Is ‘Inerrancy’ Best?

inerrancy.jpgThat title should get people reading this post.

So, I owe y’all some posts since I’ve been slacking for awhile. Actually, I have a doctoral seminar coming up in January on Advanced Greek Grammar, which isn’t, believe you me, nearly as exciting as it sounds, but I’ve had to put in some serious reading time to get ready for it. But here goes. Here’s what’s on my front burner lately. Let’s get some discussion going.

Lately, I’ve been reading a book called The Historical Reliability of the Gospels, by Craig Blomberg. I cannot recommend it highly enough as an introduction to scholarly criticism of the gospels, to the so-called “synoptic problem,” and as a defense of the general historical reliability of the gospel narratives.

Blomberg has accomplished his aim (in my case) of convincing me, more than ever before, of the historical reliability of the gospel writers’ account of the events surrounding the life of Jesus. His arguments are compelling and illuminating to be sure, and you can’t help but walk away from this book with a renewed and strengthened trust in the dependability of the four evangelists.

Interestingly, however, Blomberg has also raised some questions in my mind about the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture that I’m sure he did not intend. Do not misunderstand. I am not hereby renouncing my belief in inerrancy – not at all. But the ways in which Blomberg argues for the reliability of the gospel accounts, ironically enough, makes me think I may need to rethink or reformulate what I mean when I talk about the “inerrancy” of Scripture.

The typical evangelical formulation of the doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture typically runs along the lines suggested by Wayne Grudem in his book, Systematic Theology: “The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.” This is the way I have formulated the doctrine of inerrancy since I first explored questions regarding biblical authority. Blomberg, however, explains some of the discrepancies between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) in ways that seem, to me, to be incompatible with the standard evangelical understanding of inerrancy.

For example, Blomberg makes the following statement regarding paraphrasing in the gospel narratives:

By far the most common kind of difference between gospel parallels involves simple variation in language. No one expects two different writers to retell a particular story with the identical words, but modern concerns for accurate quotation make many uneasy with certain examples of free paraphrases of others’ speech. The ancient world, however, had fewer such qualms. Greek and Hebrew had no symbols for quotation marks, and a historian or biographer referring to what some person said did not necessarily try to cite his exact wording. So long as what he wrote was faithful to the meaning of the original utterance, the author was free to phrase his report however he liked, and no one would accuse him of misquoting his source or producing an unreliable narrative.”

This seems to be a very helpful argument in defending the general reliability of the gospel accounts. Obviously, we cannot expect the sort of stenographic precision in note-taking expected in our age to apply to the gospel writers’ age. But this very fact makes me wonder if “inerrant” might be an unhelpful (or even misleading) way to talk about the truthfulness and reliability of Scripture.

Let me try to illustrate with a question: Is it a fact that God said to his Son, “You are my beloved son with whom I am well pleased’ (Mk. 1:11; Lk. 3:22), or is it a fact that he said about his Son, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased’ (Mt. 3:17)? Mark and Luke say that God spoke these words to his Son. Matthew says he spoke them about his Son and to those who were observing. Either Mark and Luke’s account or Matthew’s account can be “factual,” but both of them cannot be. One of them, to use Grudem’s language, must be asserting something that it “contrary to fact.”

We might tiptoe around this one by saying, ‘Well, maybe God said it twice—once to Jesus and once to all the people watching.’ It certainly is possible, but it certainly isn’t plausible because (1) it seems somewhat redundant, like a mother who says things about you to other people while she’s standing right next to you, and then turns to you and repeats them to you, using the exact same language, even though you clearly heard it the first time, (2) no gospel writer reports God saying it twice, so we’d be saying something took place that no gospel author says took place, and so (3) this argument seems to be what debaters call “special pleading.”

Another example: Blomberg raises the supposed contradiction between Matthew and Mark on the matter of the reanimation of Jarius’s daughter. In Matthew’s account (Mt. 9:18-26), Jarius reports the death of his daughter when he first comes before Jesus. In Mark’s account (Mk. 5:21-43), when Jarius first comes to Jesus his daughter is dying. It is only after Jesus’ healing of the woman with the discharge that Jarius find out that his daughter is dead and reports it to Jesus.

