Monthly Archives: February 2010

In Terms of Truth

Inerrancy is the view that when all the facts become known, they will demonstrate that the Bible in its original autographs and correctly interpreted is entirely true and never false in all it affirms, whether that relates to doctrine or ethics or to the social, physical, or life sciences.

Probably the most important aspect of this definition is its definition of inerrancy in terms of truth and falsity rather than in terms of error. It has been far more common to define inerrancy as “without error,” but a number of reasons argue for relating inerrancy to truth and falsity.

From the article Inerrancy and Infallibility of the Bible

Microbes Aren’t Mentioned

Microbes aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Bible.

TomS pointing out that the most numerous kingdom of organisms on Earth is completely ignored in the biblical creation account. From the comment thread of a blog entry on Panda’s Thumb

Logical Ends

Inerrancy, taken to its logical end, results in the impression that we can learn all we need about life and doctrine from Scripture apart from God. Infallibility requires that we trust in God (the living author) to speak through the text (indeed, even in spite of its pre-scientific notions). We don’t trust Scripture because it is without “error” (i.e., without cultural limitations); we trust its message because it is from God.

From a blog post about inerrancy and infallibility at the website Becoming Creation.

Do not opt for the Gimmick

Jesus does not opt for the gimmick—jumping off the Temple. Jesus is not driven by ego, or the need to make his ministry appealing to the masses. He is not about putting on a good show.

Brian Miller in a blog post about the temptation of Christ

Fast from Anxiety

This Lenten season, I will fast from selfishness and feast on compassion. I will fast from anxiety and feast on gratitude.

Quev, from his blog post Give me a calm and thankful heart

Genre Calibration

The biblical descriptions of creation and the flood are ancient texts that address ancient issues within the scope of ancient ways of knowing. These stories are not to be read as if overlapping with or informing scientific investigation of human origins or modern notions of historiography. To think that they do is a genre misidentification of a most fundamental order.

But there is something more important than just excluding certain genre options. Calibrating the genre of Genesis by ancient standards will lead to positive articulations of the nature of Genesis that also respect its ancient setting. In the Genesis/science dialogue, it is not enough to say “we know that Genesis is not science” and be done with it. We must also attempt to articulate, in as direct and unflinching manner as possible, what Genesis is. What was the book of Genesis written to do?

Addressing this question will help us articulate positively how Genesis contributes to Christian thought. The synthesis of Christianity and evolution is all too often perceived as taking something away from Genesis (its literal, historical, scientific value) and leaving nothing behind. Rather, a comparative approach will leave us with a proper notion of what Genesis contributed to ancient Israelite thought, what it now contributes to Christian thought, and the extent to which that entire dynamic can be brought into the Christianity/evolution discussion.

Peter Enns at BeliefNet.com

Infinitely Flexible

Over the centuries since the Bible was written, generations of readers have had all sorts of scientific viewpoints. If each generation felt that the Bible had to be reconciled with the science of its day that would come with a cost—that when science progressed, the science of the Bible would no longer be true. Rather than thinking that the science of the Bible has to be infinitely flexible so as to reconcile with any generation’s view of science, it is preferable to understand that the Bible does not offer a science. Instead, the truth that it has to offer is independent from the science of the ancient world into which God’s Word was communicated.

John Walton, Reconciling Science with Scripture at BeliefNet.com

Shit Doth Happen

I see God as one who knows what an innocent death is like from the inside. I see God as one who has found out the hard way that “Shit happens”. In a universe that is not entirely predictable in itself, and where people are free to mess up, a crucified God is what helps us direct our lives towards resurrection, bringing good out of evil, help to the helpless, and hope from despair.

Aid and practical help, and not comparatively rich Westerners conducting abstract arguments about God, are what Haiti needs right now.

Doug Chaplin, at his blog, on the topic of philosophers and theologians responding to the earthquake in Haiti with arguments about the Problem of Evil.

Standing by…

Ladies, stand by your man, but don’t prop him up.

Jenel Williams Paris on her blog The Paris Project