Friday, October 02, 2009


Following a challenge by a friend of mine, I've been listening to some sermons by an American theologian whose position is considerably more conservative than mine. On the whole, I've found it to be a reasonably interesting experience and there's surprisingly little I'd disagree with the guy on.

But one thing struck me while listening to the sermons. He is very hard-line on the unchanging nature of God and the infallibility of the bible. Fair enough, many Christians are. You can find my thoughts on the infallibility of the bible in several of my previous blog postings. And while I've previously doubted the unchanging nature of God, I remain reasonably agnostic on the issue.

But the thing that struck me about this guy was not that he stuck to these 'foundations', but rather his reason for sticking to them. He didn't seem to justify them from the bible itself, or from some other first principles. No, his main reason for holding to these two foundations seems to be along the lines of "this must be true, or else we couldn't be certain of anything...".

So its not that he has good reasons for holding to those things, its just that the worldview he has chosen requires them to be true. His whole theology would fall apart if they weren't true. For him they appear to be unquestioned foundations. And he daren't question them, because if they turn out not to be solid foundations, then the world becomes a much more complicated place and everything becomes uncertain.

I can't go along with this line of reasoning. The universe is an uncertain and complicated place.

But what do you lot think?

1 comment:

Mike Arthur said...

Good post Ricky. I tend to agree. The only basis people seem to have for the Bible being infallible are either "if we can't trust part of it we can't trust any of it" logic or the 2 Timothy 3:16 quote.

For me it's fairly telling that anyone I know who has actually studied theology academically think that the bible is fallible.

The thing about these arguments I find so frustrating is that people are so adamant they can't possibly be wrong and you are just not holy enough or something.

The key I think is the point you raised. I don't think the Bible is infallible, but all my theology doesn't fall to pieces if it is after all.