Can biblical authority be maintained if biblical inerrancy is denied? No! was the resounding answer from a conference of nearly 300 evangelicals who assembled in Chicago’s Hyatt Regency O’Hare Hotel October 26–28. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy was prepared and then signed by four-fifths of those attending.
Its release is but the first of a series of proposed activities aimed at Christians who are uninformed, unconcerned, uncertain, or unconvinced about inerrancy. The goal is to win adherents to the belief that the doctrine is both true and important. The statement denies that belief in inerrancy is necessary for salvation, but rejectors are warned of “grave consequences both to the individual and to the Church.”
Advocates of inerrancy feel that many of those who do not affirm the doctrine misunderstand and caricature it. The Chicago Statement denies “that it is proper to evaluate Scripture according to standards of truth and error that are alien to its usage or purpose.” Contrary to what detractors suggest, inerrancy as a valid theological concept is not affected by “lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations.” But lest it be wondered if that leaves more than terminological disagreement with those who limit inerrancy to matters of faith and practice, the statement also includes “assertion in the fields of history and science” within the purview of biblical inerrancy.
The Short Statement
1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture ...1
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