This leads such a celebrated evangelical scholar as I.H. Marshall to write,

We can, of course, explain the contradiction quite easily and acceptably by saying that Matthew, whose general policy was to tell stories about Jesus in fewer words than Mark, has abbreviated the story and given the general sense of what happened without going into details. But the fact remains that Matthew has attributed to Jairus words which he did not actually say at the time stated.

Blomberg writes, “This is one of the key passages which makes Marshall feel that ‘inerrancy’ is an inappropriate category for analyzing the gospel data.” After all, Mark and Matthew clearly are affirming that mutually incompatible things are factual. This suggests that one of them has an error in his record, despite the fact that the detail is entirely inconsequential and does not affect the overall reliability of the story. In fact, as Blomberg argues elsewhere, the discrepancy actually bolsters the reliability of the story because the two writers clearly have not conspired with each other to “get their story straight.” They are relying on independent witnesses of the event.

Thus, my question for you all: Is “inerrancy” the best way to talk about the truthfulness, authority, and integrity of Scripture? It might be worth bearing in mind that the Bible itself never uses words like “inerrancy,” “infallibility,” or similar words that we modern readers use. Might it be better, then, to use more biblical words like “perfect,” “sure,” “right,” “pure,” “clean,” and “true” (cf. Psalm 19) rather than a clunky, modernistic term like “inerrant”?

Or, at the very least, might it be better to speak of inerrancy in terms less like Grudem (above), and more in terms like these: The Bible is inerrant such that, despite working through imperfect and fallible human authors, God sovereignly ensured that his Word was preserved in the original manuscripts exactly as he intended?

What say ye?

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36 thoughts on “Is ‘Inerrancy’ Best?”

  1. Heretic. Just kidding (on a matter about which I shouldn’t be so trite). On December 2, 2005, Scot McKnight had a *similar* post: http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=573 … I think it’s good to go beyond – not Scripture – but rather the inadequate labels we apply to our view of Scripture. “Scripture is trustworthy” is good enough for me in most situations.

  2. You’re back! I thought that your lack of blogging was somehow related to the Packers’ loss to the Cowboys, since your last post happened on that same day. 2 weeks is a long mourning period. Since I enjoy your blog so much, I guess that means I should root for the Packers from now on. Can’t… quite… do… that…

    As for your post… I agree. More important than getting every fact exact is getting the spirit behind the facts correct. Who cares if Jesus fed five thousand, fifty thousand, or one hundred thousand with the loaves and fish? The point was to show His miracle-working power, which would have been shown with all of the above numbers of people.

  3. Hey Bryan. This is precisely the problem I have studied in the OT synoptics. I think inerrant is a fine word, as long as we consider what an error was for the original writers, not for our modern western historiographical categories.

    Richard Bauckham’s book Jesus and the Eyewitnesses is a facinating study of the issue. His research shows that the Gospels tell the stories from eyewitness testimonies and vary in the details in precisely the way oral storytellers often varied the details for emphasis, so long as those details did not detract from the point of the story. Different stories had different levels of importance. The more important the story, the more carefully the details were preserved. Given the extreme amount of overlapping detail and verbatim quotation we have in the Gospels, it is clear these stories were important and carefully preserved. The minor variations are to be expected. We in the West simply don’t like or appreciate them like we should.

    Words are only as good as their definitions. If it takes too many other words to explain what we mean by inerrant, then we should probably find a clearer word. I happen to like “inerrant,” but I agree it is becoming a little hard to manage.

  4. Kyle said, “I happen to like ‘inerrant,’ but I agree it is becoming a little hard to manage.” I think that’s good to keep the term – even when it has to be nuanced with some. With many in a congregation – for example – they may not think of all the nuances and really just want to know that you think Scripture is trustworthy – and “inerrancy” is the term they use to mean that. I think it’s especially good to keep a term in a context where people may simply think you’ve gone off the liberal deep end – as long as it pretty accurately describes your position (even if your position requires nuance). I think I’m starting to talk in circles now, so I’ll stop.

