Craig Blomberg is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary. He’s the author of a number of fine books, including one on the Historical Reliability of the Gospels and another on the The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel.
I was interested to read this recent interview with Blomberg over at Justin Taylor’s blog, Between Two Worlds.
Blomberg shows that the kind of approach to the inerrancy question that James Orr was advocating a century ago is still, thankfully, alive and kicking.
It was back in 1976 that Harold Lindsell (in The Battle for the Bible) famously promoted an ‘all or nothing’ approach to Scripture. You either believe that the Bible is inerrant, or you don’t. And if you don’t, then you have no right to call yourself an evangelical or serve in an evangelical institution. Blomberg calls Lindsell’s approach ‘profoundly mistaken and deeply dangerous’.
But, says Blomberg, despite inerrancy being the touchstone of the Evangelical Theological Society, there are many evangelicals who hold that the Scriptures are inspired an authoritative, even if not inerrant. And it is possible that inerrantists, in making their view of the Bible the watershed for so much else, may have contributed to pilgrimages such as that of Bart Ehrman’s, whose slide from evangelical faith to agnosticism began with the discovery of a Biblical ‘discrepancy’ that he could not resolve.
I think the line that Blomberg takes is sensible and helpful:-