Dedicated to the devotional, exegetical and philosophical study of theological paradox in Conservative, Thoroughly Biblical, Historically Orthodox, Essentially Reformed theology . . . to the glory of God alone!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Does Not the Potter Have a Right Over the Clay?

Yesterday I asked my 8-year old daughter this question:

What if you drew a picture of a man in a boat, and the man looked up at you and said, "I don't want to be in this boat. I want to be on land. Anyway, you don't even exist and I can do what I want because this picture is about me!"

She said, "I would erase him!"

I said, "I'm glad you're not God."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Who Copied Whom?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? One's answer says a lot about his view of the authority of Scripture.

Scholars have pointed out the fact that creation myths, containing events similar to those in Genesis 1 and 2, were common in Ancient Near Eastern cultures. Some theorize that the content of early Genesis was adapted from these myths. They believe that the Hebrews borrowed content from their neighbors' stories, and then wrote the name of their own God over the account. Many argue from this standpoint as if it were the only possibility.

What a startling and staggering assumption! And what a limited point of view.

Portraying the Biblical author as a plagiarizing copycat rather than an inspired and faithful writer results in a nonsensical deconstruction of the text. There is no reason not to trace the Ancient Near Eastern creation myths back to the real story of creation. The myths were probably modified accounts of what was orally passed down from Adam and Eve to their progeny. Remember, Adam and Eve were eyewitnesses of some of the events, and conversed directly with their Creator. Some cultures adapted this story to suit their own purpose and attributed creation to their own false deities. While pagan cultures modified the account, thereby rendering it truly mythical, the Holy Spirit guided the Biblical author to record the real story just as it actually happened.

The trouble with reverse logic is that it seems to make sense. But the same logic can go in both directions. Chickens come from eggs and eggs come from Chickens. How can we possibly know which came first?

Turning to the Bible - our epistemological authority - there can be no doubt at all that the chicken was made before the egg was laid.

Genesis 1:25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

John Frame on the Inerrancy of Scripture

Here's an excerpt from Frame's article on inerrancy, written in 2002:

This is not a mere "modern" position. As we have seen, it is the position of Scripture itself. Augustine in the fifth century declared, "None of these (scriptural) authors has erred in any respect of writing." Infallibility4 is affirmed in the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 1 and in the Belgic Confession, Article 7.

Shall we speak today of biblical "inerrancy?" The term does, to be sure, produce confusion in some circles. Some theologians have gone far astray from the dictionary meaning of "inerrant." James Orr, for example, defined "inerrant" as "hard and fast literality in minute matters of historical, geographical, and scientific detail."5 Well, if "inerrancy" requires literalism, then we should renounce inerrancy; for the Bible is not always to be interpreted literally. Certainly there are important questions of Bible interpretation that one bypasses if he accepts biblical inerrancy in this sense.

But we should remember that Orr's use of the term, and the similar uses of contemporary theologians, are distortions of its meaning. Perhaps those distortions have become so frequent today as to inhibit the usefulness of the term. For the time being, however, I would like to keep the term, and explain to people who question me that I am not using it in Orr's sense, but rather to confess the historic faith of the church.

We do have a problem here: Other things being equal, I would prefer to drop all extra-scriptural terms including "infallible" and "inerrant" and simply speak, as Scripture does, of God's Word being true. That's all we mean, after all, when we say Scripture is inerrant. But modern theologians won't let me do that. They redefine "truth" so that it refers to some big theological notion6 , and they will not permit me to use it as meaning "correctness" or "accuracy" or "reliability." So I try the word "infallible," a historical expression that, as I indicated in a footnote above, is actually a stronger term than "inerrancy." But again, modern theologians7 insist on redefining that word also, so that it actually says less than "inerrancy."

Now what is our alternative? Even "accuracy" and "reliability" have been distorted by theological pre-emption. "Correctness" seems too trivial to express what we want to say. So, although the term is overly technical and subject to some misunderstanding, I intend to keep the word "inerrant" as a description of God's Word, and I hope that my readers will do the same. The idea, of course, is more important than the word. If I can find better language that expresses the biblical doctrine to modern hearers, I will be happy to use that and drop "inerrancy." But at this moment, "inerrancy" has no adequate replacement. To drop the term in the present situation, then, can involve compromising the doctrine, and that we dare not do. God will not accept or tolerate negative human judgments concerning his holy Word. So I conclude: yes, the Bible is inerrant.

