If we learn anything from church history, its that the church fights the same battles over and over again. Until Christ returns and redeems His church, this reality is, to some degree, inevitable. And one of those reoccurring battles is the issue of biblical authority. For a variety of reasons, this topic continues to pop up again and again.
In the last 50 years, one of the key issues related to biblical authority is the issue of inerrancy. Is inerrancy a recent, post-enlightenment, rationalistic (and largely American) invention as so many maintain? While one most always be careful to explain and nuance the meaning of the term, I don’t think it should be kicked to the curb as some suggest. Rather, I have argued elsewhere (see here) that it is one of the most natural words for expressing the core belief that Christian’s have always had about the Bible, namely that it is true.
Because of the importance of inerrancy, I was pleased to participate in the forthcoming volume, The Inerrant Word: Biblical, Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspectives, ed. John MacArthur (Crossway, 2016). This volume pulls together a fine collection of pastors and scholars including Ligon Duncan, John Frame, Carl Trueman, Stephen Nichols, Al Mohler, Kevin DeYoung, Sinclair Ferguson, Mark Dever, R.C. Sproul, and others.
My own chapter was entitled, “Inerrancy, Canonicity, Preservation, and Textual Criticism.” As the title suggests, I deal with two major challenges two inerrancy: Do we have the right books? And do we have the right text?
The volume is set for release on March 31, 2016.
I’m taking an online course right now that entails the doctrines of revelation, inerrancy, and the authority and inspiration of Scripture using lectures and materials from Dr. Sam Waldron. I look forward to getting this book.
Edit: Is “in” inerrancy a recent, post-enlightenment, rationalistic (and largely American) invention as so many maintain?
Lose the first ‘in’ inerrancy.
Love your blog!
M. Howard Kehr
Nick Walters says
I can’t wait for this to come out – it is so needed. Protestant evangelicals can arm wrestle over a host of issues like election and the time of the tribulation, etc. but when we as believers can agree, like the ICBI did 30 years ago, on the basic inerrancy and sufficiency and authority of Scripture then the Bride is well served. I hope to be able to share this with others as I teach the series Can I Trust the Bible? Did I mention I can’t wait for this to come out?
David McMurtry says
Christianity over the centuries bought into inerrancy in a way, way too linear and restrictive way, which, unfortunately continues today. Great football coaches effortlessly inspire their troops with words and stories that would not hold up in court, but make their intended emotional connection. If their words and stories didn’t inspire, then that would be error. Shouldn’t the great inspired writers/teachers of Scripture be given the same literary leeway. If the use of Satan motivates the audience, does Satan have to be real to be inerrant? All it takes to determine one from the other is to tell, through context, whether the intent of the inspired words were instructional or inspiration. Just as it was irrelevant whether there actually was a prodigal son or good samaritan or not for Jesus’ parables to emotionally connect, the same applies to other teaching examples in Scripture. Let’s give these great inspired authors of Scripture whatever leeway they need to get their message across. After all, Satan had boundaries while evil and depravity have none.
Ernst Wendland says
Based on your past writings, I conclude that you have done an excellent job with respect to textual issues as they relate to the NT canon and the inerrancy of Scripture. Do you happen to know who will be doing a corresponding study in relation to the OT books and canon? This domain is where some even more serious challenges to biblical authority are being raised nowadays.
Michael Kruger says
Thanks, Ernst. I don’t know of anyone right now who is planning to write such a volume on the OT canon. I have considered doing such a volume myself in the past, but it is quite a daunting project since its outside my field. Brevard Childs, of course, wrote a volume in the NT canon even though he was an OT scholar. But, I am no Brevard Childs!
I’m particularly looking forward to your chapter, Michael. My current ThM Thesis is on the Reformed Doctrine of the Providential Preservation of Scripture, 1590-1670, focusing on the development from Whitaker through Owen and on to Turretin. Is there much engagement with the historical development of the doctrine in your chapter?
Oh sorry I should have said my name is Richard Brash.