Saturday, February 2, 2008

Rationality of inerrancy again

I have always been impressed by J. P. Moreland's article. He situates belief in inerrancy within a discussion of epistemology and considers issues within philosophy of science as he thinks they pertain to belief in inerrancy. Moreland mentions Plantinga's notion of an index of depth of regression where more central beliefs will take more evidence to dislodge than peripheral beliefs because the hold other beliefs together in an epistemically fundamental way and epistemologically supports a number of other beliefs. Moreland says that inerrancy is not a peripheral belief:

"I am not here using a domino argument and saying that if the Bible is not true in all points we cannot know that it is true in any point. I am simply making the point that inerrancy is clearly a belief which should be closer to the center of one’s noetic structure than to the periphery. This means that one is rationally justified in requiring a good deal of evidence before giving it up." (

Is there a way to impress upon someone the authority of the Bible without making it closer to the center of one's noetic structure? Without making inerrancy closer to the center of one's noetic structure? Surely there must be a way. If a scriptural principle is not taught as peripheral, can it not be presented at least closer to the peripheral? There would be less spiritual fallout this way.