Kindle ed.), KL 3189-3192).
8 thoughts on “Is Inerrancy a Necessary Doctrine?”
And then Vanhoozer, in his own article, denies inerrancy without denying inerrancy.
I know! I finished Bird’s essay this morning. It was . . . interesting. I think Enns’ critique was devastating. He basically accused Bird of being an inerrantist who lacks the courage to just declare it.
Bird actually makes a better argument for inerrancy than Mohler. It seems like he doesn’t like the terminology.
I thought Bird made some good points, too. I haven’t re-read Mohler’s article, yet. Bird’s suggestion that we try to frame the matter positively (“truthful”), rather than negatively (“inerrant”), was helpful. But, I think Bird is basically trying to straddle the fence and hedge a bit. Enns spotted his vague generalities, and drove a tank through them.
The problem with the whole debate (i.e. why conservatives are getting walloped academically in every debate) is that faith, by definition, is indefensible.
Not necessarily. There certainly are “reasons to believe,” and I suppose one’s definition of faith has a lot to do with how you translate Hebrews 11:1! But, belief in the absolute truthfulness of Scripture (see what I did, there!? Bird would be proud . . .) is a presupposition. There are good reason for the presupposition, but it is a presupposition. Of course, Peter Enns has his presuppositions, too . . .
First premises are assumed, not defended. We can defend them down the line of reasoning of where the reasoning leads. We can defend them circularly. But I don’t think we can defend them in a scientific manner that would make the evangelical modernists intellectually satisfied.
Oh…and on Pete Enns’ presuppositions:
I agree; they’ll never be satisfied. But, it all comes down to presuppositions, in the end. Who has the most warrant for his presuppositions?
I read Enns’ pitiful response to the Nashville Statement, and Gagnon’s critique of it. Enns was trying to be cute. He just sounded inane.