Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy 1


The Chicago Statement begins with "A Short Statement", which has five points.

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.

So far, so good. It's clear (in my opinion), to the point. It keeps God's revelation in Jesus central - Jesus is God's supreme self-revelation, not the Bible (Hebrews 1:1-4). I can see that there are going to be questions about how we know what it affirms and what it does not (point 2 and 4). And perhaps it's necessary to keep that area fuzzy in a document designed to promote unity - we're not aiming for a complete and exhaustive exposition of the whole of Scripture - that's impossible. The purpose of this document is to describe something of how we should view Scripture.

The "short statement" seems eminently sensible.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Summary

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