  5. Bryan, Good posting. I’ve been teaching verse-by-verse through Mark for over a year now, and have been comparing to Matt, Luke, and John as I go. So, I’ve seen many examples similar to what you note. Although I believe in the absolute truthfulness of Scripture, I quit long ago (I’m old) worrying about too many details concerning the subject of innerrancy. We have a “faith” not a “science”. I’ve come to believe and rest upon the perfectness of God’s word as being all-sufficient for my life and the lives of others. He has preserved His word miraculously through the centuries as a gift to us, and I’m eternally grateful.

  6. Well said, Vince’s dad.

    Vince, before your dad comes to stay with us for the Bethlehem Pastor’s conference, you should tell me his name.

  7. In light of the recent political posts, I cannot resist.

    NEWSWEEK’s Holly Bailey asked Mike Huckabee, “Do you believe the Bible is inerrant?”
    He answered, “I believe it is. There are some things in the Bible that were clearly intended to be figurative: ‘If the eye offends thee, go pluck it out.’ Did Jesus mean that we were supposed to take our fingertips, reach deep into our eye and pull it out if we see something we don’t think we should see? Obviously not. ‘Inerrant’ means if you follow the direction of the Bible, it will not lead you into error.”

  8. Brothers,

    We dare not treat the Word of God in so cavalier a fashion.

    This is the “Broad view ipsissima vox” versus the “Narrow view ipsissima vox/ipsissima verba” controversy.

    Our society has been so steeped in the naturalistic/materialistic worldview that it is taken for granted that scripture can reasonably be set against scripture.

    There exist harmonizations of these passages that do not violate our God imaged reason. This doesn’t mean there are no sticky issues.

    A good place to start is with the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Alot of hard work went into it and it’s worth studying the reasoning and issues those men were dealing with.

    –James

  9. James,
    I for one do not feel this post or its subsequent comments has in any way treated the issue in a cavalier fahion. If you are referring to the humor of some posts, I would suggest that humor often has a way of lightening the mood of a conversation, not detracting from it. Suggestions made by Bryan and those who posted above do not reflect poor reasoning or lack of study. Your comments are quite helpful, but I would suggest that they would be better framed as helpful additions to what has been said, as opposed to denigrating the posts before them.

  10. All,

    I’m sorry if anyone took my comment as a denigration. It was not intended that way.

    It was intended as a very serious alarm bell though.

    My comments on reasoning and pitting Scripture against Scripture stand alone, and were not intended as remarks on the post or anyone else’s comments

    Also, I wanted to point others, who may not have studied or know where to start, in a good direction. There are more readers than commenters.

    I do think that a young christian who happened across this post (not knowing that there is a great amount of material on this debate) might come away with a cavalier attitude toward inerrancy as it has been traditionally defined.

    I’m not suggesting that anyone here has that attitude.

    –James

  11. Bryan:

    I’m curious about *why* you believe in a doctrine of inerrancy. Do you think that without it no compelling, systematic defense of Christianity makes sense?

    I think any defense of inerrancy has to remember that the Bible is God’s gradual revelation to humanity that adapts constantly to its capability to gasp the revelation, until the point at which Christ ‘breaks into’ creation.

    When my 3-year-old son asks me something, I give him the best explanation (I can) that will get at the core of truth. He’s asking a lot about famine right now (he picked out a kid’s book from the library about the Great Irish Famine). He doesn’t quite understand why people suffering famine can’t just go to the grocery store like we do. My goal is simply to communicate certain core concepts when he brings the topic up — but it’s a much different conversation than we might have if he were a teenager. That doesn’t invalidate the truth behind our conversations now, however.

    Surely some of what appear to be changes/contradictions through the course of the Bible are the result of a similar process of maturation.

    I disagree somewhat with Burly: If you mean to convey that the Bible is ‘trustworthy’, than why not simply say that? It doesn’t take anything away from God or the Bible to use other words to describe it. Nor does it take anything away from me to have people decide I’ve “gone off the liberal deep-end”, if that’s what they should choose to believe.

    To James: A deeper search to understand if the Bible is inerrant, or even what it means to be inerrant, is in no way cavalier. Put bluntly: If the Bible is true, then it can on its own withstand any assault by man’s reasoning. If God isn’t willing to let me ask tough faith questions …. then He isn’t much of a man. (Ha. Tease *that* one apart.)

