This is a series of posts on inerrancy as found in Zondervan’s new book, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology). This book contains the views, in their own words, of 5 Biblical and Theological scholars: Dr. Al Mohler, Dr. Peter Enns, Dr. Michael Bird, Dr. Kevin Vanhooser, and Dr. John Franke.
In this post, I will describe Michael Bird’s views. Dr. Michael Bird (Ph.D University of Queensland) is Lecturer in Theology at Ridley Melbourne College of Mission and Ministry. He is the author of several books including Jesus and the Origins of the Gentile Mission(2006), The Saving Righteousness of God (2007), A Bird’s-Eye View of Paul (2008), Colossians and Philemon (2009),Crossing Over Sea and Land: Jewish Missionary Activity in the Second Temple Period (2009), and Are You the One Who is to Come? The Historical Jesus and the Messianic Question (2009).
Bird is the only international scholar whose views are included in this volume. Because of that, he sees inerrancy through a different lens than most in the United States. He sets out to show “that while the American inerrancy tradition possessed a certain utility in the ‘Battle for the Bible’ in the twentieth century, it is not and should not be a universally prescriptive article of faith for the global evangelical church.”
The reason for this, Bird states, is because “the American inerrancy tradition, though largely a positive concept, is essentially modernist in construct, parochially American in context, and occasionally creates more exegetical problems than it solves.”
In his opinion, a more international understanding of Scripture is one of a commitment to “the infallibility and authority of Scripture, but not necessarily a doctrine of Scripture conceived in the specific terms of the American inerrancy tradition as represented in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI).” This will be the crux of his argument.
In the next post, I will explore how Michael Bird views the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (CSBI).