The Bible I Don’t Believe

frustration-798907.jpgI try not to blog, preach, converse, write or make decisions while angry. But, you can’t be perfect.

This morning I made it to my computer at ten minutes before I had to be at breakfast. I moderated some IM comments and then checked my email. There, alongside the Nigerian riches I’m regularly offered and various other items slipping past my spam measures, were two letters written by eloquent and pious brethren, both telling me I was an apostate- had abandoned the faith- for not using the word “inerrancy” in regard to the Bible.

I can write twenty versions of what I believe about the Bible that would gain me the ridicule of any atheist and the spite of any Episcopal bishop, but none of those descriptions of what I believe about the Bible and none of the confessional statements I can point to as my own will make one dent of difference to the two brothers who want me to know that after reading my blog they know I’m going to hell.

There are times that some Christians make me angry enough to spit. Others are embarrassing, and some simply elicit pity. These letter writers were well on the way to clearing the table.

Seven plus hours later I returned home to find the following gem:

IMHO, the I-Monk does more harm than good with his diatribes, which are primarily directed towards historic, orthodox Reform (sic) Protestantism.

The “H” there stands for “humble.” Also, just in case you missed it, I am apparently against historic, orthodox, reformed Protestantism. I don’t disagree with some points of expression or emphasis. No, no, no. I am AGAINST that great, unified, group hug known as “historic, orthodox, reformed, Protestantism,” which I assume is on display at a Historic Orthodox Reformed Protestant Church near you. That’s the church that broke off from the Orthodox Reformed Protestant Church last week and has consigned all other Protestants to hell except their own 15 members and their baptized and communing infant children.

Let me offer that brother a few rounds of the Apostle’s Creed for his indigestion. When he finds the word inerrancy in the Apostolic credo, shoot me an email.

What makes me angry? I can say the Bible is “inspired,” but according to these people, I don’t believe the Bible is inspired if I won’t use the word “inerrant.” I can say the Bible is authoritative, but I don’t believe it’s authoritative if I don’t believe in inerrancy. Nothing I can say or confess about the Bible is true if I don’t believe in inerrancy. The whole structure rests not on Christ or revelation, but on inerrancy, as defined by a document that takes pages and pages to explain what an error is and isn’t.

And what has inerrancy done for all those individuals and churches who embrace it? I’ll let BHT fellow Bill Mackinnon call the roll.

Those who hold to inerrancy usually qualify it by saying it only applies to the originals. Great. We don’t have them.

Inerrancy is supposed to help us achieve unanimity in doctrinal matters, yes? Has it?

Common doctrine of God? No. (There’s a guy at IM taking Michael to task about inerrancy who has doubts about the Trinity)

Common doctrine of Baptism? No.

Common doctrine of Communion? No.

Common doctrine of Church organization? No.

Common doctrine of Spiritual Gifts? No.

Common doctrine of Biblical interpretation? No.

Common doctrine of Salvation? No.

Common doctrine of Creation? No.

There are all kinds of people who hold to inerrancy who vigorously disagree on the issues above. And there are people who are on both sides of the inerrancy question who hold common agreement on the doctrines listed above. There are inerrantists who don’t know, read, or rely on the scriptures as much as some who don’t hold to inerrancy.

Do inerrant originals guarantee inerrant transcription? No

Do inerrant originals guarantee inerrant translation? No

Do inerrant originals guarantee inerrant interpretation? No

But what really makes me angry is what I did in those seven hours I was at school.

I preached on John 1 to 350 students about what it means to be a prophet who points to Jesus. My fourth sermon this week.
I prepared a sermon on John 1, on what it means to be a disciple, to be delivered tomorrow.
I read scripture and prayed with all my classes.
I taught four Bible survey classes, including three full lectures on the book of Judges, delivered to a majority of unbelievers, including Muslims, Buddhists and atheists.
I read scripture myself in my own devotional time, and made the words of scripture my own prayer.
My wife and I read scripture together this evening.
I started preparing for the two messages from the Bible and the one Bible class I’ll teach this weekend.
All like I’ve been doing for 16 years. I’m not blowing a horn here. This is my life. In the community setting where I live and serve I can’t go ten feet without bumping into something I’m doing with a Bible.

