Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Anger and Inerrancy
Lately, I've begun to rethink a lot of things, doctrines that I have always held but never for any particular reason. Doctrines like the Trinity, hell and others. For the most part, I think I've come down on the side of orthodoxy, albeit more or less on the more moderate side of evangelical scholarship.
But this post is something different. When I began to read Ehrman and Sparks, I was struck by a lot of seemingly contradictory elements in Scripture, both textually and theologically. The amount of this stuff was just mind-blowing.
Of course, a few years ago, I was under the assumption that the Bible was written in English. I kid, mostly.
But, in going through Biola University and getting a minor in Biblical Studies, I was struck by how little I really know of critical scholarship. Allison informed me that she learned about a lot of this at Biola while getting her Bachelors in Biblical Studies. This was news to me, because either I turned out most of my theology courses (admittedly a mild possibility) or they simply didn't mention such things.
I'm inclined to think they didn't mention them, and I'm certain I didn't get such resources in high school. When I discovered this, I was furious. I felt like I had been lied to. Allison mentioned that she knew about these things and Biola professors had worked on them, I literally shouted into the phone, "then why the hell didn't someone tell me?" Mind you, I wasn't angry at her at all. I was more angry at the fact that I found things were hidden from me.
I'm now reading through Kenton Spark's book Sacred Word, Broken Word and am now delving into critical scholarship to dissect this idea of inerrancy to see if it is applicable and actually true. I hope it is, but I've slowly come to realize that if inerrancy isn't true (or has been improperly defined) then I wouldn't have much of an issue not believing it.
So, in essence, I think my anger is and was reasonable. However, cooler heads prevailed and now the research can actually begin. My bank account may suffer a bit, but in between buying and aging beers, inerrancy seems like a more worthy hobby.