It is interesting to note Frame's frustration over the many distortions of the term, resulting from over-literal views (such as that of James Orr) on the one hand, and from minimizations of the of term's meaning on the other. The Chicago Statement seems to strike the right balance, and I am surprised Frame doesn't mention it. However, I concur with Frame's desire to affirm the Truth of Scripture as presented by Scripture.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Evolution of Doubt - BioLogos and the Denial of Inerrancy

I paid a visit to the BioLogos Foundation's website and read through some articles. BioLogos is a group committed to the preaching of evolution as compatible with Christian Scripture and orthodoxy.

In the following comments, I detected the "scared cat" phenomenon which we examined in a recent post. The words are from Darrel Falk, President of BioLogos.
The BioLogos Foundation exists in order that the Church, especially the Evangelical Church, can come to peace with the scientific data which shows unequivocally that the universe is very old and that all of life, including humankind, has been created through a gradual process that has been taking place over the past few billion years. BioLogos exists to show that this fact (and it is a fact), need not, indeed must not, affect our relationship with God, which comes about through Jesus Christ, and is experienced by the power of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence. (Emphasis added)

These are what we might describe as "errant presuppositions."

First, "scientific data" is just that: data. To be classified as scientific, a piece of datum has to be observable, repeatable and objective in nature. Evolutionary theory can't be proven, repeated or observed, but is constructed from an interpretation of the available data. The real "fact" is, all of the scientific data lends itself better to a Biblically consistent creation model than to an evolutionary view. Evangelicals can be perfectly at peace with this data, because it beautifully reflects the Truth and fact claims of the Bible. There is no conflict between science and the Bible until one erroneously accepts evolutionary theory as fact. At that point, one is more or less forced to ditch inerrancy.

Why go down the evolution road in the first place? It is unprovable as science, unbiblical as theology, and lacks any viability as a model of origins. Far from scientifically provable or even defensible, evolutionism amounts to little more than a bad guess at history, and one so unnatural as to require supernatural intervention to render it even remotely plausible. Like creation, theistic evolution is a supernatural theory. But unlike creation, it asks us to believe in the wrong miracle. It's approximately equivalent to arguing that Jesus didn't actually die and resurrect, but instead exercised His divine power to make His followers think He did. That would indeed be a miracle, but like theistic evolution it would be the wrong miracle because it is not the Biblical one. Like theistic evolution, it would violently wrench the clear meaning of the text and require a denial of inerrancy. How is it that people who claim to believe in things as intellectually difficult as the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection of Christ seem to lack the guts to stand up to evolutionary pseudo-science?

Second, the sheer arrogance and folly of any claim to know factually and unquestioningly, apart from divine revelation (or in this case contrary to divine revelation), events that took place in the distant prehistoric past, should be evident to all thinking persons. A callous denigration of Biblical authority is so clearly manifested in the official statements of BioLogos that all Bible believers should unanimously arise to vote down the perpetrators by calling their unbelief exactly what it is: an unorthodox denial of essential Biblical doctrine. Instead, BioLogos has become a haven for scholars like Tremper Longman III and Peter Enns - men who claim to be conservative but hold that the Bible leads us astray in some of its statements. Many who call themselves Evangelical flock there to "discuss" their denial of the Truth.

Here is a curios irony. Scholars who reject inerrancy tell us the Biblical writers absorbed false assumptions from their culture and allowed them to get into the text of Scripture (clearly denying he Holy Spirit's role as the inspiring purifier of their words). Yet these scholars themselves have absorbed evolutionary assumptions from their own culture and allowed those assumptions to distort their views of Scripture (thus elevating their own thinking as superior to the Word). So they are doing the very thing they accuse the Biblical writers of, and they are raising their own reasoning above the clear teaching of God-breathed revelation.

