I’m sorry that Michael Pahl is taking a rest from blogging at the moment. But his blog is still worth visiting.
Particularly interesting are some of Michael’s thoughts on inerrancy. I must emphasise that he affirms inerrancy. As a kind of self-criticism, however, he notes the following:-
The first criticism of a doctrine of inerrancy as it is often formulated is its relevance or usefulness. How helpful is a doctrinal formulation which depends on elusive concepts such as “in the original autographs” (a past-focused elusion), “when correctly interpreted” (a present-focused elusion), or “when all the facts become known” (a future-focused elusion)? None of these conditions will ever be fulfilled for us with any certainty, so how useful is a doctrine which depends on these conditions?
The second criticism of a doctrine of inerrancy as it is often practised is its significance. I absolutely reject the notion that one must believe in an inerrant Scripture in order for one to be doctrinally orthodox or to participate in salvation (no, those are not the same thing). In a similar vein, I also reject the notion that Scripture’s authority depends on its inerrancy, or that a doctrine of inspiration necessarily entails an absolute inerrancy. I also categorically deny the idea that if one rejects the inerrancy of Scripture one has stepped onto the proverbial slippery slope which inevitably leads to doctrinal heterodoxy or loss of personal faith. Conversely, I also deny the idea that inerrancy somehow acts as a sure safeguard for doctrinal orthodoxy or personal faith. Yet all these ideas can be found in the practice (if rarely the formulation) of doctrines of inerrancy. Why do I reject these things? To put it simply, my rejection of these notions comes from my reading of Scripture, my understanding of historical theology, and my experience of shared faith within the community of believers. The foundation of our faith and of the Church is Jesus Christ, not Scripture; the ultimate revelation of God is Jesus Christ, not Scripture; the written Word of God (inspired Scripture) is a witness, along with the Spirit and the Church, to the spoken Word of God (the gospel of Jesus Christ) and the living Word of God (Jesus Christ himself), and it is in Him, not Scripture, that all the facets of salvation find their source. All this is Scripture’s own self-testimony, the testimony of the Church historic and universal, and the testimony of my own experience in concert with other believers.