    And last, I am far more ‘errant’ than the Bible could ever be, and that has to be kept foremost in my mind.

  12. Good to see you back Bryan! I missed reading your postings.

    If God breathed the words through the original writers of the Bible, why wouldn’t he also have his hands in the translation of the Bible so that there would be no confusion?

    Do all of the original manuscripts still exist? How do we know that even the first few greek or hebrew copies were legit and and also God breathed? Was there a point at which God stopped breathing truth through the translators and copiers of the Bible? Or does he continue to Breath truth to those who read, write, and translate it to this day?

    How did the early church discern which Biblical text was and which text wasn’t breathed through by God?

  13. Brett –
    In thinking briefly about your comment, I would agree that if a person believes that the Bible is trustworthy, that’s where they should start. If one is pressed about inerrancy, then if the term works for a person (like Kyle – and probably me [it’s been awhile since I’ve looked at the definition in specifics]), then a person must decide if a “nuanced” version of it (or the official version) works for them. I would agree (which is what I think you’re saying) that one should not say they believe in inerrancy if they believe it to be something else (though close – read: trustworthy, etc.).

  14. Joe:

    There are virtually no extant copies of “original manuscripts” (and for a variety of academic reasons, the term “original” might not even make sense). The oldest fragment of NT writing (of which I’m aware, recognizing that I’m certainly no expert) is a snippet of the gospel of John that is believed to be from the mid 2nd century. The oldest ‘complete’ copy of the NT is, I think, from the mid 4th century.

    This doesn’t mean what we have isn’t “correct” (though it certainly gives academics something to write about :)).

    The early church process for deciding what texts to include in the canon was largely consensus based. It wasn’t a formalized process, and relied on such criteria as apostolic tradition (was the text attributed to one of the first apostles), universal appeal (was the text in use almost universally), and whether its content was consistent with other books, etc. There are a variety of criteria depending on who you talk to and what canon you are talking about.

    The four gospels were in place by the late 2nd century (Irenaeus, one of patristic writers, referred to them in what is easily his best-known work, and actually made a rather fanciful case for why there had to be four (not 5, and not 3, except by way of counting to 4….), and what we know as the NT was more or less finalized by the mid 4th century, though it was largely determined 200 years earlier.

    Burly: I didn’t mean to discount your point that using language that people “understand” matters. I agree with that. Successful communication ought to trump technically correct semantics. Apologies if I implied otherwise.

    -Brett

    P.S. I happen to be a fan of Irenaeus and ‘his’ doctrine of recapitulation. That counts as points against me, right?

  15. Wow, great discussion. I’ve been studying most of the day and haven’t checked back here until now, when, evidently, debate has been raging without my knowledge. Woe is me. I’ll make a few brief comments:

    James,

    Thanks for the caution – it is well received. I have read the Chicago Statement and agree with most of it. In fact, I think I would more or less agree with all of it except its use of the word “inerrancy.” The “Broad view ipsissima vox” versus the “Narrow view ipsissima vox/ipsissima verba” controversy, in my opinion, is less helpful than it appears when we use the word “inerrancy” because the word demands more than ipsissima vox can offer…

    Brett,
    …That said, I believe in a form of inerrancy because I feel it biblically necessary to say something with regard to God’s ability to convey exactly what he means to convey without human corruption impinging upon his communicative acts. I so think the authority of Scripture is significantly weakened without some form of the doctrine of inerrancy. It’s simply that the way it is traditionally formulated seems forced to me.

    Thanks, by the way, for answering the great questions from Joe on the original manuscripts (none of which are extant, to which you alluded). I agree with everything you said on that matter.

    Burly,

    I’m happy to ditch the word “inerrancy” if it isn’t helpful, but I’m just not sure what word would be better. The alternatives don’t seem quite to get at what I mean when I use the word (as outlined in my post).

    Good stuff, everyone.

  16. Brett: I am not against asking tough questions, and it is certain that the Bible can withstand tough examination.

    maybe an example is in order —

    I disagree with this statement from Marshall:

    “But the fact remains that Matthew has attributed to Jairus words which he did not actually say at the time stated.“

    And I think it is a cavalier treatment of the text.

