Thursday, May 14, 2020

Is inerrancy a house of cards?

A fairly recent development in what passes for evangelicalism is the now-stock objection that inerrancy is a house of cards. There's more than one thing we could say in response, but for now I'll make one observation:

Given inerrancy, is far simpler to know what to believe as a Christian. There's a twofold criterion:

i) Your reason(s) for believing it's taught in Scripture

ii) Your reason(s) for believing Scripture

If, however, you reject inerrancy, then believing it's taught in Scripture is insufficient reason for believing it's true. That only makes it a candidate for belief. If you deny inerrancy, then the fact that something is taught in Scripture fails to ensure its truth and even fails to carry a presumption regarding its truth. 

In addition, you must have an individual justification, independent of Scripture, for each and everything you believe. Separate extrabiblical justifications for everything 


  1. I can't help but feel like Christians who don't believe in inerrancy, do so to allow for unbiblical doctrines, practices, etc in.

    I know this is unrelated, but have you heard about the Vatican donating money to a group of transgender sex workers?

  2. The "house of cards" line assumes what is at stake. Given inerrancy, there's no house of cards. There's only a house of cards if inerrancy is false. So, it's a polemic with no actual value.

    Arguably, rejecting inerrancy leads to a faith which is a house of cards. Once you've allowed that the Bible is a mixture of parts that God endorses and parts that he doesn't, given that there's no indication anywhere of how to discern which part is which (each person taking this line simply describes their preferences, usually with no objective criteria or justification beyond "feels good to me"), there's nothing which isn't potentially up for grabs. Which is what Steve just said. :-)

  3. steve, have you ever interacted with Lydia on this topic? I notice you post her material fairly often.