Since God emphatically affirms the inspiration of the Bible, and He makes no such guarantee regarding the works of contemporary Evangelical authors (but actually predicts a great deception with woolly wolves), we have good reason to set our full confidence on the facts as presented in a totally truthful Bible. Rather than rejecting inerrancy, let us summarily reject the fallacies of BioLogos and its scholars.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Al Mohler on the Inerrancy Battle

Great article here:

It's interesting to see Dr. Mohler identify a connection between the acceptance of evolution and the denial of inerrancy. That does seem to be driving some scholars' rejection of the doctrine. Additionally, he notes the claims of Peter Enns and Kenton Sparks, and he promises to write more on inerrancy in the coming weeks.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Mohler's article:

We now confront open calls to accept and affirm that there are indeed errors in the Bible. It is demanded that we accept the fact that the human authors of the Bible often erred because of their limited knowledge and erroneous assumptions about reality. We must, it is argued, abandon the claim that the Bible is a consistent whole. Rather, we are told to accept the claims that the human authors of Scripture were just plain wrong in some texts — even in texts that define God and his ways. We are told that some texts are just “down-right sinister or evil.”

And, note clearly, we are told that we must do this in order to save evangelicalism from an intellectual disaster.

Of course, accepting this demand amounts to a theological disaster of incalculable magnitude. Rarely has this been more apparent and undeniable. The rejection of the Bible’s inerrancy will please the evangelical revisionists, but it will rob the church of its secure knowledge that the Bible is indeed true, trustworthy and fully authoritative.

Calvinism & Arminianism: A Few Thoughts

Classical Arminian Roger Olson has recently begun to blog at

It should be obvious to regular readers of this blog that I'm fairly hostile to some Arminian ideas. But I don't think this means I have to be hostile toward my Arminian brothers and sisters in Christ. I quite enjoy a civil discussion of the issues differentiating the two major soteriological systems, and I also enjoy finding common ground to avoid the big, bad, unnecessary, mean-spirited debates. Some debates are unnecessary because they've already taken place and ended fruitlessly. Calvinists and Arminians must agree to disagree, and also strive to understand their brothers' theological convictions. We should make an effort to hear one another, and not start fights without cause. I, for one, believe Arminians make some good points. Their logic is fairly good, and some of their key themes are commendable. However, I don't believe their points, themes, and logic are ultimately the most Biblical. That's why I'm not an Arminian.

Roger Olson is probably my favorite Arminian. He's a great writer, and he seems to have a good grasp of the issues - including the main tenets of Calvinism. Most importantly, he is charitable and gracious when interacting with Calvinists. He is emphatically a classical Arminian, following in the footsteps of Jacob Arminius. This is vastly different, as Olson points out, from the semi-Pelagian or Pelagian Arminianism that is all too prevalent today. Olson believes most Arminians aren't classical, so he aims criticisms at both Calvinists and semi-Pelagians. Putting himself in this middle ground, he is liable to be attacked from both sides. Moderate Calvinists can easily relate to such a predicament.

Olson's new blog is currently addressing issues related to Calvinism and Arminianism. In particular, you may find this recent post (with comments from Chris DeVidal and myself) of interest. We argue for a Biblical, moderate Calvinism from a Biblical paradox perspective. This sometimes takes Arminians off guard, and it gives us an opportunity for bridge-building. I'm still convinced most Arminians only see a "straw man" Calvinism, and I don't blame them for arguing against it. That straw man needs to be burnt.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Has the Doctrine of Inerrancy Outlived Its Usefulness? PART 2

This installment simply attempts to define the doctrine, and Jimenez has defined it well. To accomplish this, he cites the following quotations:
"If God cannot err, and the original text was breathed out by God, then it follows that the original text of the Bible is without error." ~Norman Geisler

"Inspiration is the supernatural operation of the Holy Spirit, who through the different personalities and literary styles of the chosen human authors invested the very words of the original books of Holy Scripture, alone and in their entirety, as the very Word of God without error in all that they teach or imply (including history and science), and the Bible is thereby the infallible rule and final authority for faith and practice of all believers." ~Norman Geisler

There is one human characteristic the Bible does not have: errors.” ~Norman Geisler

inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact” ~Wayne Grudem
I commented as follows:
From all I’ve seen, I think you offer a good survey of the inerrantist position here. More could be said, or course, about the qualifications regarding genre, authorial intent, phenomenological language, acknowledged imprecision, etc. but you have correctly stated the core concept in my opinion. It’s always helpful to define terms.
Another commenter gave a lengthy treatise describing his rejection of the doctrine. In it, he stated the following:

I think we have to determine the difference between the words fact and truth. I would say Scripture is fully true, but might not be error-free in its fact presentations.

