Monday, December 8, 2008

Time to say good-bye to inerrancy

I started reading again a book that last time I did not get to finish and I came across the following paragraph: "The power of certain pictures, of certain visual representations, in the historical development of science will be the recurrent theme of this book. It is a power, in the early stages, to initiate progress, when the ideas it conveys are still creative and successful, and it becomes, later on, a power to obstruct, when the momentum is gone and repetition of old theories prevents the emergence of new ideas." (Ivar Ekeland, Mathematics and the Unexpected, 9)

There is no question in my mind that inerrancy has become such a picture for our conception of biblical authority. We have for some time been in inerrancy's "later on" phase, where its momentum is spent and its widespread usage has prevented the emergence of fresh thought and new ideas on how and why scripture should matter to Christians. Whenever one begins asking questions, the old theories are rehearsed, causing spiritual obstruction.