"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Forget President of the United States: Mike Huckabee for President of the Southern Baptist Convention

Mike Huckabee’s served as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (1989-91) and several other years as an Arkansas Baptist pastor. In the July 19, 1990, issue of the Arkansas Baptist News, ABSC President Mike Huckabee wrote the following column that I felt was worth my Southern Baptist brothers and sisters in Christ reading. His words could have been lifted straight from 'Grace and Truth to You.'

“The ‘L’ word that may characterize our greatest threat is not liberalism but legalism. If all the liberals in Arkansas Baptist churches held a meeting, they could meet in the corner booth of a Waffle House and still have room for guests.

Legalism is the reduction of the whole of the Bible to a rather limited system of ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ that the one espousing already lives. By carefully limiting ‘right and wrong’ to those beliefs or practices one already adheres to, the legalist is able to always be right and never wrong. Convenient system to be sure. It requires no struggle of conscience, no agonizing soul-searching, no brokenness. Others aren’t judged by the character of Christ, but by the behavior of the legalist.

Legalism is not limited to the theological camp of the conservatives, moderates or anyone in between or beyond. Like a worthless weed, it grows in whatever soil it is planted and is capable of choking out anything that gets in its way without ever producing fruit of value.

Biblical faith is sure about God, but never so sure about self. Legalistic faith is sure of self, and may or may not be as sure of God and His Word. A legalist questions everyone else’s motives and mission, but never sees a need to question his own. A strong Christian is not only interested in believing right, but living right. A strong Christian should want others to be more like Jesus, not more ‘like me.’

We do not live under ‘Lord Law,’ ‘Lord Tradition,’ ‘Lord Religion’ or even ‘Lord Belief.’ We are saved when we confess ‘Lord Jesus.’ When He is Lord, we learn a new ‘L’ word – love. Jesus said that the world would know we belonged to Him not because we worship the same, believe the same or even live the same, but because we love one another.”


Uh, Mike, how about being President of the Southern Baptist Convention?

In His Grace,

Wade Burleson

83 comments:

Jack Maddox said...

Great post Wade! SO far I am leaning towards Bro. Mike for President although I am unsure about his position on illegal immigration; however, that is not a watershed issue for me. He is not only a great guy, a fellow preacher, A Southern Baptist and a gifted and convictional communicator, he is also a rock guitarist and plays in a band! Being a bit of a picker myself, I say yes to the Rockin Republican, MIKE HUCKABEE!

His words on legalism are DEAD ON!

As far as SBC Pres...he would have to run against you and Dr. Mohler and I think he comes in a distant
3rd : )

jrm

Robert Hutchinson said...

i'd vote for that kind of spirit.

Steve said...

As disappointed as we have all been with the political talk in the United States the past generation -

as uproariously frustrated as many of us have been with the last two or three occupants of the Executive Mansion, flexible as they've been, to the point of absolute spinelessness -

as ready to give up on our American culture as many seem to be -

Is there hope in this country for a man who actually has a sense of the Presence of God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ to become President? Lord, may it be so. I hope Gov. Huckabee means what he says, and that this country can have the best man for the job next time, whether M.H. or not.

Plus, coming from Arkansaw, he probably knows what real iced tea tastes like.

RKSOKC66 said...

Mike Huckabee would be a great president -- either the SBC or the USA.

I don't know how to access how interested he would be in being a candidate for the SBC president's jobs. Maybe this will become clearer between now and Indianapolis.

If Huckabee is one of the "top tier" candidates for the Republican presidental nomination after all or most of the primaries are over then I think that he would not be "available" to be drafted as a candidate for SBC president. He would have a "full time" job running his campaign for USA president.

I thought Mike Huckabee did OK in last night's debate. However, we didn't hear much from him since McCain, Guilani, and Romney seemed to "monopolize" the proceedigs.

The only thing I remember him saying was that "I am the only theologian here and I hold that the Bible does not have any errors. However, there are some differences of interpretation that are possible and also some sections of the Bible are allogorical". [This is my rough paraphraise]

I didn't hear Huckabee weigh in on the major issues such Iraq, Immigration, or the Economy. CNN seemed to be showcasing some of the other candidates more. I think Huckabee is going to have to gain more traction in the next eight to ten weeks to have a reasonable chance of surviving the Jan - Mar primary season.

Roger Simpson
Oklahoma City OK

Trish said...

Did you know that Mike Huckabee is a good friend of Word of Faith preacher Kenneth Copeland, that this week he is doing an engagement KCM this week? See the story at the FTW Star Telegram:
http://www.star-telegram.com/elections/story/316748.html

This causes me great concern for someone who is supposed to be a Christian. If you do not think that his support of Kenneth Copeland is a problem then you need to do some studying up on Word of Faith. I have a link on my blog to an article on this topic written by an evangelist whose ministry is about educating people about the dangers of this teaching. Please look into this before you dismiss what I am saying because you will find that Kenneth Copeland and his wife Gloria do not teach truth.

Trish

Wade Burleson said...

Trish,

I never ceased to be amazed at how some Southern Baptists feel that truth, the Spirit, and/or genuine Christianity is somehow compromised by 'associating' with people who are different.

I have a great deal more faith than that. By the way, please identify yourself and your place of ministry and/or service. Your name leads me to believe you are somebody other than you say.

In His Grace,

Wade

Alycelee said...

Mike is the real deal.
I have the highest respect for him and would vote for him for anything.
Plus, he lives 3 blocks from me :)

Trish said...

Wade,

I do not understand why you would doubt that I am who I say I am or what about the name "Trish" would lead to those doubts. I recently started a blog and provided that link with my comment. If you follow the link, you can find out about me and even see a picture of who I am if you go to one of the comments. Can you please share with me your reasons for doubting my integrity?

Thanks,
Trish

Bro. Robin said...

Wade

I know we don't converse much on your site, but I just wanted to confirm that Trish is a real person. My wife and I met her in San Antonio and she is currently pursuing a degree at Southwestern. Click on her name and you will find her site.

She is trying to offer one SBC woman's perception on issues. I am sure you would agree that is a good thing even though you may disagree with her point of view?

Thanks and God Bless

Bro. Robin

Wade Burleson said...

Trish and Robin,

Thanks for the clarification.

Now I realize that it was Trish's blog that appeared when I clicked her name. Usually, a blog profile will appear. I only quickly viewed the page when it appeared and it looked like it was a professional magazine article at first.

My bad. I apologize for doubting your identity. I just did not wish someone to pose as you, and not be you.

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Robin,

I absolutely believe it is a wonderful thing for a women to share her views in the SBC -

Even in Hebrew.

:)

Bro. Robin said...

As long as there is an interpreter, I am OK with it.

:-D

Joel Rainey said...

Speaking as someone who believes Copeland's "Gospel" is straight from the pit of hell, I have to take exception to the statements criticizing Huckabee for appearing on Copeland's TV show.

Huckabee isn't going on as a pastor, but as a presidential canddiate. And if you read the article, you will notice that Huckabee praised the Copelands for their warmth and demeanor . . .NOT their theology.

I have mixed feelings about this senator requesting financial records. One one hand, I lament the lavish lifestyles these people live. But I think I'm more afraid of our government deciding what is "lavish."

Sorry to get a bit off point Wade.

Darby Livingston said...

Trish,

While we are called to be in the world, and not of it, and I appreciate the desire to be consecrated to God; I think we would do well to remember that consecration is objectively a reality in Christ, and subjectively a state of our hearts. Christ was absolutely holy wherever he was and with whomever he associated with. He was a friend of sinners. Your concern for godliness is admirable, but are we always guilty by association? Isn't that one of the Pharisees' charges against Christ? While bad company corrupts good morals, is it not also possible that a high tide raises all ships?

Trish said...

Joel,

You need to go watch just the first part of the show on Nov. 26 where Kenneth Copeland makes a point of saying that Mike Huckabee is not there as a presidential candidate but that he is there as an ordained minister of the gospel.

Wade, thanks for clearing things up and for apologizing.

Thanks,
Trish

greg.w.h said...

The flip side of the "guilty by association" presumption is the presumption of "holiness by association" ("they're one of us") for those that agree with leaders and support political agendas that have little resemblance to biblical Christianity. If it works for Convention entity heads, who is to say that Mike's presence in the Copland situation can't bring holiness there, too?

;)

Greg Harvey

Lin said...

"You need to go watch just the first part of the show on Nov. 26 where Kenneth Copeland makes a point of saying that Mike Huckabee is not there as a presidential candidate but that he is there as an ordained minister of the gospel."

He is an ordained minister wherever he goes. Kind of hard to get around that one. :o)

BTW: Would he be the first ordained minister in the White House? Was Wilson ordained?

Wade Burleson said...

He wouldn't be the first Baptist.

George Washington was baptized by Baptist Chaplain John Gano, in the presence of many of Washington's top army officers, and a picture of that event hangs in the foyer of William Jewell's chapel in Liberty, Missouri.

Whether or not GW would have qualified as an IMB missionary is still in doubt.

:)

Michael said...

it's nice how Justin Peters analysis is so "objective" isn't it?

David Simpson said...

I like Mike, not just because he's a Southern Baptist, but because he used to run an ACTS Network affiliate in Arkansas. As a former ACTS affilliate station manager, I deeply respect anyone who has had to endure endless reruns of The Sunshine Factory, Life Today with Jimmy Rogers, Country Crossroads, and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (to this day I can't get that theme song out of my head).

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

I think Huckabee would be great for either position. Lets hope he gets elected to one of them.

As far as your first response to Trish:

{Trish,

I never ceased to be amazed at how some Southern Baptists feel that truth, the Spirit, and/or genuine Christianity is somehow compromised by 'associating' with people who are different.}

That was a good one . Why do some Christians spend so much time, energy and websites lambasting other Christians who are "different"?

Yes, I referred to brother Copeland as a Christian, because he is. I challenge anyone on this blog to prove that he is not.

He may dwell on what some of you call the "health and prosperity" part of the Gospel, but should he dwell on "sickness and poverty" more to please you?

Yes, he has even said some things that are a bit different, but who hasn`t. Lets videotape everything you say and analyze it .


Legalism is bad enough by itself, let`s not combine it with fear.

Batchaps said...

Michael

Please explain your reference to Justin Peters?

