This past November, Zondervan Publishing released another in their series of counterpoint books entitled, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Counterpoints: Bible and Theology). The idea behind these books is that one author/scholar/theologian would present a view on the topic. Others who are involved in the book would present counterpoints. And that would happen for each person involved.
For this book, Zondervan chose 5 scholars: Dr. Al Mohler, Dr. Peter Enns, Dr. Michael Bird, Dr. Kevin J. Vanhoozer, and Dr. John Franke. This is a powerhouse lineup of contemporary scholars tackling a very important topic related to how Christians view the Scriptures.
The editors assert that “Inerrancy has been commonly viewed as the doctrine upon which evangelicalism stands or falls.” As such, inerrancy “is not a mere statement about Scripture for evangelicals. Since Scripture is the source of evangelical faith, and since inerrancy is ultimately a matter of reading Scripture faithfully, inerrancy is often regarded as of the essence of genuine Christian faith.”
It is also important because it is the framework for our view of God and ourselves. The editors point out that inerrancy “communicates a way of understanding God and a way of understanding ourselves before Scripture. It is therefore bound up with the whole of Christian teaching and cannot be properly understood apart from some discussion of its doctrinal setting.”
So inerrancy is not just some abstract thought that has no impact of us or our lives. It can be viewed as one lens through which we view and understand God, ourselves, others, and the world around us. It is primary and elemental to faith.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the views of each of the five scholars who are part of this project. I’ll use their own words and try not to frame their words in a way that does not faithfully express their views. The hope is that we can find the face of contemporary inerrancy, that we can understand what is meant among various groups, and through that process, God have be more clear to us than ever before.
Some friends and I are reading the book together and exploring the ideas. If I bring any of that thinking into a post, I will try to explicitly note it. I don’t want the scholar’s views to be tainted.
For now, take a look at this short video with Al Mohler and Peter Enns talking about the book, and their views.