In none of those 16 years or before has anyone- student, staff, pastor, trustee, elder, pastor, parent of student, lay person or preacher- complained that I didn’t believe the Bible sufficiently. And I talk about the Bible and what I believe about it constantly. I assure you I don’t hide behind anything or anyone. I proudly read from Wright, Capon and Peterson to whoever will listen. I’m perceived on our staff as the original curmudgeon and stick-in-the-mud for my insistence that all our chapel preachers preach from the Bible, and from text of the Bible ONLY. As campus minister, I give away the Bible in every language on our campus and answer Bible questions all week. We make our students purchase the ESV for Bible class.

I know….lots of liberals going to hell like a greased pig have similar involvement with the Bible. Teaching and reading it mean nothing. Do you believe…really, really, really, believe…..like the “inerrancy” crowd? That’s the acid test.

It takes people who read blogs to figure out that I don’t believe the Bible, am apostate, a Biblical invertebrate and “wuss,” and will be judged by God as a false minister according to James 3:1 (a verse I know very well from my ordination.) This internet is a wonderful tool, isn’t it? Incredible insight with very little actual knowledge.

Whatever I believe about the Bible, I’m out here doing something with my life and my ministry that is unthinkable and impossible without my own foundational belief that the Bible is true, inspired and the Word that delivers the Gospel of Jesus. I know God in and through his Son Jesus, but what I know of Jesus grows out of the Bible first of all. My confidence in its truth, power, authority and relevance hasn’t changed.

Ask the people I minister to and with what I believe about the Bible. Oh wait, you aren’t actually here. Sorry.

If that’s a diatribe against “historic orthodox reformed Protestants,” then I hope you enjoy it. Sorry that I actually want to be accepted as a brother in Christ who believes and loves scripture. What’s gotten into me?

39 thoughts on “The Bible I Don’t Believe

  1. If you mean the Pharisaism tendency, Jody, you might be right; if you simply mean to tar all inerrantists with that brush, though, it seems to me you not only miss the mark, but sink to the same judgmentalism that frustrates Michael. I don’t think we fight racism with reverse racism, and I don’t think we fight Pharisaism with reverse Pharisaism.

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  2. What’s common today is a Gospel founded on Young Earth Creationism and/or Pin the Tail on The Antichrist.

    That has got to be one of the best summations of this tendency I’ve ever read…

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  3. Keep up the good and Godly work that you do brother. Don’t let the hate filled inerrancy guys get you down. We all have to deal with it and they are being exposed for the people that they truly are.
    Shalom

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  4. UO,

    The Wikipedia article does pretty well. A few quick thoughts: one, it’s not about interpretation. Two, it’s not about translation. Three, it’s not about transcription. Four, I’ve never heard anybody say that “inerrancy” doesn’t mean “without error”; if an “evangelical” group said that, I’d wonder if they knew what they were talking about; I mean, they may not agree with the concept, but the definition itself would seem to be pretty straightforward.

    In a nutshell, as I see it, the issues surrounding inerrancy involve several simple thoughts (that we find a way to complexify):

    1. What is the nature of Scripture? Is all of it “God-breathed”, coming from God to the human instruments?

    2. If so, did/can God inspire (“breathe”) error? In other words, what is the nature of God?

    3. If we allow that there were indeed errors in the original manuscripts, what does that say about the nature of Scripture (that’s really just #1 above from a different angle)?

    It’s for these reasons that I am comfortable using and holding to the term “inerrant”, but there’s nothing “magic” about the word.

    Hopefully that gives you an idea of some of the key issues involved, at least from my perspective.

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  5. Can someone explain to me in less than 500 words what this Great Inerrancy Controversy is really about?

    I found that Chicago Statement but it didn’t help much. Is the argument over whether the Bible contains error, or is it an argument over whose interpretation contains no error?

