Biblical Inerrancy Part 3: Defending The Truth?

magnifying-glass-162886_640Historically we Christians have a hankering to want to defend things.  In the Middle Ages we thought the Holy Land really was Holy and killed many “infidels” defending it.  In more modern times we, thankfully, have put our literal swords away but frequently engage in political battles to “defend” Christian America and other Christian countries  from abortionists, homosexuals, and secular humanists.

But the clarion call of defense which probably resonates the strongest among the church is the one which calls on the defense of Biblical Inerrancy.  For example did you know you can go to Defending Inerrancy website and sign the following petition:

“I affirm that the Bible alone, and in its entirety, is the infallible written Word of God in the original text and is, therefore, inerrant in all that it affirms or denies on whatever topic it addresses.”

Now who the petition is actually petitioning is a bit unclear.  God?  The President?  Liberal Christians?  Rachel Maddow?   Whatever governing authority is petitioned is besides the point because the main goal is this:
you can join your fellow Christians in defending the Bible from the infidels.

I am so glad this group doesn’t have swords!


Today’s Bible

The Bible that we have today fluctuated a bit for the first 400 years after Christ with different voices expressing certain books being added and subtracted at various times.  Over the years what we now have as The Bible coalesced and by the 5th century the complete list of books viewed as canon was generally accepted.

What’s interesting to note is that in the 5th century the Bible was considered inspired by God and essential to the Christian faith but would not have been considered “inerrant” in the way today’s defenders would hold.

And why is that?

Because it was the Pope, Christ’s representative on Earth, who was infallible and inerrant, not the Bible.

Of course when the Protestant Reformation occurred the Pope was ousted so a new “plumline”,  a new “true North” was needed.  The Bible quickly became the new Pope.  The new Christ’s representative on Earth.

Sola Scriptura was born!

The Bible was no longer the inspired “word”…it was now The Word of God!

Tyndale_Bible_-_Gospel_of_JohnDefending Truth

In those very self same scriptures however Jesus never calls his followers to defend anything.  We are called to share with others the Good News that God loves you, he is for you, and he is inviting you into a new way of life; a life rooted in compassion and mercy.  One of the closest “calls” for a “defense” is in one of Peter’s letters:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

1 Peter 3:15

You want to defend something? Defend against the hopelessness that permeates mankind! Be ready at all times to give the reason why you have hope!    And even then make sure you do it with a gentleness and respect.

You see, when we get into defense mode, we immediately assume a warlike stance.  We may say the words of love, but in truth Christians who are defending things lose almost all the forms of gentleness and respect.

We win a battle and lose people’s hearts in the process.

And as I’ve mentioned before, Jesus doesn’t need me to defend him.  That has all the logic of me telling Chuck Norris to stand back when faced by thugs.  You know, “Stay in the car Chuck, I’ll take care of this.”


Remember, God is our Father!  The parent defends the child not the other way around.

Oh Yeah…don’t forget the Fear!

The above petition by Defending Inerrancy notes the following:


This is why the Defending Inerrancy initiative was created. We’ve already lost a growing list of evangelical scholars over the issue of inerrancy. Now we are trying to reach the latest generation of Christian leaders before it is too late. Would you please consider signing our petition and taking a stand for biblical inerrancy.

Before it’s too late? Too late for what?  Somehow God’s eternal plan is going to be thrown off course by liberal theologians?

A word of advice;

Anytime someone tries to get you to do something for God or your faith by appealing to your fear…run!  Run fast!

I’ll end this post by affirming my belief in what the scriptures say of itself:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

2 Tim 3:16

Paul the Apostle seemed to think this was a pretty good way to view scripture and I am in full agreement


  • Here’s the logical conclusion to this post.

    All who defend ideas except for mankind’s hopelessness are in error.
    This blog post defends an idea other than mankind’s hopelessness (namely, it defends the position that it’s wrong to defend inerrancy).
    Therefore, this blog post is in error.

    • Steve

      My conclusion is as Christians we are not called to “defend” anything…we are to proclaim Good News

  • Good post Steve, and thought-provoking. I have come to learn that if you say the Bible is “inspired” – surely a good thing! – there is a vocal section of the church that will say you are demeaning the scriptures. It seems to me there are slippery slopes on both sides of this issue and the safest course, as you suggest, is to reconcile all our uncertainties in Christ.

    • Steve

      Totally agree Paul!

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