I have learned to yield this respect and honour only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error. And if in these writings I am perplexed by anything which appears to me opposed to truth, I do not hesitate to suppose that either the manuscript is faulty, or the translator has not caught the meaning of what was said, or I myself have failed to understand it. As to all other writings, in reading them, however great the superiority of the authors to myself in sanctity and learning, I do not accept their teaching as true on the mere ground of the opinion being held by them; but only because they have succeeded in convincing my judgment of its truth either by means of these canonical writings themselves, or by arguments addressed to my reason. … [Others are] not … to be read like those of prophets or of apostles, concerning which it would be wrong to doubt that they are free from error.
~ Augustine of Hippo
I’m excited to announce a new series of events that reference librarian, Rebecca Miller, and I will be hosting at Rolfing Memorial Library. They are called Table Talks; and at them we will host cross-table discussions on a variety of currently “hot” biblical, theological, ethical, ministerial, and cultural topics demanding our concern. At each Table Talk, an expert on the given topic will also be present to facilitate discussion
We start off this new series of events with the topic of inerrancy, facilitated by prestigious TEDS professor, Kevin Vanhoozer. Vanhoozer is a contributor in the recently published Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy. He defended the position he titled, “Augustinian Inerrancy: Literary Meaning, Literal Truth, and Literate Interpretation in the Economy of Biblical Discourse.”
We look forward to seeing you there!
In somewhat recent times, attacks have been leveled by “liberal” scholars against the belief in scripture’s inerrancy, that the Bible is infallible and without error in its original writings. Many have claimed that early 1900’s Christian conservatives, evangelical-fundamentalists, such as the “Princetonians” B.B. Warfield and Charles Hodge, “invented” the doctrine of inerrancy. One incredible text that refutes this re-writing of history comes from Augustine’s work Reply to Faustus the Manichaean, book XI, chapter 5. Read Augustine’s absolutely incredible testimony.
As regards our writings, which are not a rule of faith or practice, but only a help to edification, we may suppose that they contain some things falling short of the truth in obscure and recondite matters, and that these mistakes may or may not be corrected in subsequent treatises. For we are of those of whom the apostle says: “And if ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” Such writings are read with the right of judgment, and without any obligation to believe. In order to leave room for such profitable discussions of difficult questions, there is a distinct boundary line separating all productions subsequent to apostolic times from the authoritative canonical books of the Old and New Testaments. Continue reading
The following four power points (see links below) are pedagogical aids from four out of the five messages I presented at Lake Lundgren Bible Camp last summer when I was the Bible speaker for a youth week (upper elementary to lower junior high grade levels). The theme last summer was “Get a Clue: God’s Word has the Answers” based on the text 2 Timothy 3:16-17. When I was asked to speak for a week on this theme I determined to start off with a message on God’s Word itself, how we can trust it (an apologetic), and some basic doctrines concerning the Bible and how it was written (inspiration, inerrancy, preservation). After having laid that foundation, I presented a “three step method” of studying/reading the Bible: 1) read it, 2) understand it, and 3) live it. These four messages are for what the power points below were made. They probably won’t make entire sense to you at various points apart from hearing the actual messages. But I hope you might find browsing through them to be beneficial.
Day 1 – The Bible – God’s Very Word (Power Point)
Day 2 – Step 1 – Read It (Power Point)
Day 3 – Step 2 – Understand It (Power Point)
Day 5 – Step 3 – Live It (Power Point)