    I also found a statement on inerrancy by a group of Evangelicals that said, among many other things, that “inerrancy” did not mean “without error,” and now I’m even more confused. If inerrancy doesn’t mean “without error” what does it mean?

    I get the feeling that “inerrancy” is code for something else, maybe “my interpretation of the Bible is inerrant, agree with everything I say,” or maybe, “the Bible is infallible but nobody knows 100% infallibly what it means.”

    Yes, I’m vastly ignorant on this subject. Help.

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  6. Take this as coming from a Pentecostal, hard right, Fundamentalist Christian….

    I agree with IMonk.

    I get tired of people with little or no fruit in their lives throwing stones at people WITH fruit. The folks that protect Billy Graham, attack certain musicians I know, attack a guy working full time in the ministry, etc. but sit at home or consider holding to certain doctrines as “fruit” just really honk me off.

    I get tired of people going absolutely batty over gray areas but consistently fail to do some of the clearly defined aspects of our faith. No sex outside of marriage is a BIG one but they’ll get hung up on inerrancy or whether women should wear makeup.

    They strain at a gnat and swallow camels.

    DD

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  7. Sounds like a job for the VGPG (Vengeance of God Prayer Group) You are a warrior – keep fighting the fight!

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  8. Hi Michael,

    I can imagine you being angry about these mails, but somehow it seems you try to defend yourself in this post.
    Do you feel like you have to defend yourself? I think that if it’s ok between you and God, it doesn’t matter what people say (even though it hurts and makes you angry). Just to be clear: I don’t imply to say that it’s not ok between you and God. I just want to stress the fact that that´s the most important thing.

    Keep up the good work!
    David

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  9. Michael,

    bless you for writing this. I thank God you did not talk yourself out of it with some cute little platitude that wont help heal the wounds to the body that this out of control and course beast inflicts upon us. Paul didnt spare words against the judaizers and that is excatly what we are dealing with here. People are being crushed and just saying “be fed and warm” is only impressing ones self.
    Keep up the good fight of faith.

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  10. How about a word from somebody in the middle on this thing? First, if these guys are saying the things about you that you say they are, Michael, they’re way off-base. The salvation equation isn’t “grace plus faith plus belief in inerrancy”. Some people seem to have no sense of proportion, not much of a grasp on grace, and little tact.

    Further, I consider you to be one of my favorite bloggers, consistently challenging me and thousands of other readers in our walks with Christ. I link to you, have commended several of your posts on my blog, and have your blog on a short list of those in my reader. You’re doing the church a great service. I don’t remember my denomination, the EFCA, commending any “outside” bloggers in its magazine, EFCA Today, but there you are in this quarter’s issue. Congrats on that, in our “for what it’s worth” file!

    That said, I hold unwaveringly to the concept of inerrancy (I’ll use the term “concept” instead of “doctrine”, and to also say that I’m not hung up on a word) and also to its critical importance. Your thinking is so lucid on so many points that I find myself surprised at some of your reasoning on this particular issue. For instance, Bill Mackinnon’s list above, which you quote approvingly, is filled with red herrings, freights inerrancy with all sorts of baggage that the concept isn’t prepared to handle, and misses the point entirely. Inerrancy isn’t important for its utilitarian value (though sure, I’d certainly be happy if it did produce some of the results, the absence of which Mackinnon decries). For you to hold up Mackinnon’s reasoning is disappointing, and many of the commenters here are wide of the mark as well.

    Very briefly, use whatever word you choose, but the issue with inerrancy has to do with the nature of the Bible itself: is it God’s inspired Word given to us, or did the prejudices of fallen men creep into it—evidence that it is not, in the original autographs, God’s Word to us (that’s why Mackinnon’s dismissive words about not having the originals is a red herring)? And so use whatever word you choose, I don’t care, but the concept that the words of Scripture penned by “faithful men” all came to them “God-breathed” is very important. If “inspired” or “infallible” gets there for you, and you don’t like the word “inerrant”, I don’t much care.

    And I commend the work you’re doing with those kids. Keep up the good work.