The greatest example, of which even inerrantists (is that a word) would agree, is the idea that parables are not fact. They teach truth, no doubt. But they are not factual stories. It is a fact that Jesus told parables. But the parables, in themselves, are not fact. But they are truth.

And I think this is where modern Christians get mixed up. So we must note such a difference when we read in 2 Samuel 7:16 the report of Nathan’s prophecy to David – And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. And then read what 1 Chronicles 17:14 reports – but I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and his throne shall be established forever.

From a factual standpoint, one or both could be wrong. But the truth is communicated in both accounts . . .

This reasoning is absurd. First, regarding the parables, inerrancy is not the least bit threatened by an acknowledgement that parables are fictional stories. Inerrancy recognizes the use of literary genres within the Bible, and in fact demands that we interpret them accordingly. It calls us to interpret parables as parables and doesn't demand more from the text than Jesus Himself meant to put into it.

The commenter goes on to cross hermeneutical lines and apply parable logic to historical narratives. But the genre-specific rules of interpretation cannot be transferred in this way. We have to treat historical narrative as historical narrative. Dealing with parallel accounts of a historical event can be challenging, but not so challenging that we have to pretend the actual history is false or irrelevant. In the two texts, God Himself is quoted as speaking "for real," at a specific time and place in history, to a specific person, about specific events, through the prophet Nathan (who was a real historical person). It's not a parable, and it can't be treated like a parable. The two accounts may appear to contradict, but neither account can be "wrong" in any way. It is likely that Nathan the prophet uttered both statements, but each writer, guided by the Holy Spirit, included the particular statement that was most suitable to his purpose (this is a common phenomenon in Scripture - and such omissions are not errors). It is certain that the apparent contradiction between the two accounts was intentionally placed there by the Holy Spirit - the Breather of Scripture - in order to get our attention. In a very real sense, which the Holy Spirit surely wants us to recognize, the throne of Solomon is a continuation of the throne of David. The house and kingdom of David are ultimately the house an d kingdom of God, through which He will send His own Son. Problem solved, inerrancy held intact. This is a classic example of a textual paradox, which is neither contradictory nor erroneous.

Not only does the commenter's approach dismantle precious Biblical Truth and erode the authority of Scripture by its erroneous assertions, it also misses the beautiful and edifying POINT of the texts it butchers. May God keep us from fallaciously rationalizing away inerrancy in this manner. We can recognize that there are Bible difficulties without conceding that there are Bible errors. Instead of affirming errors, we should seek explanations that are consistent with the character of the Book.

Jimenez's next post in the series will attempt to trace the historical origins of the doctrine of inerrancy. While I do not expect to agree with his ultimate conclusions, and I will probably argue against them vigorously, I hope to enjoy a good education along the way.

Soli Deo Gloria!
Sola Scriptura!
Sola Gratia!

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

I recently read the famous (some liberals would say infamous) Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy of 1978. It is a phenomenal document! The Chicago Statement is very carefully worded, comprehensive in scope, nicely balanced, and humbly presented. I believe the drafters of this document, who were some of the most prominent Evangelicals of the day, exercised a great deal of wisdom in the development of their statement. It stands as a shining example of doctrinally orthodox Christians responding to the contemporary challenges of liberal theology with godly grace and discernment.

Here is an excerpt from the preface:

Those who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are called to show the reality of their discipleship by humbly and faithfully obeying God's written Word. To stray from Scripture in faith or conduct is disloyalty to our Master. Recognition of the total truth and trustworthiness of Holy Scripture is essential to a full grasp and adequate confession of its authority.

The following Statement affirms this inerrancy of Scripture afresh, making clear our understanding of it and warning against its denial. We are persuaded that to deny it is to set aside the witness of Jesus Christ and of the Holy Spirit and to refuse that submission to the claims of God's own Word which marks true Christian faith. We see it as our timely duty to make this affirmation in the face of current lapses from the truth of inerrancy among our fellow Christians and misunderstandings of this doctrine in the world at large.

Later in the preface:

We offer this Statement in a spirit, not of contention, but of humility and love, which we purpose by God's grace to maintain in any future dialogue arising out of what we have said. We gladly acknowledge that many who deny the inerrancy of Scripture do not display the consequences of this denial in the rest of their belief and behavior, and we are conscious that we who confess this doctrine often deny it in life by failing to bring our thoughts and deeds, our traditions and habits, into true subjection to the divine Word.

