We have to select our battlefields more carefully and wage our battles more graciously.
Recently a pastor wrote the editor: “Please cancel my subscription; I have heard enough about inerrancy. When you begin to carry more articles on the spiritual nurture of the soul and less on picky theologians’ quarrels like that over inerrancy, I’ll renew my subscription.” We sympathize with that pastor. Fine points of theological debate may intrigue nit-picking scholars, but they are a poor diet on which to nourish the soul.
A few days before the letter arrived from that disenchanted pastor, a world-famous evangelical theologian (not noted for any exclusive preoccupation with the inerrancy question—Carl F. H. Henry, no less) gently chided the editor for not participating decisively enough in the current discussions of this topic. The golden mean between too much and not enough is difficult to determine.
At a recent conference in Toronto (CT, Aug 7, p. 34), faculty members from 27 colleges, seminaries, and universities, plus many students and pastors, gathered to discuss the topic of inerrancy and related issues. They came from most of the centers of evangelical learning and opinion. From Fuller Theological Seminary came Jack Rogers, Lewis Smedes, and Charles Kraft. From Trinity Evangelical Divinity School came John Woodbridge and Grant Osborne. From Westminster Theological Seminary came John Frame and Richard Gaffin. From the Dutch Reformed movement came James Olthuis and John Vander Stelt. Among the many others who participated in the meetings were: Carl Armerding and Ian Rennie of Regent College, Robert Johnston of New College (Berkeley), William Abraham of Seattle Pacific University, Stephen Mott of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, ...1
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