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  11. Michael,

    Seemns to me you’ve become a target of the fearful. At least you’re not in the British Tabloids! Now that’s something to be grateful for. 😉

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  12. Here’s my 2 cents. For those that don’t know, I guess there are a hundred differences between my and Michael, starting at Baptism and Holy Communion and going on to many places. Theologically speaking, those could be seen as serious differences. But I freely confess that I view him as an elder brother in Christ, whom I have never met in person – same as somebody like Fr Stephen Freeman, an Orthodox cleric, with whom I probably have a 100 differences the polar opposite of those I have with Michael. There is a massive difference between doctrinal error and damnation. We are not saved by doctrine, and never will be – we are saved by the work of our Saviour.

    Michael – I understand the immense frustration. But by their fruits ye shall know them. Also – take up you Cross, and follow Him. And your specific cross seems to contain a lot of hurtful and unwarrented criticism. Hard as it is, it is to be rejoiced in.

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  13. Inerrant or inspired, the reality is that as soon as those holy words pass into my feeble, sinful brain, problems of understanding arise. I guess inerrancy has never been something I worried about, because my ability to understand will never be inerrant this side of heaven, so I wouldn’t be able to grasp inerrant even as it stared me in the face. I figure God gives me what understanding I need when I need it, and the rest shouldn’t much matter.

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  14. this reminds me of some lyrics from one of my favorite songs by the shins

    ——————————————-
    And if the old guard still offend,
    They got nothing left on which you depend,
    So enlist every ounce of your bright blood,
    And off with their heads.

    Jump from the hook,
    You’re not obliged to swallow anything you despise.
    See, those unrepenting buzzards want your life,
    And they got no right–
    As sure as you have eyes, They got no right.
    ——————————————–

    love the blog, it’s one of my few daily reads… keep up the great work, peace bro.

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  15. That’s the church that broke off from the Orthodox Reformed Protestant Church last week and has consigned all other Protestants to hell except their own 15 members and their baptized and communing infant children. — IMonk

    Hee hee hee…

    That describes a KJV1611 ONLY splinter church my writing partner showed me when I visited him last year. Except this One True Church didn’t have any “baptized and communing infant children”; youth retention rates are abysmal in rural PA, but this congregation was all Sixtysomethings and above. Still, they were the only One True Church with the only One True Bible (KJV 1611 First Edition, not the apostate KJVs all the other KJV ONLY churches use).

    Otherwise they would have come across a passage where they’d say, “Waitaminnit. That sounds like it contradicts this other passage…” and then flipped to it, then discovered that, by crikey, it does contradict the other passage. — K.W.Leslie

    My old D&D Dungeonmaster (not Christian by any stretch of the imagination) put it this way:

    “The reason for all the contradictions in the Bible is so when somebody takes a verse and starts running off on a tangent, you can trip him up with the contradicting verse before he goes too far.”

    Shakes their very foundation… which is supposed to be Jesus, isn’t it? — K.W.Leslie

    Supposed to Be and Actually Are are often two different things. What’s common today is a Gospel founded on Young Earth Creationism and/or Pin the Tail on The Antichrist. Christ becomes only another tool for the agenda, and I think He’s skipped out on that arrangement.

    Only Christians will pick a ridiculous point like “Is it okay to do Santa?” or “Is a Christmas tree paganism” or “Is a man who spends his life living and breathing and preaching the Bible going to hell because he uses the wrong word?” — Ghetto Mama

    You forgot D&D and Harry Potter.

    (Back when he had one of the best afternoon talk shows in Los Angeles, Rich Buhler used to say he could tell it was October when all the “Is Halloween Satanic? What should I do?” call-ins started up. These days you can say the same about December when all the “Okay to do Santa? Is Christmas Tree pagan?” and “Take Back Christmas! Jihad! Jihad!” starts coming out of the woodwork.)

    Get real people…no wonder people look at us and go: “And I’d want to be part of this…why?” — Ghetto Mama

    I ask myself the same question, and I’m on the inside!

    I’ve said that when Christianity goes sour, it starts to resemble Islam. Islam has rigid Infallibility & Inspriation beliefs (identical to Verbal Plenary Inspiration) about the Koran, and a similar “God Said It; I Believe It; That Settles It!” attitude of Infallibility.

