Are There Errors in Bible?
I tried to contribute in the comments section here. 🙂 which landed up in a long “short” comment below :
“I’ll try to keep it short.
1. I’m not comfortable with the term “inerrancy”. But, I’m happy that there are more “refined” discussion on the matter through people like Vanhoozer.
2. I’m ok and respect people would want to use the term .. But feel it’s important to make it a sub-catergory on the discussion on the doctrine of Scripture and revelation rather as a main catergory (even as a litmus text of one’s orthodoxy.) I think the Scriptures we have is primarily a theological document (which doesn’t mean that it’s not scientific or not historical – but then even these “scientific” and “historical” biases are often superimposed on the texts!) The catergories of “authority”, “truthfulness”, “reliability” do offer a more possitive way forward at least for our internal discussions.
3. I think our “debate on inerrancy” especially in Malaysian evangelicalism (at least discussed here) is shaped much by western evangelical debates and formulations (well, we are limited in resources and still depend much on western scholarly material). perhaps as you’ve indicated in our interaction with how people of other faiths view their scriptures we would be “challenged” to formulate our understanding and presentation. Further more, “correctly interpreted” by who and based on what assumptions (My Luther Bug is itching here!)? That would move us into “hermeneutics” which perhaps is more of where our solutions may be discovered.
4. In terms of relating to the “others”. I think the better tactical move in “conversations” and “dialogues” with other faiths and their views of Scripture is on the message they see their scriptures s well as their religion convey (cf. the last forum I went for at UM moved in that direction.
5. So, now … from your description of the presenters above – that people of other religions are using the same tactic we’ve used to battle Science in the west. So, now we have the Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu and Christian all claiming “proofs” of divine origin. Where do you think this will lead to? This is an interesting development on their end especially for the Buddist and Hindu faiths. My question is why did they make this “move”?
6. Thus, I don’t find focusing or fixation on “inerrancy” (i.e. free from errors/mistakes) to be that relevant overall in the schemes of things. It’s necesary to clarify when they point out what our neighbors see as “errors” or “mistakes” (of course, I;d ask what are they?) – thus, the work of apologetics right?
7. I have confidence in the “inherent” 🙂 truthfulness in the Scriptures as the library of documents (we consider canon)and external and internal work of the Spirit … and thus, the priority of the “good news” being heard first (trusting in faith much that can happen), rather than … trying to convince people this is “accurate news” (which may unconsciously give too much weight resting our faith on science and history – defined much by enlightenment impulses)- of course, this is more complex than this comment can convey.
8. as for context, the critique of “postmodern” thinkers as well as those advocating “postfoundational” moves (cf. Stanley Grenz, LeRon Shults) has to me brought to my awareness how deeply intertwined much modern evangelical thought (as well as the “liberals”) is with the struggle with modernity (I think this is important for us “evangelicals” here in Malaysia to take note). Bishop Hwa Yung argues along the same line in his “Mangos and Bananas” piece. I’ve heard from people in the NECF research commission say, “we are no friend of modernity”. I think there’s this engagement DR. NKW wrote which didn’t seel as much as purpose-drive life! I sense there’s a “fear” of people buying into “postmodernism” (whatever that means to different people “from relativism to pluralism”) uncritically (personally, I see the need to anchor the discussion on postmodernism better in terms of its reaction against the modern west). Like it or not, we get the “debris of modernity” here in asia (to use Sherman’s quote) and the “dust of postmodernity” (in some form or another). I think each generation needs to engage our times and the voices that are “speaking” out (and that depends on who are we listening to. A little side track, The little I know about “postcolonial” thought is that what those engaging “postmodernity” is doing “self-critically” for the west, we are doing as the generation “after the colonial” era in the mess of globalization in terms of breaking out of a “colonial” mindset of the past and a “neo-colonial” mindset of today(which is deeper that just buying Malaysian products *grin* which is a good start). That’s just about context.
9. I think I went a little too long ..and may have rambled. Back to our topic, I’ll submit this link for your reference:-)for another perspective http://www.luthersem.edu/ctrf/JCTR/Vol06/Perry.htm (more specific to our discussion on inerrancy).
now for some mental rest
The Bible for the Post Modern World
Bishop Wright says, “The Bible does not tell us to ignore postmodernity and carry on as though modernity were still what mattered. Far from it. The Bible tells a story which will lead us through postmodernity’s necessary critique of modernity and on, through, out the other side. “
The Doctrine of the Trinity and Subordination
Interesting to see how the doctrine has effects in everyday life matters.