Inerrancy: Who Let the Dogs Out?

If you have been meaning to get a handle on the issue of biblical inerrancy in a post-Enlightenment world, a window of opportunity has just opened. I mentioned yesterday that Dr Dan Wallace, under criticism of heresy from a commenter on the Pyromaniac blog, has published an excellent paper called “My Take on Inerrancy“. In that response, Dan highlights the long journey towards his current beliefs and puts forward a position of inerrancy that is constructed differently than the Enlightenment inspired bumper sticker approach. His idea of inerrancy is:

– inductive rather than deductive

– dependent on Christ Himself as the starting point for inerrancy rather than modern assumptions that are superimposed on Scripture.

His position may not get him listed on the Fundie blogroll, but it will no doubt give them food for thought.

Related on Tallskinnykiwi:

Reinventing Jesus (review)

Dan Wallace on Truth and Text

My Cuzz’s Bible (yes, Dan Wallace married my wife’s cousin)

Visit of Dan Wallace in Prague

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Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • ScottB says:

    I thought it was a great paper. I love that he starts with Christology and I think that his approach is significantly stronger for it. Pete Enns of Westminster Theological Seminary has a fascinating book that I’ve been reviewing called Inspiration and Incarnation. It’s a great addition to the discussion of what it means to hold the bible as authoritative. He follows some of the same approach that Wallace uses – his analogy is that scripture is incarnational in the fullest sense of the word, so drawing analogies between Christ and scripture. He talks about the way that our hermeneutic should be shaped by our understanding of the context of the biblical writers – not just historical background, but what it would have meant to write an account of history in the ancient near east (as opposed to twenty first century developed nations). Some of Wallace’s comments remind me of Enns’s book, which is a strength imho.

  • This was my humble take on Inerrancy, thank you for pointing to a site that is Christ centered in it’s aproach.

  • Nate Custer says:

    Maybe this is my lack of evangelical roots showing but I just am not convinced that inerrancy is _the_ thing that we must guard above all others. Do most everyone here understand inerrancy that way?

  • Hi Nate
    i know its not a big issue in the liberal world but in the evangelical world is a big thing.
    but even in the evangelical and post-evangelical world, inerrancy should not be as high on the theological taxonomy as other doctrines such as soteriology.
    What Dan does in his article is show a taxonomy of doctrinal importance in which he places his view of inerrancy.
    take a look.

  • Philip says:

    Wow, what a great article (My Take on inerrancy). I do sweat with this area. As a pentecostal refugee I really struggle with the fact that I struggle with Biblical literalisim yet fear going over to the darkside (liberalisim).
    I have stolen this link and used it as a discussion point at our discussion group

  • thanks Phil for your great post on the death of the Maori Queen

  • toddh says:

    Thanks for the link. I loved how Wallace reasoned his way through the inerrancy issue in plain terms and also responded gracefully to his critics. I also have been challenged by Carl Raschke’s take on inerrancy in his book, The Next Reformation. I’m not sure I follow it completely, but I really think he’s on to something there.

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