Russ+

Trish said...

Darby, if a public figure such as Mike Huckabee associates with another public figure such as Kenneth Copeland then his association lends credibility to Kenneth Copeland. If Kenneth Copeland is teaching dangerous doctrines, and I believe he is, then Christians do not need to see him as legitimate. But don't take my word for what Kenneth Copeland teaches, you don't have to take Justin's word. He'll be the first one to tell you to be a Berean, search the scriptures yourself and compare what is taught by Kenneth Copeland and what is in God's word.

Lin, my response was in reference to Mike Huckabee being at KCM as a presidential candidate. I was showing that Kenneth Copeland was denying this, I was not making an issue out of him being there as an ordained minister, I was supplying the words Kenneth Copeland used to clarify the reason Mike Huckabee was there. Please don't read more into what was written.

David, this is not about legalism or being different. It's about truth, God's truth. Like I said above, don't take my word for it, go be a Berean and investigate it for yourself. I'm not asking anyone to agree with me just because it is what I say or believe to be true. I'm just asking for people to do the researc and decide based on what you learn. If what you learn doesn't change your mind, fine, great, but at least you will have made an informed decision.

It's not my intention to stir up a hornet's next and generate arguments or have this issue hashed out here on Wade's blog so I'll leave this subject now.

Wade, I'm sorry that my comment caused such a fuss. I explained above what I thought I was doing.

Blessings everyone,
Trish

Dave Miller said...

One of the blessings (?) of being an Iowa pastor is that every 4 years, the Republican candidates for president want to curry your favor. Sioux City is a town of 80,000 that is halfway between Obscurity Junction and Nowheresville. Yet, just about every candidate from both parties seems to live here every fourth autumn.

I don't know what will happen in January, but the Huckabee buzz in Iowa is amazing. The last poll I saw had him in the lead here. I believe he will win the Iowa caususes.

I just hope he doesn't name Kenneth Copeland as his running mate.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Trish: He was a guest on his show. Period. I have seen other good conservatives guest on Paul Crouch's show for example. It is not guilt by association. Mike Huckabee has been pretty clear on his theology.

Ron West said...

Trish,
I have known Mike Huckabee for 20 years and I don’t have to know what Ken Copeland’s theology is to know that Mike Huckabee is a solid theological conservative whose beliefs are in line with mainstream Southern Baptist teaching. I remember reading the column Wade shared when it was printed in the Arkansas Baptist newsmagazine. He was a force for common sense conservatism in those days when some on the nutty fringe of the conservative resurgence were trying to take over our convention. I voted for Mike for president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention and could vote for him for president of the SBC or the US with out any problem.

Since you are concerned about political association corrupting someone’s theology, it might interest you to know that the president of the seminary you attend has for political reasons been an active member and supporter of the Committee on National Policy which has been dominated by supporters of Sung Myung Moon and his heretical Unification Theology as well as leaders of the Christian Reconstructionist Dominion Theology. Should we assume that he is influenced by the theology of Moon that says Jesus was a failure? In fact, if we carry the guilt by association a step further, since you attend the seminary this man is president of, should we not assume your theology is suspect?
Ron West

Jack Maddox said...

Ron

Wow Brother...I understand your point but go easy...Trish just stated an opinion...please do not turn this into a PP hate fest!

jrm

Lindon said...

"I was not making an issue out of him being there as an ordained minister, I was supplying the words Kenneth Copeland used to clarify the reason Mike Huckabee was there. Please don't read more into what was written."

Did Huckabee preach? Does he still preach as governor? Or was he interviewed? He cannot help what Copeland says about him.

"if a public figure such as Mike Huckabee associates with another public figure such as Kenneth Copeland then his association lends credibility to Kenneth Copeland."


If you are worried about lending credibility with associations then you may want to check out Dorothy Patterson''s bio on her website. Here is an excerpt:

Dr. Patterson has traveled to more than 75 countries; she met with Pope John Paul in his private apartment in the Vatican; she served as Chair for President Ronald Reagan's Presidential Bible Committee and was received in the Oval Office; she has had coffee with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachen Begin in his Knesset office; *****she's been the guest of Yaser Arafat at a midnight banquet in Sadam Hussein's palace guest house in Baghdad.****


YIKES! The POPE and Arafat!

Lindon said...

"Christian Reconstructionist Dominion Theology. "

Now those are scary guys. They scare me more than the Moonies. If they had their way, I would be wearing a burqua.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I would vote Mike Huckabee as the next SBC President. He gets it according to the quote on the OP.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the 1990 version of Mike Huckabee would be a great SBC president, but I can assure you the 2007 version has no business being president of the United States or of the SBC.

Colin McGahey said...

I never ceased to be amazed at how some Southern Baptists feel that truth, the Spirit, and/or genuine Christianity is somehow compromised by 'associating' with people who are different.

You picked Southern Baptists out of Christendom to admonish, but you glossed over Paul's treatment of some who are "different."


1 Corinthians 5:11
But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.


Not only does he admonish not to associate with ones that are different, but these ones are others claiming to be Christians. Here again,

2 Thessalonians 3:14
If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed;


and

2 Thessalonians 3:6
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.


Not only in these, but we see the attitude reflected in 2 Cor 11:4,12-15; 2 Peter 2:1,3; Titus 3:10; and Acts 20:29. So we see that it is not mere "difference" that is the issue, but the type of difference. Trish, I believe, was alluding to a type of difference, not a general one. If we want to be constructive and address her comment, I suggest addressing the specific difference, namely the purported false teaching, instead of attacking her Berean attitude-- one, I might add, that is echoed by Paul and Peter in these verses. Or, perhaps, their faith wasn't stronger than that.

Ron West said...

Jack Maddox,
I am not trying to attack Trish. I am just trying to show how guilt by association can be carried to ridiculous lengths. For Trish I would say do your research on Mike Huckabee before you try to imply something about his character through his appearing with this Copeland guy. Do your research on your seminary president and the Council on National Policy also.

UCM said...

Mrs. Patterson associated with President Reagan?!?!?


Didn't Mrs. Reagan consult astrologers and help plan the President's calendar around what the astrologers told her?

CP Dependent M said...

Wade, thank you for this website and the support it gives your Ms serving around the world. I am a big fan of the Cooperative Program. My undergraduate and graduate degrees were both subsidized by the CP. The 2 small churches I pastored were blessed by the CP. And now a large part of my salary through the IMB comes from the CP.

While I think that Huckabee may make a good president of our country, I hope the president of our convention comes from a church that strongly supports the CP.

Hopefully the Cooperative Program commitment of our current president will be an example to those who want to serve as our next president.

Thanks,

CP Dependent M

UCM said...

“Kenneth and Gloria Copeland are about the most gracious, authentic, and humble people I know and I consider them dear friends,” Huckabee wrote to Time magazine. “They have brought hope to millions and have operated with the utmost integrity as far as I know.

“I have found them to be as warm and genuine in their private moments as they are in their public moments,” he said.

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071123/30195_Huckabee_Undeterred_by_Senate_Probe_of_Copeland.htm

Rex Ray said...

Trish,
My goal is not for you to like me, but that in your search for truth, you will find it.

Most of your life, as you have noted, has been on a path of untruth. All of us are on a road that has detours of untruth as our minds grasp in thinking we are right. If we take two steps forward and one back, we will get there but it takes more time.

My father wrote his master’s thesis on what student’s grade made the best teacher. It was based by asking people their ‘best’ teacher, and then checking the teacher’s grades they made in school. Surprisingly, it was the ‘B’ student. The ‘A’ student learned fast by jumping from mountain top to mountain top and had a tendency to teach that way. The ‘B’ student had to learn also in the valleys. The best teachers taught in the valleys, and their students did not get ‘lost’ on mountain tops.

I say all that to say in studying the Bible; do not skim the mountain tops. An illustration of that would be Burleson skimming your blog and declaring you may be a ‘fake’ person. I believe the reason he came to that conclusion; he did not like what you were saying and was influenced by many ‘fake’ people on his blog. (He did not go in the ‘valley’ with you.)

A preacher told me the longer he preached, the more he realized he was spoon fed in the seminary. If you have read the blog of Emily McGowin, she tells how one school made her believe a woman should leave the preaching to men while the school she is in now has the opposite view.

Always remember the Holy Spirit will teach us just as Jesus said. For many years, I was troubled in not knowing the meaning in the BFM that says, “We believe the Bible has…truth, without any mixture of error for its matter.” I could not understand “mixture”. I see now what the presiding lawyer for the SBC, Michael Whitehead told me is based on Scripture:

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJ 2 Timothy 2:15) Even this Scripture bothered me for I would ask myself: How/why would you divide truth?

The lawyer said, “That means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue. That is why we added ‘and all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

Trish, the important thing to remember is the lies of the devil, lies of men, ignorance and stupidity of men that is in the Bible is NOT Scripture for God cannot tell a lie.

Woe oh woe is me, how do I know what is true and untrue? It’s like Paul said, “STUDY”, and the Holy Spirit will teach us. He will teach us individually—one on one and not by some committee telling God what he can and cannot do.

More advice: Do not reply to me and every person that comes along. It will take too much of your time that you don’t have.

Aaron New said...

I have to say I was disappointed by Huckabee's association with Copeland, too. But I think the issue is more than just "association" or that he is a guest on the show.

It seems that Huckabee admires and appreciates Copeland. Huckabee is on record describing Copeland as a friend and on receiving spiritual (but not political) advice from Copeland. THAT'S what bothers me.

I would rather Huckabee speak out against Copeland rather than be a bedfellow.

But I suppose that is because, like some others, I consider Copeland's theology and teachings to be very dangerous. It sounds like others do not. But affiliating with Copeland (or the APPEARANCE of) is, for me, no better than affiliating with Benny Hinn, just for example.

I suppose there is a fine line between association and affiliation. In the Huckabee/Copeland situation, I see the latter whereas others see the former.

Aaron New said...

This article may be of interest to some.

Jim Paslay said...

Rex Ray said:

"The lawyer said, “That means the truth of the Bible is true and the untruth of the Bible is untrue. That is why we added ‘and all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

Trish, the important thing to remember is the lies of the devil, lies of men, ignorance and stupidity of men that is in the Bible is NOT Scripture for God cannot tell a lie."

