In 1978 theologian Kenneth S. Kantzer, then editor ofCHRISTIANITY TODAY, joined forces with other evangelical leaders in the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy to hold the first inerrancy “summit” and issue the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Last year, with a sense of “mission accomplished,” Kantzer participated in the council’s final congress and dissolution.
But Kantzer’s lifetime of prayerful reflection on the nature of Scripture is not finished. Here, condensed from the forthcoming CHRISTIANITY TODAY book Tough Questions Christians Ask, are his thoughts on the importance of believing in a trustworthy Scripture.
Protestants of all major groups have generally agreed in their doctrine of biblical authority. Lutherans, Reformed, Anglicans, Wesleyans, and charismatics have historically stood for the complete truth of the Bible as God’s inerrant Word to guide human beings. And the Roman and Greek Orthodox traditions have stood with evangelicals in defending the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture.
Of course, the doctrine of the infallible authority of Holy Scripture has not been without opposition. But until modern times that opposition largely came from outside the organized church. In the last century, however, it welled up within the structures of church itself. Today it is safe to say that belief in the infallibility of the Bible is a view held only by a minority within the nominal church of Christ.
Opponents have argued that holding to biblical infallibility is a dangerous view because it suggests that one error found in Scripture would destroy the whole edifice of Christian faith. This is no more true than that one error in a modern text on U.S. history would destroy our confidence in the existence ...1
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