I think a valuable resource for the inerrancy discussion going on over at Pete Enns’ blog (the same one that inspired last night’s post here) is A. H. Strong’s views on errors in the Bible and how they relate to inspiration. It’s valuable mainly for that fact that Strong, a conservative Baptist minister, argued that any errors in Scripture have no influence on Scripture’s inspiration.
Here’s a taste of what Strong wrote:
Great harm results from identifying Christian doctrine with specific theories of the universe. The Roman church held that the revolution of the sun around the earth was taught in Scripture, and that Christian faith required the condemnation of Galileo; John Wesley thought Christianity to be inseparable from a belief in witchcraft: opposers of the higher criticism regard the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch as “articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiae.” We mistake greatly when we link inspiration with scientific doctrine. The purpose of Scripture is not to teach science, but to teach religion, and, with the exception of God’s creatorship and preserving agency in the universe, no scientific truth is essential to the system of Christian doctrine.
Read Strong’s treatment of the topic here. (While you’re reading, especially in the section about science, keep in mind that this book is from 1907 — 105 years ago — and that it itself is an expansion of his earlier systematic, from 1886.)
How do you think Strong would react to modern conservatives making inerrancy a prerequisite for faith?
EDIT: Caught a spelling mistake in the title.