Question: does the Apostle Paul's letters fall into the "ignorance and stupidity of men" category? Who determines what is Scripture and what is not?

Besides Mr. Whitehead and you, of course, I don't know anyone who takes this view of the inspiration of Scripture. It is nonsensical and is misleading to say the least. It obviously made an impression on you because this is the umpteenth time you have shared it on this blog! But it still doesn't make it true!

Ronnica said...

I don't know how good of an SBC president he would be, but I think he would make an awesome US president. Go Mike go!

Dave Miller said...

Rex Ray,

Your response to Trish shows exactly the difference between this current controversy and the last one - the conservative resurgence.

This time, the division is between groups with a high view of scripture who have disagreements on minor issues, like certain details of baptism or PPL or other things like that.

The last time, it was a question of a high view of scripture (inerrancy/absolute truth) or a low view of scripture (scripture has God's truth and human error and we have to search through all the human error to find divine truth).

You and others have consistently tried to argue that this controversy is just like the last. It is not. Last time, the issues were fundamental - your comment makes that clear. This time, the issues are tertiary.

Dave Miller said...

By the way,

It also points out the difficulty. We have to walk a very high and thin tight-rope to cross this canyon.

On the one side, if we permit SBC agencies to adopt Rex Ray's view of an errant scripture, we will follow the mainline denominations into compromise, ineffectuality and spiritual destruction.

On the other side, if we permit the current power-brokers to foist their narrow views on the whole SBC, we will follow the independent-fundamental Baptists into pettiness and silliness.

We have to stand strong on the fundamental issues and be open on the other issues.

Walking a tight-rope is a difficult thing for anyone, especially a denomination as large as the SBC.

greg.w.h said...

I'm going to ramble for a bit. Hopefully you won't jump to any conclusions about where I'm going until you wander to the end:

I think our claims about inerrancy need to be modulated by a realistic view of the origin of the bound books we carry around that have the word "Holy Bible" on the spine.

I can easily point you to passages--such as Jesus's handling of the adulterous woman in John 7:53 through 8:11--that must be declared erroneous. Those passages do not exist in the earliest manuscripts (a fact proclaimed both in many translations and checkable by visiting biblegateway.com)

And since they do not consistently appear in ALL manuscripts, at least SOME of the manuscripts MUST be wrong...either by "omission" or "commission" of including the text. If you agree with this comment, you either need to rip out those passages or carefully consider what I'm about to say next.

What about a claim of inerrancy for the original manuscripts? How do you administer that claim through copying and translation? The typical Southern Baptist is uninterested in hearing anything with respect to inerrancy other than this: "The Holy Bible I am carrying is without error." Yet I offer that most of those Bibles carry the potentially erroneous passage I mentioned before.

This isn't the same kind of claims that our atheist friends press when trying to offer errors: they point to such things as the claim of the ratio between the circumference of certain columns and the diameter being presented as 3 instead of pi. And our gloss of explanations in dealing with their concerns typically are both patronizing and defensive. The result is that it looks like we are spinning the word "error" to mean what we're comfortable having it mean rather than the common English usage of the word.

Hence the word inerrant is in many ways misleading. We can't make that kind of quality claim either regarding any of our manuscripts in hand nor regarding any of our translations. We make it regarding the original manuscripts not because the Bible makes that claim (it doesn't), but because it provides us theological comfort to consider those manuscripts to be without error.

I'll offer that it is a LOT like Justice Potter Stewart's famed comments on obscenity: unable to define it rigorously, he noted that he would recognize it when he saw it. Inerrancy is not a word with clear, applicable meaning. It is a fuzzyheaded concept that lacks precision and lacks application.

The result for the thinking person is for them to be left with the sense that the term "inerrant" means to trust without thinking. To the thinking person, the spiritual claim of inerrancy can sometimes covers a multitude of uncareful thought that ranges from inappropriately treating biblical language as both too literal AND (thinking of the Song of Songs) as too symbolic. It can lead us to misread the book of Ecclesiastes (and perhaps most of the book of Proverbs) as being divine guidance when some of it is just insightful human analysis. And it CAN lead us to substitute rules for thinking and ritual for faith.

I can easily pardon nonbelievers for being disappointed by our poor reasoning in adopting the rubric "inerrant" and the Rube Goldberg contraption of explanation that supports it.

On the other hand, Rex's comment illustrates--as Dave has accurately pointed out--that the original conservative resurgence was about TWO things:

1. Whether all of God's written word is (and can be treated as) trustworthy.

2. Whether the employees of the Convention would be held accountable to teaching about the Bible and about faith as as if the Bible is fully trusthworthy

The purpose of the CR was to make the claim (ignore the language and semantics because they REALLY are confusing if not misleading) that you can read the entire Bible--including most attempts at faithful translations and perhaps even paraphrases--with the HOPE/FAITH that God intended it to be transmitted to us exactly as it was and with the additional HOPE that the Holy Spirit will somehow administer the reading of that Word in such a way that the essential truth will be apparent to us.

Are there errors in the Bibles we carry? Almost certainly. How does God overcome those errors? He created a story that has parts of the Bible interconnect with other parts in a deeply woven fabric of redemption. Parts that take on errors must be compared to parts that remain substantially error free to understand and interpret the words that we have. This--combined with the time period over which the materials of the Bible were written and collected--gives us a way to avoid both cultural myopia that has made its way into some of the prescriptive guidance and adoption of false doctrine.

So...while I agree that Rex's comments about the truth being true and untruth being untrue, I see the point he is making as this: let's recognize the depth of the conundrum that must be fought through for a believer to come to the point that they can trust the Bible that way. We don't need to beat them over the head with the word inerrant. We need to guide them into all portions of the Bible so they can see how the pieces fit together into a coherent whole.

That means you have to read the history in places like Samuel, the Kings, the Chronicles, and even Ezra and Nehemiah in order to understand the prophecies in the major and minor prophets. And you have to glimpse the typology of the Old Testament rituals to fully understand Jesus's sacrifice.

The higher criticism of the 19th and 20th century brought the entirety of the text into such disrepute that no one knew which parts to trust and which parts to reject. And any system of hermeunetics that admits to any Scripture being essentially in error puts all readers, all worshippers, all preachers, all teachers, and all theologians into the role of deciding for ourselves which parts to keep and which parts to throw away.

When my dad--arguably a moderate--made that argument to me for the first time, I realized why it is important to treat the Bible as "inerrant" even if I find a tremendous amount of intellectual sloppiness in the word itself. I am putting my trust in an invisible God that he has provided a reliable revelation of himself that--if I will eat the scroll--will lead me to a complete understanding of Him.

But we need to remember the SECOND point of the Conservative Resurgence (thinking also of how Dave concluded his just previous post): while there is a certain amount of flexibility in concluding exactly how God administers the plan of salvation, at the heart of it the Bible must be treated as a reliable text in order for us to have any unity at all. Without the Bible being treated as reliable literally anything goes. And it did.

But treating the Bible literally can be done in a way that builds bridges and avoids violation of conscience. If my brother Rex has not reached the point in his life where God has convinced him as completely as he has me regarding the full truth of Scripture, I still can love him as a brother and I believe God can still save him. I believe God WILL save many whose theology is defective because at the end of the day and at the heart of the matter they put their ONLY trust in God...and specifically in Jesus Christ...for deliverance.

But the problem that Wade points to with the entirety of his blog and that Dave re-illustrates is that only a central, unified core of doctrine can be permitted to be taught by the Convention and her entities. The discussion is and should be on which parts are acceptable to be taught as singular truth and which parts can be taught as, essentially, doctrinal opinion. A very simple illustration of that can be seen in the varying Southern Baptist views on the doctrines of grace (especially the doctrine of eternal security of the believer) v. free will-based conversion.

I actually admire Rex for digging into the Bible to make his points. His post that ends "and so Acts Chapter 15 begins" is a classic example of this. I'm glad to have him around and I think we can tolerate his not yet perfected knowledge of the Bible and of Christ Jesus...as long as he can tolerate ours. ;)

Greg Harvey

P.S. I tremble in fear at the thought that this post is both too long and too off-topic to be hosted in Wade's comment section for this post. I intend to post it on my blog and leave Wade with the freedom to delete it here if he so chooses.

P.P.S. P.P.S. If you got to the postscript intending to take issue with something I wrote, I'll respectfully ask that you not try to divide and conquer my points. I'll also offer that if you follow the link to my blog you can either respond there or look at my profile and respond to my email address and engage me in a more substantive discussion than I will willingly have on Wade's site.

greg.w.h said...

Whoops this should be:

So...while I disagree that Rex's comments about the truth being true and untruth being untrue

Tom Parker said...

I often wonder if there was more harm than good done in the battle over innerancy. Some try to make it so cut and dry and people's lives are ruined in the process. Where I live the KJV controversy is alive and well. For many who hold this view it is cut and dry. It is the only allowable version. I can fellowship with someone who only uses the KJV version, but in many of the local churches if you walk into that church with a different version of the Bible you will be asked to leave. I really do wish we Baptist could cooperate with each other but understand we will always have differences.

Dave Miller said...

Tom Parker,

I can only answer your question with an illustration. Your question was whether the CR did more harm than good. That depends on whether you view a high view of scripture as essential or not.

If a surgeon slices open my body to remove a cancer, the pain and violence is a good thing. It had to be done to protect my life.

If a surgeon slices my chest open because I have a harmless wart, it is stupid cruelty.

So, the issue boils down to this: is having people teaching in our schools with a low(er) view of scripture a cancer or a wart?

I saw the effects of liberalism at my Baptist college. To me, a low view of scripture is a cancer that will destroy. So, I supported the movement.

A private prayer language - I don't even consider that a wart. The surgery was unnecessary, cruel and violent.

But, that's just my opinion

Debbie Kaufman said...

I'm wondering where Dr. Yarnell was when Richard Land was grooming and promoting Mitt Romney.

davidinflorida said...

Wade,

A few comments ago, aaron new left a link to stories about the Copeland camp, very similar to the link which Trish provided.

It is no surprise that the leaders of the organizations which put out this information (Rusty Leonard & Hank Hanegraaff) have theoligical issues with "Charimatic Christians".

This whole comment tread is a microcosm of the Wade Burleson debate.