    Every time I see one of those “God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It!” Christian bumper stickers, I want to stick an “Al’lah’u Akbar!” sticker underneath it.

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  16. Michael,

    Fundamentalism is a dangerous beast and you’re getting mauled. They rip and tear limbs off the body of Christ. Many walk limping and lamed because they were bitten by the fundamentalist tiger.

    Fortunately, I know a Healer. He has tended to my wounds and stays by my side. But scars do remain. He showed me His and I knew I was in good company.

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  17. I am tempted to respond to the Inerrancy debate with a shrug (been their done that bought the Chicago Statement and haven’t look at it for 15 years) but while I do think that while most of the discussion around this issues is frankly insane how we read the bible is of critical importance to what kind of a Christian we will turn out to be. It’s been over a decade since I abandoned my faith in a Inerrancy and while it is not the only thing that contributed my current heterodox faith ((studying post-modern philosophy in collage followed by an overdose of Heavy Reformed Theology (dam the Dutch!) and a bitter divorce did a lot of damage as well )). However the fact that I do not think that the fact the God does not speak to us near as clearly as I had been lead to believe in the non denominational (quasi-baptist) church of my youth was defiantly a major factor in pushing me in a more “Mainline” and “Emergent” direction. I know that the perspicuity of scripture and inerrancy are not the same issue but for a layman like me it’s hard not to conflate the two issues. Most of the sophisticated defenders of inerrancy seem to use such convoluted hermeneutics to resolve supposed errors, conflicts or just plane bazaar passages that they might easy be confused with postmodernists if not for the fact that they still seem to have such unassailable faith in their excruciatingly precise “confessions”. One of the reason that so many of us disillusioned Evangelicals find men like Karl Barth so attractive is that they seem to take the bible seriously but not let it overwhelm our experience of Christ’s love and mercy. One of the issues that I struggle with right now is the doctrine of Hell and I must say the Barth’s “Reformed Universalism” is extremely attractive. It seems to me that with out a very high view of scripture this kind of “heresy” is inevitable whats to stop us from editing out the parts of scripture that just seem “wrong” to us? What we need today is a robust hermeneutic that does not create a “paper pope”. It seems to me that a lot of “confessional” Protestants worship the Bible and ignore Christ. At present I am reading Tom Wrights “Last Word” maybe that will help.

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  18. How’s the inner life going when one is in the state of judgment and declaring damnation on another? How’s the heart doing–the one that God weighs?

    Such a sad image of God that so many people have to think God is like a frustrated 8th grade history teacher who just wants to fail students for not answering a certain question the exact way he wanted it answered. Is this the understanding of God Jesus taught about or demonstrated with his lifestyle of making the principle more important than the rule? Healing on the Sabbath, as an example.

    The human mind gets stimulated by conflict and the feeling of righteousness, but that is a block to God and to spiritual growth. We are not transformed from within in any good way when we remain addicted to our needs of “rightness” and superiority/naming others as inferior.

    By the way, I’m referring to Michael’s critics and all critics who fall into the human trap of devotion to small things (who’s right? who’s team?) rather than to loving Divinity and one another.

    Pharisees aren’t bad people, but at certain moments, they are not following Christ, which does not cause God to damn them, but they damn themselves with their arrogance and hating hearts.

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  19. Ok Michael, you know I totally agree with you here – except for one thing. You’re complaining about these folks taking unwarranted pot-shots at you, but then take the same kind of pot shot at Episcopalians. Yeah, I could name a couple bishops who might hate your views on the bible, but they are not the majority. I think you would find the majority believe the bible to be inspired, but not inerrant – just like you.

    You owe, at the very least, the guy running the diocese of Pittsburgh – not that far from you! – an apology.

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  20. People who believe the bible is inerrant obviously haven’t read it.

    Not really read it. Otherwise they would have come across a passage where they’d say, “Waitaminnit. That sounds like it contradicts this other passage…” and then flipped to it, then discovered that, by crikey, it does contradict the other passage.