    It assumes that the evangelists both gave a complete statement of the facts in their respective accounts.
    There is no reason to make this assumption.

    What if Jairus’ complete statement were something like “My little daughter is at the point of death, and in fact has died. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” Then while speaking with the woman, others from his household came, following not far behind it would seem, and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

    The author’s have given partial details, not conflicting statements. Even as we do in factually correct eyewitness accounts today.

    I’m not ready to ditch the term ‘inerrancy’ just yet.

    –James

  17. So Bryan, how would you address the issue of inerrancy with respect to different canons (best known in the difference between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Bibles)?

  18. Darius*,

    It’s a good question. But there’s a pretty important prior question: Should we accept the legitimacy of the apocryphal writings as divinely inspired and authoritative works? Of course, all protestants (as far as I know) reject the inspiration of that collection, as do most Roman Catholics (at least in practice – you’ll never hear a homily on 2 Maccabees or Bel and the Dragon at Mass). If we do not count them as inspired, then there’s no need to have the “inerrancy” talk about them. If we do count them as inspired (or even as inspired, but on a lower level, or something) then we do need to reckon with inerrancy.

    Is that what you were getting at? Or where you asking whether or not the Apocrypha is comprised of legitimately divinely-inspired books?

  19. That is what I was getting at. I didn’t realize that Catholics don’t believe that their entire Bible is inspired. So they just think those other books are good stories, but not inspired?

  20. Well, from what I understand, they believe that the books have a “secondary status,” but are significant enough that they should be incorporated in the canon of Scripture.

    Part of the issue, for R. Catholics, is that several distinctive (but dubious and disputed) R. Catholic doctrines find some support in these books (i.e. purgatory, limbo, and salvation by faith + good works), and without these books they have very little support.

  21. I don’t find “inerrancy” to be a helpful category at all. I think terms like “sufficiency” and “authority” (both of which I robustly affirm!) are far better language. We end up not quibbling over things that are, in large degree, entirely beside the point.

    There are times when the Devil can surely be found in the details.

  22. I disagree somewhat with Bryan. Catholics technically assert the inerrancy of Scripture — including the intertestamental books that they include in their canon.

    However, Catholics (since Vatican II) have shifted their emphasis from stressing inerrancy to emphasizing that a) human interpretation is prone to failure, b) the (R.C.) church’s interpretation is correct. (For fantastic bedtime reading, Dei Verbum will clarify all this.)

    Apocrypha is a trisky word, since it means different things to different people. There are certainly books that Catholics believe are apocryphal, non-inspired books. Just not those that sit in the middle of their Bible.

    Lastly, there is some worthwhile reading in there (inspired or not). The transition from the soul/nephesh of the O.T. to the soul/psuche of the N.T. becomes a bit more apparent, for instance.

    With regard to Roman Catholics, being an evangelical doing a theo degree at a Catholic school was enlightening, and certainly led to a degree of appreciation for Catholics that I previously didn’t have.

  23. I have just a simple question, to an obviously more in depth set of questions for discussion raised by Bryan about Mr. Blomberg’s book. Does the author of the particular gospel hold any weight in the direction one might lean in defending one over another? Would Matthew’s account lean closer to actual fact when telling about the two men in the tombs that were demon-possessed, because he was an eye witness to the event (Matthew 28:28-31)? Or would one give more credibility to Mark’s (Mark 5:1-13) and Luke’s (Luke 8:26-33) account of only one man being demon-possessed because there are two people that wrote it down (although neither one was present at the event)? I think we need to consider the author of the gospel, or letter, or book as well as what was actually written. Although all scripture is God breathed and all accounts do not necessarily line up in complete parallel to each other, the ideas behind the message always remain inerrant.

  24. Chris,

    Is inerrant the best word to use in the case(s) you’re describing? Maybe “true” would be a better word?

    [By the way, I actually have the Autographs if anyone is interested in seeing them.]

  25. Rob,
    The trouble is if two accounts contradict one another with the facts they are representing there is an error in one of them, either by the person telling the story or in the translation of it. By definition the word “inerrant” which is free from error, one or the other of the two accounts I mentions is in error, while the message of all three accounts is without error. I believe the word of God was given to us not to make us smarter and give us each a wealth of knowledge; it was given to us to change our lives. With that said, how has this matter of “inerrancy” changed us, and ultimately “what now?”