Imagine if we all went to Paige Patterson or John Corbaley or the blog of Jeremy L Green to get all of our information about Wade Burleson. What if we believed only what they told us without going to Wade, or at least going to his source of information.

It would be a different picture than the real truth about Wade Burleson .

By advocating not to associate with the Copelands because of their "Charisma" or "false teachings", you teach the same as not associating with Wade because of his views of private prayer language (tongues), alcohol, or Baptism etc. etc. etc.

If you want information about the Copelands, go to them, their books or their web-site. Get your bible, and judge them for yourselves, don`t let another do it for you.

Aaron New said...

Davidinflorida,

You said, "By advocating not to associate with the Copelands because of their "Charisma" or "false teachings", you teach the same as not associating with Wade because of his views of private prayer language (tongues), alcohol, or Baptism etc. etc. etc."

I would respectfully disagree. I do not consider these to be the same at all. But again, that's because I understand Copeland's theology to be very dangerous, not just different.

And I wholeheartedly agree that folks should read Copeland to decide for thenmselves.

AN

Tom Parker said...

Dave:

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I do hold a high view of scripture. My point is that once someone is deemed to not hold a high view of the scriptures, how quickly were they removed from their positions. Do we really treat people the way we would like to be treated? Too many times I believe people do not think they will ever find themsleves in situations with people where they may even lose their positions in the ministry without a fair hearing.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Aaron: Some of my closest friends are those who do not even have Christ as their Savior. They also give me advice. If you ask me about them I will tell you that they are one of the best human beings on this earth, because they are and frankly I love them and their friendship of over ten years. Yet I do not agree with all their thoughts. I have however been known to appear in the local McDonalds or shopping with them. I never deny they are my friends. Should I hand in my "I am a Southern Baptist" pin?

Ron West has said he has known Mike Huckabee for over twenty years, Alycelee has said he lives 3 blocks from her. I have listened to the man and find nothing even closely associated to Copelands view which I agree he is wrong, dead wrong. But guess whose word I am more likely to take.

GeneMBridges said...

Colin,

In each and every Scripture you quoted, Paul is writing to people in the same local church. One of them has to do with church discipline. Another has to do with a specific teaching regarding the 2nd coming.

So, should amills and premills not associate? Should Calvinists and non-Calvinists not associate? Should Paedos and credos not associate?

Copeland and Huckabee are not in the same local churches.

They aren't in the same denominational structure.

And, right or wrong, good or bad, the WoF people are pretty much in control of the Christian TV system.

Is WoF riddled with error? You bet! Is Copeland a false teacher? I should think so. That said, I'm more concerned about lending "legitmacy" to false teachers who deny fundamentals of the faith like T.D. Jakes, with whom Jack Graham has openly comported publicly more than once, than with Copeland, whose theological deviations fall a bit further down the tree in relation to kinds, types, and levels of error.

Also, if those who were on a better track with their overall theology hadn't so miserably failed in pulling it together in relation to Christian media, Huckabee wouldn't need to be on Copeland's program. Likewise, SBC local churches across the country wouldn't have to televise their services on TCT and TBN because those local affiliates are the only game in town anymore. If people don't like Huckabee appearing on Copeland's program, then here's an idea: pipe up about the failure of Southern Baptists in the sphere of Christian television media. Write letters to the "Ask the Pastor" people on TCT and it's local affiliates kindly asking why they don't have Presbyterians or Calvinists on their panels, while they regularly host Pentecostals, Arminian-type Baptists, and even Roman Catholic priests. Rather than complaining on a blog where none of us can do anything to change things like this, start a letter writing campaign to these people.

Finally, there are members of my church, which is a First London Confession Baptist Church I might add, a far more restrictive confession than the BFM of any stripe, who came to know the Lord in the WoF churches. The people in the pew aren't the people in the pulpit, which is often the case among those groups. When a man appears on a program like this, he's not simply there for the benefit of the hosts, but also the viewers.

selahV said...

Robin: thank you for clearing up the fact that Trish is real. She's been commenting on all my blogs and I sure would have been disappointed to discover she wasn't who she said she was. I kinda like her. selahV

jallen said...

I am an m whose uses a ppl. In the early 70s, I was RE-baptised in a farm pond by a "Jesus Freak" part-time minister of music(who, at the time was NOT a 'licensed' pastor), and a music instructor at a local high school. We loaded up the big yellow school bus one Sunday afternoon with all the Sunday Night Church attendees, had a big picnic on the hill and sang "Pass It On", "Sweet, Sweet Spirit", and "I Wish We'd All Been Ready".

I really was disappointed by the wat Keith Parks and Dr. Dilday were treated, but I held on, knowing that some day the Father would bring the convention back to a more Christ-like attitude.

Therefore, I propose we that we should do away with having just ONE president of the SBC and nominate at co-chairmanship constituted by Alycelee, Rex Ray, Greg Harvey and Wade Burleson!

And then re-issue the WWJD braclets, let people have their cell groups or their mega-churches, pray like they are lead by the Spirit, get dunked by any Bible believing, Jesus-saved brother or sister and teach every body under the age of 20 the song "Sweet, Sweet Spirt", "They'll Know We Are Christians BY OUR LOVE",(I WISH IS COULD CHANGE THE FONT ON THAT ONE), and get on with winning the world for JESUS!!!

jallen said...

Please forgive the spelling and grammar errors in my previous post. Honestly, in light of the current atmosphere among the BOT/IMB I was/am literally trembling as I wrote/write.

I don't know why...maybe conviction from the HS, or just an excitement of getting to share my opinion on this blog?

I should have previewed, but I just hit "PUBLISH..." before I could chicken out!

I'm gonna do the same with this, so expect more mistakes...take my words for what the worth. But, as I've heard a million times, that's "A PLUG NICKEL"(man am I showing my age!!!)

Lin said...

"The discussion is and should be on which parts are acceptable to be taught as singular truth and which parts can be taught as, essentially, doctrinal opinion."

Greg, Thank you for your whole comment. I totally agree. It has come to the point where the 'inerrantists' cannot agree on scripture! :o)

It is ONE thing to fight heresy like denying the Trinity and Virgin birth but quite another to disagree on 1 Timothy 2.

I, too believe in the Doctrines of Grace but the most spiritual, godly, joyful, sold-out-to-Christ person I have ever known was Arminian. A woman who witnessed to and loved everyone she met. Even Male Muslim students at the University! (Who respected her)

Today, this woman would be considered a heretic by many in the SBC she served her whole life because she had no problem with woman deacons. She had no problem with spiritually mature women teaching Christ crucified to anyone who was listening...including males. It was a non issue with her. Eternal life and the Great Commission was her issue.

She once told me to beware of those who focus on secondary doctrines instead of the work of the Cross and the Ressurection because they will lead you away from an intimate relationship with your Savior.

I pray we focus on the true essentials and give each other Grace in the secondary stuff. But it is so hard when some believe the secondary things are essential and you are a heretic if you disagree.

Cooperation is hindered when your brother in Christ calls you a sinner or questions your qualifications for missions because you believe, based on the inerrancy of scripture, that a woman can serve as deacon or you have a PPL or were baptized by a Methodist 20 years ago.

Aaron New said...

Oh boy.

Debbie,
I have friends who are non-CHristians as well. They are good people. I enjoy their company. And I'd like to hope not too many people judge my theology by my friendship with them.

But I'm not running for political office.

All I'm saying is that it seems Huckabee is purposefully affiliating himself with Copeland for the sake of gaining votes. I question the wisdom of that decision.

I am NOT questioning his salvation. Or his baptist identity, for that matter. (So yes, both he and you can keep your "Southern Baptist pins.")

I like Huckabee. He is a good man and a good politician. But you would allow me room to dislike his campaign strategy at this point, would you not?

Bryan Riley said...

Great post, Wade. Mike Huckabee is a great man and would serve us well in any capacity. He is but a man, but he is by faith following the ultimate man. And, the quote you provide is quintessential Huckabee. He is entertaining as a speaker, genuine as a believer, and also very fun to talk to one on one.

How did the comments go awry? I would have expected everyone to amen excitedly Mike's quote.

What's with the nickname choice below for signing in?

David Simpson said...

genembridges wrote:

"If people don't like Huckabee appearing on Copeland's program, then here's an idea: pipe up about the failure of Southern Baptists in the sphere of Christian television media."

I posted earlier, tongue in cheek, about the ACTS Network, but genembridges is right on target. I am so disheartened about the way ACTS, and now FamilyNet, have ended up, and I think it's been a waste of time and energy.
I used to produce a TV show from North Phoenix Baptist Church for TBN, and was always grateful for the outlet given to us by Paul and Jan. I don't agree with all their theology, but their passion and determination for broadcasting the gospel over many years has brought hundreds of thousands, or more, to Christ.
What will the SBC do now, today, to impact our nation, through television?
(This is totally off the subject, so please forgive...)

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
Does the Bible teach a ‘high view’ and a ‘low view’ of Scripture? Did you learn this in school, from someone, or is it your original thinking?

Would you permit in changing your words into ‘high faith of Scripture’ and ‘low faith of Scripture’?

Where on the chart was the disciple’s faith? when Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.” (John 20:29)

How much faith does it take to believe a math book? Two plus two equals four in any language in the world. How much faith does it take to believe a perfect book? How much faith does it take to believe a ‘perfect’ Bible?

Allow me to do some ‘substituting’ to make a point: ‘Because you have seen the Bible perfect, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing it perfect are blessed.’

Allow me to say as Job, ‘Though he slay me, yet I’ll trust Him’—though there be a thousand discrepancies in the Bible, yet I’ll trust the Bible.

Jim Paslay,
Paul was a man. God inspired him to write the truth the best he could. God did more than call him; Paul was chosen. God did not hold his hand as he wrote, but God revealed to him… “My message comes from no less a person than Jesus Christ himself, who told me what to say.” (Galatians 1:12) “I conferred not with flesh and blood.” (Galatians 1:16) “…by reading the Scriptures, I came to realize I could never find God’s favor by…obeying laws.” (Galatians 2:19)

Did Paul imply this about EVERYTHING he wrote, or about the main doctrine on salvation? “Let God’s curse fall on anyone…who preaches any other way to be saved…if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

On the other hand, sometimes Paul wrote with a bad memory: “…I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.” (1 Corinthians 1:14) Two verses later, he wrote, “Oh yes, I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.”