Here are the 5 points of the "short statement" that precedes the more lengthy "affirmations and denials" section:

1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord, Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God's witness to Himself.

2. Holy Scripture, being God's own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be believed, as God's instruction, in all that it affirms: obeyed, as God's command, in all that it requires; embraced, as God's pledge, in all that it promises.

3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture's divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.

4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its teaching, no less in what it states about God's acts in creation, about the events of world history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God's saving grace in individual lives.

5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in any way limited or disregarded, or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible's own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.

A few excerpts from the exposition section at the end:

By authenticating each other's authority, Christ and Scripture coalesce into a single fount of authority. The Biblically-interpreted Christ and the Christ-centered, Christ-proclaiming Bible are from this standpoint one. As from the fact of inspiration we infer that what Scripture says, God says, so from the revealed relation between Jesus Christ and Scripture we may equally declare that what Scripture says, Christ says.

lnfallible signifies the quality of neither misleading nor being misled and so safeguards in categorical terms the truth that Holy Scripture is a sure, safe, and reliable rule and guide in all matters.
Similarly, inerrant signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.

The truthfulness of Scripture is not negated by the appearance in it of irregularities of grammar or spelling, phenomenal descriptions of nature, reports of false statements (e.g., the lies of Satan), or seeming discrepancies between one passage and another. It is not right to set the so-called "phenomena" of Scripture against the teaching of Scripture about itself. Apparent inconsistencies should not be ignored. Solution of them, where this can be convincingly achieved, will encourage our faith, and where for the present no convincing solution is at hand we shall significantly honor God by trusting His assurance that His Word is true, despite these appearances, and by maintaining our confidence that one day they will be seen to have been illusions.

Since the Renaissance, and more particularly since the Enlightenment, world-views have been developed which involve skepticism about basic Christian tenets. Such are the agnosticism which denies that God is knowable, the rationalism which denies that He is incomprehensible, the idealism which denies that He is transcendent, and the existentialism which denies rationality in His relationships with us. When these un- and anti-biblical principles seep into men's theologies at [a] presuppositional level, as today they frequently do, faithful interpretation of Holy Scripture becomes impossible.

Since the Renaissance, and more particularly since the Enlightenment, world-views have been developed which involve skepticism about basic Christian tenets. Such are the agnosticism which denies that God is knowable, the rationalism which denies that He is incomprehensible, the idealism which denies that He is transcendent, and the existentialism which denies rationality in His relationships with us. When these un- and anti-biblical principles seep into men's theologies at [a] presuppositional level, as today they frequently do, faithful interpretation of Holy Scripture becomes impossible.

In our affirmation of the authority of Scripture as involving its total truth, we are consciously standing with Christ and His apostles, indeed with the whole Bible and with the main stream of Church history from the first days until very recently. We are concerned at the casual, inadvertent, and seemingly thoughtless way in which a belief of such far-reaching importance has been given up by so many in our day.

We are conscious too that great and grave confusion results from ceasing to maintain the total truth of the Bible whose authority one professes to acknowledge. The result of taking this step is that the Bible which God gave loses its authority, and what has authority instead is a Bible reduced in content according to the demands of one's critical reasonings and in principle reducible still further once one has started. This means that at bottom independent reason now has authority, as opposed to Scriptural teaching. If this is not seen and if for the time being basic evangelical doctrines are still held, persons denying the full truth of Scripture may claim an evangelical identity while methodologically they have moved away from the evangelical principle of knowledge to an unstable subjectivism, and will find it hard not to move further.

We affirm that what Scripture says, God says. May He be glorified. Amen and Amen.
Read the whole thing here:

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Devolution of Theology, Part 2

I recently posted links to Dr. James Anderson's article, I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution, which is a partial-refutation/review of a book by the same title. The book was written by Denis Lamoreaux as an attempt to harmonize belief in Scripture with faith in biological evolution.

The following excerpt comes from Anderson's conclusion:

"I have to conclude that despite its irenic approach and the
undoubted expertise of its author, this book fails in its goal of reconciling biblical Christianity with modern evolutionary science. Nevertheless, it is very useful in this respect: it makes clear what price has to be paid in order to make peace with evolution, even if one takes a relatively conservative approach.

