Sunday, February 8, 2009

Help my unbelief

"[B]y adopting the inerrancy postulate, by arguing that the Bible is competely void of problematic passages, by insisting that others agree with them, inerrantists have trapped non-inerrantists into a corner not of their choosing...Many inerrantists, I've observed, have bully mentalities which compel them to impose their views on others. Thus non-inerrantists have no choice but to respond to inerrantists' aggressive tactics. Our behavior is motivated by a desire to deliver fellow believers from the ideological cul-de-sac down which inerrantists want everyone to travel. That's precisely what inerrantism is-- a hermeneutical dead end street which leads to intellectual dishonesty and to an ignoring of the phenomena of the text."

Clayton Sullivan, Toward a Mature Faith: Does Biblical Inerrancy Make Sense? (Decatur, GA: SBC Today, 1990), 56.

Trapped in a corner at Westminster Theological Seminary, I, too, felt the contradictory impulses of owning up to what the Bible really is and believing what inerrantists insist the Bible must be. At the time, the song "Blurry" helped me articulate the cognitive dissonance I was experiencing: the same community that instilled in me that "real" Christianity cannot survive without inerrancy also convinced me that if you take an honest look at it, inerrancy is false. What is one to do?

"Can you take it all away
Can you take it all away
When you shoved it in my face
Explain again to me

Nobody told me what to find
Nobody told me what to say
Noone showed you where to turn
Told you where to run away
Nobody told you where to hide
Nobody told you what to say
Noone showed you where to turn
Showed you where to run away

Can you take it all away..."

-Puddle of Mudd