And sometimes he wrote his OWN opinion: “But to the rest I, NOT the Lord, say…For the unbelieving husband IS sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife IS sanctified by the Christian husband.” (1 Corinthians 7:12, 14)

Wow! Someone must have gotten that “IS” mixed up with ‘could be in the future’ sanctified by the witness of their marriage partner. I don’t think Paul would be that far off on being saved even if he did say it was his and not God’s opinion.

Jim, the reason I repeated the lawyer’s words is because new people haven’t heard, and some people have to hear something many times before it gets past their prejudices.
I believe some men smarter than you or me wrote the BFM saying, “We believe the Bible has…truth, without mixture of error for its content, and all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”

The word ‘inerrant’ has become more of a political word than a doctrinal word. Is that the reason it is NOT in the BFM? If that’s not the reason, will you tell me why it’s not?

Since my view of the Bible agrees with the BFM, instead of being critical of the lawyer’s explanation of “mixture of error”, why don’t you explain it?

BTW, in 1978, 300 scholars gave eight definitions to Chicago Inerrancy, and the SBC chose one that has twelve qualifications and says,

“Where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, [discrepancies] and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

So Jim, you need to say the Bible is inerrant except for the illusions.

Greg Harvey,
Since it’s late, I’ll reply tomorrow. I’m struggling with, “I believe God can still save him.” What do you think about Jallen’s foursome? That would really break up the ‘good old boy system’ huh?

greg.w.h said...

aaron new wrote:

All I'm saying is that it seems Huckabee is purposefully affiliating himself with Copeland for the sake of gaining votes. I question the wisdom of that decision.

I realize I'm about to show my ignorance on how to properly administer a political campaign, but isn't someone running for President trying to be the President of ALL of us and not just some of us? And wouldn't those candidates with true courage be willing to step into any media outlet to attempt to show the audience that outlet reaches what kind of person they are and what their political platform really is?

I realize that Mike is playing the religion card with the Copeland audience and you're essentially complaining about that. And I also realize that you're concerned that Mike could be beholden to a potentially morally defective leader to the extent that his appearance with that leader either bolsters the leader's reputation or bolsters Mike's chance of winning. I think those are all legitimate concerns.

But I fully would expect Huckabee's campaign to reach out to the base of the party he is running to represent and I would guess Copeland's followers are eager to be seen as part of that base. Associating for the purpose of political effectiveness is hardly a bad thing even if we run the risk of being seen as agreeing on other things.

To become President you MUST develop a coalition that delivers enough electors from enough states. That is the beauty of the campaign: you "become" President through living up to the expectations of the people you ask to vote for you so that they WILL vote for you, and then you "become" President once elected for the entire nation by governing using your coalition as a base for decision making and continued political action. No President can just campaign. And no President can govern without a continual campaign of reaching out both to their base and to the entire American (and even international) public.

Greg Harvey

greg.w.h said...

Rex (how is it that some people are so skilled at cross-posting with me???):

You wrote:

I’m struggling with, “I believe God can still save him.”

Read it this way and see if it changes from being an unintended insult into the full act of support for you that I intended:

"Out of love I'll defend your belief even if it were (purely hypothetical subjunctive) to be found entirely wrong by God because I am convinced that your heart is where it ought to be."

I've slunk to the level of using you as a foil to make the argument that God prefers a passionate believer that is wrong to a hard-hearted, unloving "believer" who is "right". (The point Lin makes in her comment about the passionate Arminian woman believer.)

Or another way of saying it is:

Our passion for love for our brothers probably will be forgiven for exceeding our passion for truth without love. But I'm not sure the opposite is true. And Southern Baptists are at the precipice of testing the truth of the opposite statement.

jallen's comment brings to mind Jesus's statement that if the whole world were silent the rocks would cry out in praise. If God were to resort to you and me to lead the SBC, I will offer that the rocks had already begun to cry out. Or snowballs were being accumulated in the lake of fire.

Greg Harvey

pastorleap said...

Huck already has my vote for pres! I am surprised that it is taking so many this long to get on board! It seems to be a no brainer to me, at least at the primary level.

BTW...check out the you-tube clip on Huck-Chuck

Mike Huckabee just has two words for the american people concerning border security...Chuck Norris!

I like Mike!

Dave Miller said...

Rex Ray,

Wade and his blogging minions have moved on to football and the future, but we can stay back and gnaw this bone for a while.

Have you actually read the Chicago Report on Biblical Inerrancy. A lot of your questions, comments and criticisms are answered on it, more succinctly than I can do, I'm sure.

Liberals (and I am not pinning this label on you) are primarily responsible for the terminology problems in this area. For years, if you said, "I believe the Bible is inspired" that spoke to your full faith in the truth of God's Word. Then, liberals (like my profs in college) said, "I believe the Bible is inspired" but they redefined what inspired meant. Then, the term infallible arose, but they redefined that one too. So, we had to come up with a new term. Inerrant was that term. It is not a biblical term any more than Trinity, but it describes a belief that the Bible is completely without error in all it asserts (not just theological truth, but also historical, etc..)

I don't care whether you use the term inerrant, infallible, high view or any other term. I want to be a part of a denomination that takes a clear stand that the scriptures is the Word of God "without any mixture of error."

I feel this doctrine was worth standing on and separating over. There are few doctrines I will say that about. this is one.

History backs me up. Denominations that have sacrificed this view of scripture have invariably drifted toward liberalism and spiritual destruction and have compromised every other biblical standard of truth or morality.

By the way, when Paul said, "I speak to this, not the Lord," in 1 Corinthians 7, he was not saying that these were his own ideas. He had been "quoting" Jesus - things jesus said during his earthly ministry. Now, Paul was adding truth that had not come from the earthly Jesus but from the Holy Spirit.

Another distinction. The orthodox belief is not so much that Paul was inspired, but that Paul's writings were inspired. paul was guided by the Holy spirit to produce writings that were the fully truthful Word of God.

I may be simple, I don't know. I just don't think I could be "pick and choose" kind of guy. Either the Bible is true and I devote my life to teaching it, or the Bible has errors and I put it on the shelf with other human books. I am certainly not going to devote my life to a book of human error.

Got to go. May come back and chew this bone a little more later. No good football games on today!

Debbie Kaufman said...

Rev. Miller, as long as you choose to use the word "minions" it wouldn't matter to me if you believed in inerrancy , the CR or any Baptist distinctive. From my reading of the scriptures you could not possibly believe in the battle for the Bible and use such descriptive language concerning your brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jake Barker said...

Debbie,
From Wikipedia

Minion may refer to:
Minion is a term for favourites or protégés, especially those of a monarch or prince at a royal court. Unlike a henchman or lackey, although of subordinate rank to his patron a minion is likely to be of noble birth or to be raised to the nobility, and is more of a companion and confidant to him than a servant or bodyguard

Dave Miller said...

Sorry, Debbie,

Maybe you could consider lightening up a bit. I think anyone but you would have realized that was a joke.

Dave Miller said...

And, Debbie, on a more serious note, you just questioned the reality of my faith in Jesus Christ and my commitment to the word of God - because of a JOKE I made.

I made a joke. You made a serious accusation against a man who has devoted his life to teaching and preaching the Word of God.

Think about that.

Glen Woods said...

You might consider dictionary.com as an additional source of definitions. Wikopedia, as you may be aware, is user edited and sometimes not up to par with professionally edited information sources.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/minion

Also, I admit, when I saw the word minion my first response was that it has a negative connotation, given the primary definition of the word which you will find in most credible dictionaries. In any event, it is good to know it was only meant as a joke, rather than as a disparaging remark against the many who view this blog, regardless of their varied shades of opinion on its many topics.

Blessings,

Glen Woods

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
Yes, I have read the Chicago Report on Biblical Inerrancy. I have also read the other SEVEN Chicago Reports on Biblical Inerrancy; have you?

What parts of the Bible do you think will be seen as illusions as described in its Exposition?

Did the Holman Bible see all the translations having the ruler’s daughter dead in Matthew as an “illusion” and changed her from being dead to very sick?

I was denied permission from SWBTS to pass the eight definitions of the Chicago Reports as written by a former SWBTS professor.

When I complained the freedom at SWBTS was no better than the freedom my missionary son had in Israel, I was told, “I will bring this to the next trustee meeting, and will let you know. We have a new Board and we can do anything we want.”

You quoted part of the BFM in saying, “…the scriptures is the Word of God ‘without any mixture of error.”

The SBC lawyer explained “mixture” to mean the truth of the Bible was true, and the untruth of the Bible was not true. Do you agree with him, and if not would you explain what “mixture” means to you?

I doubt that you will answer any of my questions since you did not answer seven other questions I asked you.

You said, “When Paul said, ‘I speak to this, not the Lord’, he was not saying that these were his own ideas.”

Are you saying it was impossible for Paul to write anything in the Bible that were his thoughts?
You would be saying, ‘No Paul, you don’t know what you’re talking about…it’s the Holy Spirit guiding your thoughts because inerrancy demands it.’

Where was the Holy Spirit when Paul wrote untruths from a bad memory?”

God hid from his Son that he would be alone on the cross, and Jesus told his disciples they would forsake him at Calvary, but his Father would not. (John 16:32)
Wouldn’t that be an untruth? “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
(Oh, I forgot, someday that will be an illusion.)

To throw the Bible out the window because it had errors, would be to refuse to wear a life jacket on a sinking boat because it had a small tear. To declare the Bible worthless if not written the way you want it, is to declare you know better than God.

Rex Ray said...

Greg Harvey,
In my book, you’re a very good guy. I guess that’s the reason you haven’t been jumped on for saying some very unaccepted ideas by Inerrantists. You say the Scripture John 7:53 through 8:11 are erroneous because they do not exist in the earliest manuscripts. I haven’t heard that before. (You really mean John 8:3-11)

Also not in the earliest manuscripts is “For thine is kingdom, and the power, and the glory, Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)

Of course, Inerrantists have that base covered by the Chicago Report on Biblical Inerrancy with their first of twelve ‘qualifications’ which says ONLY the original manuscript was inerrant. And any ‘error’ that is pointed out to them, they reply the same thing and that SOMEDAY those ‘errors’ will be seen as an illusion.

