Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bible Made Impossible: The Collapse of Evangelical "Biblicism"

I've started reading Christian Smith's book entitled, "The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism isn't a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture." Smith is a top sociologist at Notre Dame (and an evangelical Roman Catholic, a title I particularly enjoy) and I found his book challenging and profound. Much of what he said enlightened me in regards to what Scripture is, what it claims and what we claim about it.

Smith isn't arguing against inerrancy per se (though he makes a few cracks about it in passing), but rather how we read the Bible and how individual claim to hold it as their authority. In another way, when inerrancy becomes a defining point of one's salvation or sole authority. This boils down to a larger critique of evangelicalism, namely pervasive interpretive pluralism.

I will post a little quote by Smith and let you do with it what you will. Scot McKnight has a series over at Jesus Creed about Smith's book so I won't beat the horse further into giblets.

Smith:
I am not suggesting that the Bible is just a set of historical writings set in particular cultures, or the record of human subjective experiences of the divine that has little to say to contemporary people without being translated into terms modern people can accept. Instead, what I say here is simply that the biblicism that in much of American evangelicalism is presupposed to be the cornerstone to Christian truth and faithfulness is misguided and impossible. It does not and cannot live up to its own claims" (1).
Thoughts?

--Nick

Footnote:

1. Christian Smith, "The Bible Made Impossible" pgIX.

1 comment:

  1. totally agreed.

    1 for biblical authority and inspiration
    0 for biblical inerrancy.

    cheers

    ReplyDelete