Liberal (In)errancy

John Hobbins on scholars and (in)errrancy:

Let me get straight to the point. I would like to put a curse on errantists and inerrantists alike. To a man and a woman, they tend to have their eyes wide shut when reading the Bible. […] Many of us, all of us in one sense or another, are hostile to biblical teaching whether we know it or not. But it should be obvious that hostility is a block to comprehension. If I have already decided that the Bible must conform to my notions of God, justice, and sexuality, and if it doesn’t, it’s time to trash it, I am off on the wrong foot. Let the text challenge you before you challenge it. Try to understand it on its own terms.

The errantists/liberals and inerrantists/fundamentalists are both modernists who import inappropriate expectations into their readings of the Bible.

I have to say, though, the Bible’s accuracy in ‘matters of faith and practice’ alone is a sloppy claim too: it, too, becomes part of the liberal consensus by banishing the Bible to the hinterlands to which we then assign the name ‘religion’. Your god may be that way, relegated to the edge of your life despite your most vigorous protests, until the Lord of Sabaoth speaks to you out of a whirlwind.

The mighty God of Israël to earth descends, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, in a pillar of fire, saying, ‘Hear, O peoples of the earth! Hear me, touch me, taste me.’ We will no more have eyes to judge that from above than minds to master the cosmos and thoughts to conquer the deep.


2 responses to “Liberal (In)errancy

  1. I agree, Lue-Yee. The “faith and practice alone” diction sends off alarm bells in my head.

    For example, Genesis 1 is a cosmological treatise written up in language that fits the needs, not only of the ancient world, but ours. The cosmology it transmits is trustworthy: a believer who says otherwise may mean well, but misleads.


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