    Then, after a brief panic attack, a careful but unconvincing study of a few Gleason Archer books on how to reinterpret the bible using verbal gymnastics, a flirtation with interpreting such seeming contradictions with allegory, some concentrated prayer, they might have come to the conclusion that one or the other of the passages is wrong; that it’s not for us to say which one that is; and to either balance the ideas or seek the underlying teaching.

    But what all too often happens is that they embrace the idea that maybe the originals had no such problems. (even though we don’t have them… and maybe that God got rid of them so as to test our faith) Then they stop reading the bible altogether, or stick to their favorite, well-read bits. Venturing outside this is too scary. Breeds doubt. Shakes their very foundation… which is supposed to be Jesus, isn’t it?

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  21. Michael,

    I think the way those people responded is very typical–Why? because we have had inerrancy drilled into us. When someone says they do not believe in it,it causes all kinds of alarms to ring, ya know? The problem is people need to really look at what you are saying and to look , as you have mentioned, at Church history, the Westminster Confession of Faith, etc., and they will find , as I believe you have stated, inspiration not inerrancy. You actually sound like an Anglican priest I know (dumdeedumdum!–hey, don’t say horrors!) 😉

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  22. Michael,

    The Man did say, “Blessed are you when men persecute you, and say all manner of evil things against you for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets before you.” (That’s from memory and may not be exactly correct, but you get the idea.)

    You say, “The Body of Christ is torn, abused and brutalized by such men…” Yes. But He knew this was going to happen. Let Him handle it, and them.

    There’s a man in my church who was discovered to be a pedophile. For a long time, I couldn’t let the thought of him even cross my mind without getting nearly sick with rage. When someone suggested I pray for him, I felt nothing but fury. But from my 12-step programs, I have learned the “son of a bitch” prayer; namely, to try to force yourself to mutter “Lord, if you want to forgive that son of a bitch, I won’t have an objection.” I tried something like that, and over time, my rage eased to the point where I could put the whole idea of the man “aside,” in God’s keeping, and not have such bitter feelings toward him.

    I don’t mean to sound presumptuous or like Sister Superholy. I think it would be tough — no, horribly difficult — to work with every ounce of your strength for God, and then to “rejoice and be glad” when self-described “godly” people call you rotten names. But, as He pointed out, you are in good company. Very good company.

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  23. Michael,

    I can understand given your ministry and what you do on a daily basis why you might be sensitive to this, but really, who the hell cares what these people say? I’ve gone through an interesting faith journey, and I’ve realized that certain people are constitutionally unable to deal with ambiguity. The irony is that they make real faith, i.e. trust, a nullity. The older I get the less certain I am about just about everything except the mercy and grace of God displayed for us in Jesus Christ.

    That’s why I so related to a previous post about Rod Rosenbladt’s talk on the church’s alumni. Are you familiar with the band King’s X? They were known ostensibly for a long time as a Christian band, but not the in your face kind (Dogman, one of the heaviest rock albums of the 90s). Then I read about the lead singer and bass player struggling with homosexuality and basically abandoning the faith because of it. I bought their latest CD some time ago and had to throw it away because of the vitriol he was spewing against God. The anger was palpable.

    I think Rosenbladt hit the nail on the head. The Gospel, the good news, seems to be lost in most churches, exchanged for a suffocating moralism that alienates people who struggle with sin. Thus the sad and mad alumni of the Christian Church. I can’t help but put these inerrancy folks and other dogmatists in the same camp. The Apostles and Nicene Creed aren’t good enough, no, you have to subscribe to all 489 points of our theology or you, sir, will fry. I can’t help but chuckle at how disappointed these people will be when they see how many people make it into heaven.

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  24. That made me mad just reading it.

    It’s difficult not to dislike Christians just as much as non-Christians do. I’m going to have to say that I have no idea if the Bible is inerrant. I believe it’s inspired, but so are a lot of books.

    Regardless, it’d be great to be able to doubt and not get shot down for it. I appreciate your blog and your honesty.

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  25. NOTE: This comment has been taken out of context at another blog. Please see Dr. Fin’s comment above for context.