The first casualties are the doctrines of biblical authority, clarity, and inerrancy, closely followed by the doctrine of original sin; and once those are sacrificed it’s inevitable that more will follow, for no doctrine is an island. The doctrines of salvation by grace alone and justification by faith alone, to cite two examples, are intimately connected to the nature of the fall and its consequences.

The stakes are high. These are gospel issues. Lamoureux may well be correct about what it takes to accept evolution, as he defines it; but if he is, then precisely because I love Jesus, I cannot accept evolution. Fortunately, his scientific arguments put me under little pressure to do so."

I am convinced that no true Christian who embraces evolution and denies the complete inerrancy of the Bible has any idea how high the stakes are. A true believer cannot blatantly dismantle the Gospel in this way because he knows his (eternal) life depends on the Truth of the Gospel and the efficacy of the cross of Christ. Once such a person has been informed of the real issues involved, he can only be expected to repent. Any other response is unconscionable, and warrants a hearty rebuke from one's spiritual shepherd.

God alone knows whom He saves, and He alone knows the motives of the heart, so if someone claims to be a believer in Christ we ought to give him the benefit of the doubt (at least until he proves otherwise). But as a fruit, saying the Bible contains errors and stubbornly persisting in Gospel-denying doctrine gives a rotten appearance.

Personally, I would not sit under a pastor who denies inerrancy (or in more postmodern language, "questions" it), no matter how good his preaching or how dynamic his leadership abilities. I would not want my wife and children to be taught that the Word of God, which is able to make us wise unto salvation, contains error. Would you sit under such a man?

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness."

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Meet Dr. Joel Klenck, Paleontologist

Here are two short videos of Dr. Joel Klenck speaking at my church. The rock background is perfect for the subject matter, don't you think?

Learn more about Dr. Klenck's work here: Paleontological Research Corporation

Evolution - the Seeds of Doubt

Some Comments About Creation and Inerrancy

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Devolution of Theology

Editor's Note: The previous post was long, so I've broken it into two parts. This is part two.

I've noticed a trend among Christians who adopt the beliefs of evolutionists. They usually aren't solid on the doctrine of inerrancy in the first place. They have nagging doubts or a general sense of discomfort with the idea that the Bible is completely trustworthy in every possible way. Over time, they allow themselves to be deceived through the pseudo-science and propaganda presented by atheists and agnostics. Perhaps there is social pressure, and they don't want to look ridiculous. They may even say they are trying to remove any possible "scientific" hindrance to the Gospel.

Once evolution has been accepted, it becomes the unbreakable fulcrum under the logical lever that dislodges Biblical inerrancy from their minds once and for all. Rather than viewing Scripture as "incapable of being wrong," they come to see evolution as "incapable of being wrong." It's a tragic mistake and an example of misdirected faith. With inerrancy conveniently removed, they begin to view the Bible as a theologically authoritative book containing culturally influenced factual errors. They then live on the scraps of whatever theological truth they can squeeze out of a supposedly erroneous document, and stop engaging critically and Biblically with their own culture. The next step (or should I say slide) is a direct departure from clear Scriptural teachings and a willingness to apply all sorts of odd hermeneutics in a way that makes the Bible remarkably similar in its "spiritual" theological emphasis to their own culturally absorbed views. In this way, deceived souls take insolent authority over the Text rather than living under the authority of the Text (they then quickly point out how humble and flexible and teachable they are - and how arrogant those "rigid, orthodox, conservative" believers are for insisting on the utter veracity of the Word of God).

In time, they deny every core component of the Gospel and replace it with whatever philosophy is currently in style. That's a classic mark of liberalism. In the end, the term "Christian" becomes a mere descriptive shell, and it no longer characterizes their conduct or thought processes. Culturally derived ethics are then artificially "Christianized" and exalted above doctrinal Truth, and the fortress of indestructible unbelief is complete. Now to write books and make false disciples!

Not every Christian evolutionist follows this path all the way through, but I've seen it often enough to call it a definite trend. Have you seen it?

For further study, see this excellent article by James Anderson of RTS in Charlotte:

Tomorrow I'll post two short videos by Dr. Joel Klenck.