  26. Chris:

    It depends on what you mean by “inerrant”, no?

    There is a difference between ‘fact’ and ‘truth’. Is it helpful to keep that in mind, or not so very much?

    My frequency posting probably reveals my ‘vacation’ status. Sigh. I have become Daddy Homemaker. Woo!

  27. I guess what I am really saying is, “What are we going to do now?” Are we going to quibble over words and the use of them in scripture or are we going to be changed and do something? I am not smart enough to battle over different translations of the meaning of different words, but I do know 100% of the message behind those words, and that is all that matters to God. I will let you scholars figure all this other stuff out. I will be out at coffee with a friend that needs me right then or taking packages to my neighbors grandkids because she doesn’t like to drive at night. I am not saying this to judge anyone for doing or not doing, God gifted us all differently. I am not going to fight over words because in a battle of wits, I am not well armed. When it comes to doing things for people because I am changed, this I can do. For me it is about bearing fruit, not standing around talking about how straight the tree is, or finding the perfect word to describe the color of the leaves. I will be the one climbing the tree to the top for the best fruit, because I am not afraid of falling.

  28. I apologize, that was a little harsh, but what I would like to know is “What do we do now with all this information?” Are we trying to figure this out so we can teach it to others? Is our goal to honor God by learning everything he has for us? Are we trying to figure it out so we can get closer to God? Is it to excursive our minds and keep us sharp? I understand why the question was raised; it is a great question about inerrancy. But beyond that, what are we going to do with it, once we figure it out (if in fact it can be figured out, because everyone has an opinion)? Answers to these questions are great and if that is all we are doing is weighing in with what we think, that is fine. What I believe would be even nobler would be when we have what we think is the answer, then we do something with it.
    Matt 28:18-20
    18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
    NIV
    And again, this is simply my opinion, I love to read this blog because there are often great topics being discussed.

  29. Hi Chris. I minister on a college campus where an ability to articulate a reasonable, meaningful position on the authority, trustworthiness, and inerrancy of Scripture is crucial for evangelism. The fact is, what we know about God and his mandate to repent and respond in this world is only clear because he has communicated it in Scripture. The question I get is not “What has God said?” but “Has God indeed said anything?” It’s a question about the Bible’s quality and quantity. If I cannot speak to the authority of Scripture and why I believe it to be trustworthy, then I will have no voice. That’s why I think this knowledge is an essential part of loving God with our minds.

  30. Some books for people who have questions like Joe’s are:

    Evidence that Demands a Verdict (J. MacDowell)
    The Case for Christ (Lee Strobel)
    Letters to a Skeptic (Greg Boyd to his father)

    Any other good ones anyone?

    As for the word “inerrancy”, yes, I would agree with Chris. However, I have had friends you have tried to side-swipe me with examples of these “contradictions” as a weapon to show that they are “logical” and scientific and the Bible is not (and therefore me). Websites like http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/
    give support to those who think we are uneducated, or for those of us who are, then we are blind and stubborn. What the author of this website and others like him (or her) lack, obviously, is the discernment of the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes.

    All this is to say whenever I now find myself in a conversation like this, I immediately try to find out what “language” a person is speaking. If I’m speaking to Bryan, I know I can safely use the word “inerrant” and he will probably know what I mean. But if I speak with someone who is a doubter, a humanist, an atheist, agnostic, you get my point, then the word “inerrant” is probably a dangerous word to use.

    Sad state of affairs in our culture when previously fine words become dirty words, although I guess can be an opportunity if handled correctly. Here are some examples of ones that people have brought up in conversation that meant something totally different to them than they meant to me:

    Inerrant
    Contemplative Prayer
    Born again
    Evangelical Christian
    Christian

    Know of any others?

    Indeed, this culture has gotten so bad, when someone asks me if I’m a Christian, I ask them (very kindly) what they mean. A co-worker once told me that she is a Christian and I later found out that she specifically did *not* believe the following (and was hostile to those who did):

    The Virgin Birth
    The Resurrection
    That the only way to heaven was through Christ
    etc.

    Yikes.

    Any thoughts?

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