What’s the difference of Moderates having a view that the Bible has little insignificant errors, and fundamentalists having a view of the Bible that has little insignificant illusions?
About like arguing how to break an egg.

But to ‘take over’ the SBC, the argument was made into the ‘Battle for the Bible’ and Moderates were considered non-Bible believers and are still excluded from leadership even thought their money is not.
It borders on ‘taxation without representation’.

Greg, you said, “Are there errors in the Bibles we carry? Almost certainly.” Why did you say “Almost” when you continue: “How does God overcome those errors?

How can you condemn me for saying the Bible has errors when you say the Bible has errors?
You said, “If my brother Rex has not reached the point in his life where God has convinced him…regarding the full truth of Scripture…”

How many times do I have to say that Scripture is 100% perfect, but the untruth is NOT Scripture? See, we’re back to breaking the egg again.

You said, “Our passion for love for our brothers probably will be forgiven for exceeding our passion for truth without love.”

I think you meant: We need no forgiveness for having a passion to love our brothers; we need forgiveness for having a passion for truth without love.

You said, “Inerrancy is not a word with clear, applicable meaning. It is a fuzzyheaded concept that lacks precision and lacks application.”

I agree and will add because it has caused confusion, misunderstanding, and chaos among Christians, it should go back to where it came from—the SMILLING lips of the devil.

I agree with your snowballs in hell, but it was nice of Jallen

jallen said...

Dear Greg and Rex,
Maybe I've not read your writings clearly enough to understand the truth/s behind your exchanges.
My point about the four of you all being 'the committee' was that you all are very clear, thought-provoking, seemingly Godly folk who love the Lord and the lost.
Who cares if you might have to blooy one another noses from time to time. From what I've read over the past several months is that the exchange of ideas and the acceptance of difference is what make a GREAT organization.
And the mix(from my understanding of the things that you've written for all of us to read and chew on, combined with the wisdom and grace of Wade and Ms. Alycelee would get the SBC both THINKING and SEEKING THE LOST....
WHAT A GREAT, GOD-HONORING COMBINATION!!!

But then again....maybe I just don't get it between y'all!?!?

Dave Miller said...

Rex Ray,

As I said to you in my comment on your site, I enjoy this dialogue. I hope that Wade won’t mind us going back and forth on this comment stream now that he has moved on to other subjects. I enjoy passionate theological debate. I just rejoice that when the Rapture comes, you will then agree with me (for Debbie’s sake – that is a joke).

Since you accused me of not answering your previous questions, I will go through this letter point by point. I may later go back and see what questions you thought I ignored before. I wasn't really trying to be systematic before.

I have a sneaking suspicion that you read the Chicago report with a jaundiced eye – to confirm your opinions. To paraphrase Inigo (sp?) in that great theological tome, “The Princess Bride” – “I do not think it says what you say it says.” It is your right to disagree, but I am afraid that you are either misunderstanding or misrepresenting the statement and the inerrantist position.

The phrase “illusions” in the exposition does not refer to the Bible, but to those apparent contradictions in the Bible. No part of the Bible is an illusion, but the contradiction itself is an illusion.

“Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.” (Chicago Statement, Exposition C, Paragraph 6)

It seems clear here that the apparent contradictions are illusions, not the Bible.

As to the Holman Bible, it is a simple translational issue. (By the way, I don’t use and am not a huge fan of the Holman Bible, so defending its translation is not that crucial to me.) The word “died” actually means “come to an end.” It is present tense, so I guess the Holman folks are taking the continual action part seriously and saying, “she is dying” instead of “she is dead.” Don’t know. Don’t really care. But this is simply a question of translation and interpretation, not inspiration or inerrancy.

I know nothing about the SWBTS professor and his eight definitions. However, if you still have them, I would love to read them. I assume they are a moderate response to the Chicago statement, but don’t really know. Again, I am completely unaware of what that says.

As to the “without mixture of error” statement, please understand that whatever the lawyer said, it is not authoritative. I don’t know who he is or anything about him.

The Chicago Statement gives a lot of qualifications about the subject of untruth. For instance, phenomenological language (the sun rises) is not erroneous. It accurately describes what people see and experience. The part about untruth usually refers to things like the lies of Satan or the false statements of human beings. These are accurately reported, but are not truth. The untruth (the report of the lies of Satan) of the Bible is true.

The mechanism of inspiration is difficult. Paul’s mind was carried along by the Holy Spirit, so the scripture evidences both Paul’s mind and personality and the perfection of God’s inspiration. As Jesus had both a human nature and a divine nature, but was sinless, the Scriptures have a human element which is evident, but the divine element overwhelms it and the product, while human, is also perfect.

I would say that Paul never wrote an untruth from a bad memory.

John 16:32, again a present tense indicative, says that the Father is with him. It does not say that the Father will never forsake him. Jesus knew he would.

You cannot misinterpret scripture, then demand that I explain your misinterpretation.

You compared my insistence on a fully truthful Word as similar to refusing to wear a life jacket on a sinking boat because it has a small tear. I would say your willingness to accept a fallible scripture is like trusting your life to a life boat with a leak in it. It won’t keep you up long.

If the Bible is a mixture of God’s truth and human error, that makes you and me the masters of the Word. We get to decide what is true and what is fault. Rather than submitting my mind to the Lordship of Christ, I am submitting His Word to the Lordship of my mind.

That is truly a sinking ship!

Anonymous said...

Dave Miller, your defense of the inerrancy of Scripture is a home run. If I did not believe every word of the Bible to be true, I would not be "wasting" my life out here in an ocean of sin riding on a "sinking raft". A fallible, errant Bible may suffice from the safety of the debating hall, but when you are sitting in a mud hut surrounded by wooden, stone, and mud idols trying to share the Gospel to those who have never heard it one time and who are under the visible control of Satan and his demons, you'd BETTER believe that the Book you hold in your hands is really the Word of God!


EA IMB M

Colin McGahey said...

In each and every Scripture you quoted, Paul is writing to people in the same local church. One of them has to do with church discipline. Another has to do with a specific teaching regarding the 2nd coming.

Gene,

There is a clear universal admonition to not associate with those who pevert the gospel and the traditions (doctrine) handed down to the churches. I do not see how your argument has anything to do with the point of the passage, anymore than the Great Commission was given only to the disciples. The "local church" argument is illogical because there exists nothing to suggest the admonition wasn't for the church specifically in Corinth, or Thessolonica, etc. The principle applies universally. Btw, I was most vocal about the Jakes incident, but many here didn't see it as a big deal. I am out.

Dave Miller said...

Rex Ray

I sort of thought these questions were rhetorical, and so I didn’t answer them specifically. But since you complained about that in your follow up letter, I will address each one in order.

(RR asked) “Does the Bible teach a ‘high view’ and a ‘low view’ of Scripture?”

I believe the Bible clearly teaches a high view of scripture. “All scripture is God-breathed.” “Not one jot or tittle will pass away…” Look at all the affirmations of Psalm 119. “Your Word is truth.” Every reference Jesus made to the OT assumed the truth of every word of the OT.

(RR asked)“Did you learn this in school, from someone, or is it your original thinking?”
It has never been my desire to have “original thought.” There is nothing new under the sun. My desire to is have my mind molded to the mind of Christ by immersing myself in the Word. Since truth comes from an understanding of what God has revealed, my purpose is not to be original, but obedient in my thinking.

(RR asked)"Would you permit in changing your words into ‘high faith of Scripture’ and ‘low faith of Scripture’?"

My faith is not in Scripture, but in Christ. I hold a high view of scripture because it is the perfect Word of God that accurately reveals the Christ in whom I place my faith. If you have a low view of scripture, you have a shaky foundation for your faith in Christ. Rex, I don’t know you, but I have not seen someone with a passionate faith in Christ who held a low view of scripture.

(RR asked)“Where on the chart was the disciple’s faith? When Jesus said, ‘Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.’ (John 20:29)
How much faith does it take to believe a math book? Two plus two equals four in any language in the world. How much faith does it take to believe a perfect book? How much faith does it take to believe a ‘perfect’ Bible?”

It takes faith to believe a perfect Bible. It is foolish to believe an errant one.

(RR stated)“Allow me to do some ‘substituting’ to make a point: ‘Because you have seen the Bible perfect, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing it perfect are blessed.’”

That is not substituting scripture, it is twisting it. The Bible does not say nor imply what you said, so I cannot react to it. We believe in the unseen God because of what is revealed in the perfect Word.

(RR stated)“Allow me to say as Job, ‘Though he slay me, yet I’ll trust Him’—though there be a thousand discrepancies in the Bible, yet I’ll trust the Bible.”

Though God’s word is mistaken and wrong a thousand times, yet I will trust it? Why would you trust a book with a thousand errors? Sorry, that is not faith; that is foolishness. I trust a book that is true. Would you learn math from a book with a thousand errors? Would you learn science from a book with a thousand errors? Why on earth would you want to learn about God from a book with a thousand errors?

If God’s word has a thousand errors, how do you know any of it is true?

Question: How do you determine what parts of the Bible are true?

That allows you to accept the stuff you like or agree with, and if there is anything you do not like, you just say it is not true. Very convenient. But Jesus, not my mind or yours, is Lord. And His Word, not your understanding or opinion of it, is truth.

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
I wouldn’t worry about this discussion hurting Wade’s feelings. I once had discussions with a Baptist preacher (who had become a Catholic) on Wade’s blog for several months. (We became good friends, but while neither of us changed we agreed we had learned more of God’s Word from each other.)

I want to say upfront that you, I, and the anonymous EA IMB M, probably believe and trust the Bible with all our hearts within a breath of each other. Our problem arises not over God’s Word but the words of men. Some see this squabble unimportant, but anything that separates us from loving each other I believe comes from the devil.

Just as a splash in a lake goes in all directions, we see this squabble spreading to seminaries, conventions, IMB, and the SBC until the individual churches are asking ‘what is going on?’

So let the words of men begin: (I have added [1] through [5] and capitol letters for reference in the following quote of the Chicago Statement, Exposition C, and Paragraph 6.)

“The truthfulness of Scripture is not negated by the appearance in it of irregularities of grammar or spelling, [1.] PHENOMENAL DESCRIPTIONS of nature, reports of [2] FALSE STATEMENTS (for example, the lies of Satan), or [3] SEEMING DISCREPANCIES between one passage and another. It is not right to set the so-called [4] “PHENOMENA” of Scripture against the teaching of Scripture about itself. [5] APPARENT INCONSISTENCIES should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.”

