A Thought on Inerrancy
I have read and disagreed with it for various reasons over the years. Most of my disagreement stems from the statement’s lack of clarity on how words like “true” and its invocation of mythical orignals autographs. However, rereading the statement today I was struck by Article XVIII:
We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture.
We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship.
For some reason, it never struck me before just how convoluted this article actually is. I’m sure that someone will correct me if I’m wrong but it seems that the gist of this article is that the signers affirm gramatico-historical exegesis when it confirms their interpretation and deny it when it doesn’t. That is to say, it is a methodological case of wanting to have one’s cake and eat it too.
For some reason I’m reminded of a proverb:
You can’t shake the Devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.
By the way, none of this is to detract from Chris Tilling’s posts or his “Tilling Statement of Inerrancy,” which seeks to avoid the methodological pitfalls mentioned above as well as a host of other problems.