    Dr. Fin:

    Because Jesus died and purchased a church with his own blood. We are it. All of us. The denial of a place in the church over matters like terminology is lamentable, and I’m a lamenter. (Discern-a-blogs call that whining, but it’s far from it.)

    I don’t lose one minute of sleep, work or family time over these kinds of people, but they are ripping apart the body of Christ. They are like a cancer in the body. They sit in the place of God and claim to have the mind of God. They abandon all that scripture says is a basis for discernment and replace it with the footnotes of their theology.

    The Body of Christ is torn, abused and brutalized by such men, and my blog is one place their insidious work of rejecting the one, catholic, apostolic, holy church won’t happen without notice.

    They don’t get past my defenses. They tear down the unity, love and acceptance that IS the fruit of justification. They are proclaiming salvation by the WORK of conforming to their theological vocabulary. They are divisive and deserved to be called out.

    peace

    MS

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  26. Disclosure: I believe in inerrancy.

    What that has to do with anything, I don’t know. I felt it necessary I guess so people wouldn’t think I was fawning all over you because we agree. We don’t. But I can respect your position despite disagreeing with it because I’m confident you have studied and considered it carefully and prayerfully.

    Here’s the thing: how did these two people get to you? You’ve never struck me as one who was especially sensitivity to the opinions or criticisms of strangers, but somehow these two self-appointed guardians of all things reformed got under your skin.

    What was it about them? How did they do an end run around your usually intact, generally effective defenses?

    Not trying to do analysis. Just wondering.

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  27. Don’t you know that Jesus said, “The world will know you are my disciples if you have a correct doctrine of inerrancy”?

    I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months and I’ve seen a great deal of positive. Keep on doing what you’re doing. You’re having a bigger impact for the Kingdom than the self-appointed “defenders of the faith”.

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  28. If some people took the time they set aside for bashing other Christians and used it to evangelize, we wouldn’t need any more missionaries. I mean seriously, what good is bashing you going to do? It is like two of the soldiers on the same side getting in a fist fight before the big battle and injuring each other so badly they cannot go out and face the real enemy.

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  29. What is a Post-Evangelical?

    “To to be post-evangelical is to reject evangelical culture in favor of a more catholic, diverse and ancient expression of the Christian faith, while adhering to evangelical doctrine without becoming part of team or faction operating under the illusion of superiority to others and a closure of the Christian conversation.” -Me

    https://internetmonk.com/archive/what-do-i-mean-by-post-evangelical
    https://internetmonk.com/archive/what-is-a-post-evangelical-part-2

    Or two words: Robert Webber

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  30. haha,
    bickerers bick? I think the first two letters are correct at least.

    I think sometimes you bring it on yourself Michael with vague, nuanced wording. Not that it justifies a response like that which was given, but it does cause trouble at times.

    The most I can gather about your post-evangelicalism at times is what it “isn’t”. That’s the same with your view of the Bible. I know a lot about what it isn’t….maybe you should start displaying the positive aspects of what you believe…or maybe I just remember the negatives.

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  31. Oh brother. That’s the problem, you know. While you’re out there living your faith – these obsessers are nit-picking a word to death.

    Only Christians will pick a ridiculous point like “Is it okay to do Santa?” or “Is a Christmas tree paganism” or “Is a man who spends his life living and breathing and preaching the Bible going to hell because he uses the wrong word?”

    Get real people…no wonder people look at us and go: “And I’d want to be part of this…why?”

    To the obsessers, let me introduce a little word to you. It starts with an L – and it’s called liberty. You get it from Jesus. In his inerrant/authentic/inspired/true word, you can look it up. Please spend some time doing so.

    imonk – walk in liberty, sweetie.

    You know who you are and whose blood flows through your veins. Let the bickerers bick (or whatever they do…is bick a word?) and just do your thing.

    Carry on…

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  32. I’ve figured out your problem, Michael. It’s your spelling. You’re spelling it ‘inerrancy’, when it should be spelled ‘shibboleth’. An easy mistake to make.

    Like

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