Overall, this part of the exposition C says the truth of Scripture is not annulled by these falsehoods in the Bible:

1. “Phenomenal descriptions of nature”
Ecclesiastes 1:5 says the sun travels around the earth. “The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again.”
Job 38: 22-23 “Have you entered the place where the snow is stored: Or have you seen the storehouses of hail which I reserve for times of trouble, for the day of warfare and battle?

2. “Reports of false statements”
Jesus told his disciples his Father would not forsake him at Calvary. (John 16:32)

3. “Seeming discrepancies between one passage and another.”
When Jesus walked on the water, his disciples said, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew (in the boat) 14:33
vs. Mark (reporting what he’d heard) 6:51-52 “Then he climbed into the boat…They were astonished at what they saw. They still didn’t understand…for their hearts were hard and they did not believe.”

4. “It is not right to set the so-called “phenomena” of Scripture against the teaching of Scripture about itself.”
I’m not sure I understand what this means, but I think Adrian Rogers expressed it by saying; “Scripture cannot be set against Scripture.” (Paraphrasing: ‘You cannot use other Scriptures to prove my thinking wrong about a certain Scripture.’ It has the attitude of ‘my mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts.’)

5. “Apparent inconsistencies”
Girl dead or alive” Matthew 9:18 vs. Mark 5:32 and Luke 8:42
Judas or Pharisees bought field of blood? Acts 1:18 vs. Matthew 27:7
Centurion or his friends talked to Jesus? Matthew 8:5 vs. Luke 7:6
Did Jesus appear as men spoke or later? Luke 24:36 vs. Mark 16: 14
Who was high priest when David ate the consecrated bread? 1 Samuel 21:1-6 vs. Mark 2:25-26
The list goes on.

Dave you said “No part of the Bible is an illusion, but the contradiction itself is an illusion.”

You changed “inconsistencies” to “contradictions”, but I like your word better. In math, a whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Is not the Bible equal to the sum of its parts? The contradictions (illusions) are in the Bible; how can you say they are not part of the Bible?

I will answer my own question. Scripture is 100% true. There are no contradictions or illusions in Scripture. The lies of Satan are in the Bible, but they are not part of Scripture. Is that too simple to understand?

You say, “I know nothing about the SWBTS professor and his eight definitions…I assume they are a moderate response to the Chicago statement…”

I guess I’ve failed to communicate the professor reported 8 definitions MADE by Chicago. The powers that be do not want the other 7 to be known. Why did Chicago make 8? These 300 Chicago scholars were not all Baptist. If they had been, we might have 300 definitions of inerrancy. Baptists chose the ‘strict’ definition. Catholics chose another, and so it went. I liked the one that said, “All speeches were reported in truth, but not all speeches were true.” (That meant I didn’t have to swallow James’ speech that in my opinion canceled Peter’s speech in Acts 15.)

Besides reporting the 8 definitions, the professor concluded he would not use inerrancy because it was too confusing. One of his friends told him I was trying to pass it out (two years after he wrote it). The professor had become a pastor at Prince Deleon in some State, and he had his secretary call me; requesting that I not pass it out. I threw all his/my information away. I have wished many times I had kept one copy. But I’m sure someone knows all 8 definitions. They were not all that different. I’ve said before that if the 7 were rolled into one they would be close to the ‘strict’ definition when the 12 qualifications were added to it.

Do you know the 12 qualifications?

The lawyer who explained “without mixture of error” is Michael Whitehead. He has been a lawyer for the SBC for many years. In the 2004 SBC, he had ruled against a messenger’s motion and got called a “hypocrite.” His reply won my heart, “I’m not a hypocrite; I’m a lawyer.”

I want to ask you to tell why “mixture” is used? Telling your view of the Bible does not answer that question. Jim Richards and Greg Harvey have failed to come up with an answer also.

I’ll ask again, “Why is “mixture” used to define the BFM view of the Bible?

I’ll conclude if you don’t know an answer, then don’t dispute Whitehead’s explanation.

You said, “I would say that Paul never wrote an untruth from a bad memory.”

Do you think Paul was lying when he wrote, “…I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.” (1 Corinthians 1:14) Two verses later, he wrote, “Oh yes, I baptized the family of Stephanas. I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.”

Check out this Scripture and tell me if Paul had a bad memory or something else?

Paul’s trial under Felix left him in chains for two years. (Acts 25:10-11) Paul refused a trial in Jerusalem and appealed to Caesar. (Acts 25:21) “And Agrippa said to Festus, ‘He could be set free if he hadn’t appealed to Caesar.’” (Acts 26:32) About a year later, Paul wrote: “The Romans gave me a trial and wanted to release me…But when the Jews protested the decision…I appealed to Caesar.” (Acts 28:18-19)

You wrote, “John 16:32, again a present tense indicative, says that the Father is with him. It does not say that the Father will never forsake him. Jesus knew he would.”

“But the time is coming…when you will be scattered…leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.”

It doesn’t take a lot of brains to know Jesus was telling his disciple they would desert him when he was on the cross.
It doesn’t take a lot of brains to know Jesus in saying, “Yet I am not alone” was referring to him being on the cross.

Dave, why do you refuse to believe God would be less kind to his Son than Abraham was to Isaac by keeping it hidden who was the sacrifice or Jesus would be forsaken?

Just as real as Jesus felt the power leave him as the woman touched his garment, Jesus felt his Father leave him when he became our sin. God could not comfort sin on the cross or in hell. At that moment of departure, Jesus cried, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”

In a way, I feel you’re denying what really happened at Calvary in order to protect inerrancy.

Hey! Wonder which of us have the best chance to get to shore; you swimming; or me bailing water? I would want something bigger than a quart can I had once because my boat sank and I couldn’t see land in any direction.

No, we don’t get to chose what is true and what is false about the Bible; the Holy Spirit does; just like Jesus said.

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
When I made a comment last night, I had not read your’s of December 3, 2007 01:18, so I’ll reply now.

I should tell you that I do not represent Moderates with a lot of my thoughts. In fact my wife has stopped saying, “I wonder if you’ll get kicked out of church?” Now she says, “I wonder if I’ll get kicked out with you?”

The main problem is not that we want to remove your ‘kind’ of thinking from leadership, but that we want to be accepted as we are and cooperate together in winning the lost to Christ. This frustration was shown in a letter to the Baptist Standard after Tom Elliff told Page Patterson that barnacles had been removed from the Ship of Zion.

July 8, 1998—A 68-year-old ‘barnacle’ said…
___I have been a Southern Baptist for 60 of my 68 years. I have been a Sunbeam, G.A., Acteen and Baptist Woman and have given to and promoted the Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong and state missions offerings since I was 6. My dad and brother have been faithful pastors and SBC officers. I have taught Sunday School classes for more than 40 years and believe the Bible from cover to cover. I've taken food to the grieving, worked in vacation Bible school, the nursery, the kitchen and camps, for starters.
___In short I'm the kind of member Brother Tom Elliff would love to have in his church. How dare he call me and my kind a "growth" on the bottom of the "Ship of Zion" to be gotten rid of. May he fall overboard.
___ Joan Pennington
___ Tallowood Church, Houston

First of all, on the subject of the Chicago Exposition C, and Paragraph 6, do you represent ‘Conservatives’ in saying:

“The phase ‘illusions’ in the exposition does not refer to the Bible, but to those apparent contradictions in the Bible. No part of the Bible is an illusion, but the contradiction itself is an illusion”?

I’m just wondering if you’re a little like me on standing alone with some of your thoughts. So again, do most Conservatives and Fundamentalists think the same as you?

OK, now I’ll reply to your reply on my comment of December 1, 2007 02:13.
I had asked where you had gotten ‘high and low’ views of the Bible, and with all your words of reply, I can only conclude that a ‘low’ view of the Bible only exist in your mind of what you think of my view of the Bible.

You ask, “Why would you trust a book with a thousand errors?”

Answer: the same reason you trust a book with a thousand illusions.

You ask, “How do you determine what parts of the Bible are true?

Answer: the same way you determine what parts are illusions.

I won’t repeat all your questions because they have the same answer.

I’ll conclude that our faith and trust in the Bible are the same, but we hurt Jesus when we hurt each other.

Rex Ray said...

To anyone,
Dave Miller wants to read the other seven Chicago Statements on Inerrancy. Will anyone tell him?

Was the cover-up so successful no one knows?

Were these ‘lost’ seven considered as dissent and therefore not allowed to be mentioned? Is that why the pastor wanted me to ‘destroy’ them?

I remember in part the one Catholics picked. In essence, it said anything in the Bible could have errors except the teaching of salvation.

Does ‘asking’ make me a trouble-maker?

Rex Ray said...

Hello—anybody home? No one wants to talk?
With all this dead silence, I guess I’ll tell a story.

Sixty years ago, I laughed at Uncle Don’s words: “Don’t let anybody drown”, but before the day was over their remembrance brought tears to my eyes if you can cry underwater. Unable to breathe while keeping two kids above water, I concluded one was going to drown.

It started with six cousins going to Red River to teach two 13-year-olds to swim. Their names were Frank Jenkins and James Hicks. James had two brothers on the trip; David (32 a non-swimmer), and Claude (21). Also along was my twin brother, Hez (15).

Red River was on the rise and too deep, so we found a creek and followed it upstream looking for a shallow place. Hez and I were swimming up the creek and the others were walking on a six-foot vertical bank. Frank and James started laughing and shoving each other. One was shoved off the bank and as he was falling, he grabbed the other and they landed on top of me in deep water.

I saw them coming and took my last breath for quite a while. Way past due for air, I swam down and they let go of me. I came up to see Claude struggling to get his brother to the bank, but Frank strangled Claude by piling on his head. It was all Claude could do to get himself to the bank.

James was trying to swim, but his head was underwater. I grabbed his short hair and as he got a breath, his hair would slip through my fingers and his head would bob under. We repeated the process till we reached the bank.

When I got James, Hez was telling Frank not to grab him and he would save him. But Frank found a new head to ride. Hez found it was not good to talk underwater. He got loose from Frank and barely managed to get to the bank.

