A New Kind 0f Christian
- Describe in detail your doctrine of hell.
- Briefly explain the gospel as you understand it.
- What is you doctrine of scripture?
- Where do you stand in relation to the “openness of God”.
- What school or stream of theology to you now feel most comfortable with?
- What is you view on the scope salvation?
What is you doctrine of scripture?
Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16
You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me, but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
Let me start by saying that every seminary, other than conservative ones, believe that the scriptures are fallible. There are errors, and inconsistencies in them. Those seminaries that teach otherwise, have the doctrine of inerrancy at stake! The errors include dates, numbers, rulers as well as transcribing errors. For example, Matthew gives Jeremiah the credit for a prophecy by Zechariah. Also, Matthew 23:35 ” unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” gets the wrong Zacharias: “unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah…” (Zechariah 1:1) instead of “And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest” (II Chronicles 24:20-21).
Then there are inconsistencies. The birth narratives of Luke and Matthew as well as their genealogies; four gospels four different signs above Jesus on the cross; the day Jesus was crucified -day after passover in synoptic gospels and on passover in John; the account of Paul’s actions after being converted -Galatians 1:15-24 versus Acts 9:1-31. These are only a couple of the errors and inconsistencies that are found throughout the bible, in both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
Does this mean that the scriptures weren’t inspired? Not at all! It just means that they were primarily human writings. The bible is a human book containing human errors, judgments and misunderstandings as these humans struggled to understand their God. It is also God’s book of his seeking out mankind. His message is found in the narrative of a people seeking after God, warts, errors and all.
The next fallacy is that the scriptures are authoritative. By this we really mean that our interpretation of those scriptures are authoritative. For an example we just need to look at the issue of slavery. Slavery is biblical. The only way we get around this fact is to re-interpret those writings in an interpretive context. This puts authority on the interpretation and the context more than the very scriptures themselves. A more modern example may be regarding women. Should they not have head coverings? Be silent, barefoot and pregnant (1Ti 5:14)? The scriptures themselves are very clear on such matters. The context and interpretation make our reading less clear.
Once we allow interpretation (and we all do), almost any position can be argued as biblical. And this is just within the conservative evangelical camp. What about Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anabaptist camps?
No, scripture is not authoritative. God alone is our authority. And it is as we come together as the whole body of Christ and interpret the scriptures that we can say that we are in agreement and thus have an authority in unity.
So, where do I stand? Though I believe that scripture is both errant and unauthoritative, I believe that it is still inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness and that ultimately it points to Jesus – the ultimate revelation of God.