Biblical infallibility


Biblical infallibility

Biblical infallibility is the theological term to describe the belief that the Bible is free from errors on issues of faith and practice, while minor possible contradictions in history (or geography, science etc.) can be overlooked as insignificant to its spiritual purpose. This stance is also known as Limited Inerrancy.cite journal
last=Coleman
journal=Theology Today Volume 31, No. 4
year=1975
title=Biblical Inerrancy: Are We Going Anywhere?
]

In contrast, Biblical inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is free from "all" errors, not only in spiritual areas, but in the natural as well.cite book
last=Geisler & Nix
publisher=Moody Press, Chicago
year=1986
title=A General Introduction to the Bible
isbn= ISBN 0-8024-2916-5
]

Historical Perspective in Theology

According to John Shelby Spong, "When Martin Luther countered the authority of the infallible pope, he did so in the name of his new authority, the infallible Scriptures. This point of view was generally embraced by all of the Reformation churches. The Bible thus became the paper pope of Protestantism." [ [http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1686 Hope and Fear in Ecumenical Union] , John Shelby Spong, "Christian Century", June 8-15, 1983, pp. 579-581]

According to an article in "Theology Today" published in 1975, "There have been long periods in the history of the church when biblical inerrancy has not been a critical question. It has in fact been noted that only in the last two centuries can we legitimately speak of a formal doctrine of inerrancy. The arguments pro and con have filled many books, and almost anyone can join in the debate." cite journal
last=Coleman
journal=Theology Today Volume 31, No. 4
year=1975
title=Biblical Inerrancy: Are We Going Anywhere?
]

In the '70s and '80s, however, the ancient debate amongst theological circles, which centered on the issue of whether or not the Bible was infallible or both infallible and inerrant, came into the academic spotlight. Some notable Christian seminaries, such as Princeton Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary, were formally adopting the doctrine of infallibility while rejecting the doctrine of inerrancy.

The other side of this debate focused largely around the magazine "Christianity Today" and the book entitled "The Battle for the Bible" by Harold Lindsell. The author asserted that losing the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture was the thread that would unravel the church. Conservatives rallied behind this idea, agreeing that once a man disregards the ultimate truthfulness of the Bible, then anything can become justifiable. cite book
last=Lindsell
first=Harold
publisher=Zondervan
year=1978
title="The Battle for the Bible"
isbn= ISBN 0-310-27681-0
]

In practice

The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, accepts at face value the Bible’s statements regarding homosexuality and other issues based on their understanding of inerrancy. The LCMS accuses the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America of being more willing to accept homosexuals as members in the ministry based on their infallibility interpretations of the Bible. [http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/wa_elca-lcms.pdf]

External links

* [http://www.pcusa.org/101/101-bible.htm Presbyterian Church beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s1c2a3.htm#104 Roman Catholic Church beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.sbc.net/bfm/bfm2000.asp Southern Baptist Church beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.wesleyan.org/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=5B7EE5C4A5BA407D93A6AF61EF94B471&nm=Spiritual+Helps&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle&mid=8F3A7027421841978F18BE895F87F791&tier=4&id=5464710074024B8BA82C3E55BD140EF8 Wesleyan Church beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.elca.org/questions/Results.asp?recid=16 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/wa_bible1.pdf Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2617&collectionID=789&contentID=3052&shortcutID=4959 Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod beliefs of the Holy Bible]
* [http://www.lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/LCMS/wa_elca-lcms.pdf The difference between the ELCA and the LCMS]
* [http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=63&cuItem_itemID=11965 The difference between the ELCA and the WELS]

Notes


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