Meanwhile, David lowered himself over the bank by holding long grass. He reached over the water and said, “Frank, give me your hand and I’ll pull you out.”
Frank gave a jerk and David and grass entered the water.

Knowing he couldn’t swim, David stood on the bottom while holding Frank’s feet on his shoulders. Not knowing what had happened, I had gotten James halfway to the bank and was amazed to see Frank with his stomach out of water and his yelling, “Help! Help! Somebody save David!” didn’t make a lick of sense.

Before he passed out, David walked toward the bank and gave Frank a shove that got him there. We were all coughing and getting our breath when someone said, “Where’s David?

By that time, all the ripples were gone and the water was smooth as glass. Frank pointed toward the water and said, “He’s out there!” As we looked, David floated up. All we could see was his purple forehead. He disappeared.

Hez and I found him a few feet under. As we were getting him to the bank, he came to and said real slow, “Am I causing you any trouble?”

Dave Miller said...

Sorry, I have been unresponsive. My son is in musical theater, and was performing "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" this week. I was there every night.

I will not attempt another exhaustive response to your responses to my responses to your responses...Just a few observations.

1) You said that we are in agreement in most things except for "the words of men." I am not sure exactly what you mean by that. I see two possibilities.

*By "Words of men" you mean those parts of the Bible that are personal opinion or flawed insights. I hope that is not what you meant. I this God preserved His word from human error and if that is your meaning, our views are not only far apart, they are inimical.

*By "Words of Men" you mean that our differences are in how we use words in theology to describe the doctrines revealed in scripture. I hope that is what you meant and will assume that is it.

Many have passed off inerrancy as unimportant because it is not a biblical word. But neither is trinity or many other biblical words. Someone develops a belief from scripture (or contrary to it) and we give it a label to help us understand it. The belief in the complete truthfulness of scripture in not only salvific or theological matters, but also in matters of history and even science (within limits - figures of speech are not meant to hold scientific force)is called inerrancy. As I mentioned before, we were forced into the use of that word by the deceit of liberal professors and others (I saw this personally) saying "I believe the Bible is inspired" but changing the definition of the word inspired. We went from inspired, to infallible (also twisted by liberal profs) then settled on inerrancy. It is a fairly rigid term. It is necessary and frankly, I am very comfortable with the term and am content to use it as a doctrinal standard.

2) You mentioned again the use of phenomenological language, giving examples in Ecclesiastes and Job. These are poetic in nature, intended to describe human experience and communicate a point. Poetic constructions are not intended to be scientific assertions but are, in fact, descriptions of life as experienced here on earth.

3) There is no descrepancy between the Matthew and Mark passages, unless you are looking for one. In both passages, the disciples are amazed at Jesus and his miraculous power. In Matthew, we hear them worshiping Jesus as the son of God. In Mark, we are told that they are still confused about the "loaves" teaching Jesus had given and their hearts were hardened (calloused/lacking the ability to understand the teachings of Jesus). They continued in that hardness until the Spirit baptized them at Pentecost. There is no contradiction. They were amazed at Jesus' power and worshiped him, but continued to misunderstand.

It seems to me that you delight in finding "discrepancies" and don't even make a perfunctory study to see if the two viewpoints can mesh. I will admit that there are several of these viewpoint issues in the gospels (resurrection narratives, for instance), but many have easy solutions, and I believe that even the hard ones have solutions, even if I can't figure them out.

4) Your paraphrase of Adrian Rogers is just plain inaccurate. What we believe is that all scripture is true, and you cannot use what one scripture teaches to deny another one. The JW's use the teachings of Jesus' humanity to deny his deity. That is an important interpretation issue. You seem to willfully twist it to make a point.

5) You don't get to choose what is scripture and what is not. From Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22;21, it is all the Word of God and God-breathed truth. Even the accurate recording of Satan's lies is scripture.

6) "Mixture" is used in the negative. There is NO mixture. Scripture is not a mixture of truth and error, God's Word and man's opinions. It is all the truth of God. What is hard to understand about that?

I would have to see Mr. Whitehead's exact quote. Your tendency to misquote to make your points would make it hard for me to accept your interpretation of his viewpoint.

7) In 1 Corinthians 1, Paul's memory is ACCURATE. He gives part of the truth, then completes the thought IN THE SAME PASSAGE. What's the problem?

8) Paul's trial and appeal to Caesar. Why can't both be true? Paul wanted to go to Rome, having been told by the Spirit that it was his destiny. But the Romans wanted to release him and the Jewish leaders did protest. I don't see the problem.

Why are you so quick to assume un redeemable errors?

9) As to who will "get to shore" - I am confident in the truth of God's Word. It is accurate and faithful and I don't worry about being let down by the inerrant Word.

10) I feel bad about all the hurt and harm that was inflicted in the conservative resurgence. I did not always agree with the methods or actions of both sides. But I believe it had to be done. When you look at the mainline denominations, you see the destruction that liberalism and a low view of scripture brings. Denomination after denomination has walked the liberalism path and reaped spiritual impotence and moral decay for doing so. We had to draw a line in the sand and say, "This is who we are."

We, the SBC, are inerrantists. We stated that loudly and clearly. You don't have to be SBC to be a part of God's kingdom, but this is who we are.

I believe the kingdom of God is better off because we took a stand. I believe we will produce Bible-preachers at our seminaries who will make a positive difference in the future, rather than the kind of skeptical flotsam produced by the shipwreck of theological liberalism.


My words are forceful, not angry. But they are strong convictions that I stand by passionately.

Rex Ray said...

Dave Miller,
Thank you for a very well thought out idea of inerrancy. You say, “We were forced into the use of that word by the deceit of liberal professors and others (I saw this personally) saying ‘I believe the Bible is inspired’ but changing the definition of the word inspired. We went from inspired, to infallible (also twisted by liberal Profs) then settled on inerrancy.”

1.) What you say is true except you and I were not born when inerrancy first started being used. In the early 1900’s, atheists said there was no God because the Bible had errors. Their thinking is crazy…God’s existence does NOT depend upon the Bible having errors or not having errors.
Would you agree with that? If you don’t agree, then we’re too far apart to continue this discussion. God exist because, “I AM.”

The backlash of the atheist’s statement from fundamentalists was the opposite conclusion with the same idiot reasoning; “God exists because the Bible has no errors.” This is putting God in our box that He would write the Bible as we would. Its been well established that God’s ways are not Man’s ways.

Would we have picked the linage of Jesus that God picked? Never! Would we have pick David’s successor as King to come from an adulterous relation that murdered a husband? Never! Yet men say: “God would never let one error be written in the Bible.” So much of the time, the Bible is a camcorder that tells the acts and words of men. The Bible tells us that Saul killed himself (1 Samuel 31:4-5), but the Amalekite said he killed Saul. (2 Samuel 1:10)

This is an example of what I meant by “Words of Men.” In the Bible, God gave freedom to men to express their thoughts, their judgments, their knowledge, their ignorance, and their plans for good or evil just like he does today. Most of the time, the Bible does not tell us which is which. An example of man’s stupidity, in my opinion, is the man who promised God if He would give him the battle, he would kill the first person he met on his return home. It was his young daughter. Does the Bible tell us his promise was good, bad, or what? No; the Bible just tells us the facts

2.) Your explanation of Ecclesiastes and Job says “they are poetic in nature…not intended to be scientific…descriptions of life as experienced here on earth.” So you are saying God doesn’t have to tell truth if it’s poetry. No…I’m not twisting your words because that’s the bottom line in what you’re saying.

3.) You said, “There is no discrepancy between the Matthew and Mark passages, unless you are looking for one.”

That’s almost funny. That’s like saying, ‘There’s not a deer in those woods unless you are looking for one.’

4.) As I’ve said before, all Scripture is true. But I can use Scripture to prove wrong the words of men. Just like Peter was told his words were revealed by God, and the next minute, Jesus calls his words Satan. Just because the words of men are recorded in the Bible, they are NOT automatically Scripture.

5.) You are correct in saying, “You don’t get to choose what is Scripture and what is not.”
The Holy Spirit is the one who teaches us what is what.

You say all the Bible is “God-breathed truth. Even the accurate recording of Satan’s lies is Scripture.”

Then you agree that Satan’s lies are NOT true—only the accurate recording is true. You would agree the lies of Moses are NOT true—only the accurate recording is true. The same could be said for all the ignorance, opinions, and stupidity of man that is recorded in the Bible. These could add up to be a thousand or more.

So Dave, how in the world could you say there is no un-truth in the Bible?

6.) I had asked you to explain why ‘mixture’ is used in the BFM. You replied, “Mixture is used in the negative. There is NO mixture.”

That’s not an explanation and you know it. Why didn’t you say, ‘I don’t know? You implied I misquoted Whitehead. You could ask him yourself if he has the same email as in 2004: mikewhitehead@hotmail.com

7.) Talk about twisting Scripture: You said, “Paul’s memory is ACCURATE. He gives part of the truth, them completes the thought IN THE SAME PASSAGE. What’s the problem?”

The problem is his first statement was NOT the truth.(“I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius.”)
Is that Scripture or the words of man? If it’s Scripture it’s true within itself. But it’s not true as shown two verses later? Did God breath that untruth, or did Paul write it from a bad memory? I don’t believe God ever forgets anything, so I still conclude it was Paul’s memory that was faulty and his words were the words of man.

8.) Again you can’t see a problem with Paul’s memory because I feel you don’t want to see when he contradicts himself in Acts 28:18-19. I explained very clearly, but there’s no one as blind as those who refuse to see.

When the Romans wanted to release him there were only three men present at Paul’s hearing, Festus, Agrippa, and Paul. Paul was not even present when Agrippa made his decision…only Festus. How did Jews protest Agrippa’s decision when there were none present, and Paul did not appeal to Caesar to counteract the none existing protest because he had already appealed to Caesar in the trial by Felix two years earlier as noted by Agrippa.

So when Paul wrote bout a year later, “The Romans gave me a trial and wanted to release me…But when the Jews protested the decision…I appealed to Caesar”, it was either a bad memory, or he was like Moses in wanting to blame someone else for being denied the promise land/being in prison.

I just happened to run into this November 29 post with your December 8 19:51 comment. So if you’re like me, you’ll probably never read these words.