The following is a partial transcript that Annoyed Pinoy typed up of William Lane Craig's podcast entitled "What Is Inerrancy?"
Harris: The debate often centers on Inerrancy with skeptics of the Christian faith and those who are considering [it]...I've seen it go round for years and years just on Inerrancy and that often detracts from the *person* of Christ.
Craig: Yeah, I think that's just a huge mistake, Kevin. Because now, what you're trying to make the focus of your evangelism is *Inerrancy* rather than *Christ*...as you say. It's *Christ* that is the center of the Gospel. And so, *He* ought to be the stumbling stone. Not the doctrine of Inerrancy. Inerrancy is an in-house debate for someone who is already a Christian.
Harris: Okay, alright.
Craig: It's an in-house argument about what corollaries are there to the concept of inspiration.
Harris: Now that is very important because, again, you can go off on a rabbit trail for years with a person on Inerrancy. And, again, to detract you from [what Kevin says is garbled but he seems to say "the central truths of the gospel."]
Craig: It would actually...here's the...here's the serious [thing]...it would keep people from salvation. Which is just horrible. If people have to jump through the hoops of Biblical Inerrancy in order to become a Christian...you will actually prevent people from coming to know Christ. By forcing the unbeliever to embrace this belief in order to be saved."
1. It sounds very pious to say, in the abstract, that we should focus on Christ rather than inerrancy, but what does that really mean? We don’t have Jesus apart from Scripture. We don’t have independent access to the words and deeds of Jesus.
So who are people coming to? Do we have the words of Jesus?
Jesus doesn’t speak to us directly. Rather, he speaks through others. We have reported words of Jesus.
Did Jesus really say, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” or is that one of those “in-house” debates?
Do we have the deeds of Jesus? We have reported deeds of Jesus. Jesus reported statement to Mary is embedded in a story. But did Jesus really raise Lazarus from the dead? Or is that one of those “in-house” debates?
The words and deeds of Jesus go together. But if the record of his words and deeds is errant, then maybe Jesus didn’t raise Lazarus from the dead. Then maybe Jesus didn’t say, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”
2. Did Jesus really appear to Paul on the Damascus road, or is that one of those “in-house” debates? Did God really call Abraham out of Ur, and make a covenant with Abraham–to bless all nations? Did Isaiah really see into the future? Did the Apostle John really see into heaven? Are these merely “in-house” debates? Are these peripheral to the Christian faith?
3. Is it appropriate to tell God, “Take a little piece of paper and write down in two or three sentences the bare minimum I need to believe to avoid going to hell. Then shut up! That’s all I want to hear!”
What kind of attitude is that? It’s not as if we’re only obligated to believe some “saving” truths. Rather, we’re obligated to believe whatever God tells us.
And we should believe what he says because of who he is. That’s the main thing. To believe the word of God because we believe the God of the word. For if we didn’t believe in God, there would be no reason to believe in his word.
That’s the problem with this grudging, nominal approach. If people can’t bring themselves to believe whatever God tells them, then they don’t really believe in God.
We trust what he says because we trust him. We take God at his word because he is truthful and trustworthy.
If you don’t have that, what do you have? What’s left?
Notice how Craig treats the word of God like a yoke. We mustn’t burden unbelievers by “forcing” them to take God at his word.
What a thankless attitude! Shouldn’t we view the word of God as a blessing rather than a burden? A light in the darkness? Something that frees us, not shackles us? An object of gratitude rather than resentment?
The word of God is a priceless gift to lost sinners. How can Craig possibly say that having to believe the word of God is a hindrance to salvation? What a perverse thing to say! You might as well say fresh water is hazardous to a man stranded in the desert.
The word of God is the word of our Father in heaven. The word of God is the word of our Good Shepherd. Words of light and life. Healing words. Words which guide us and guard us on the journey home. What could be more precious? More essential to our wellbeing?