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Defending Inerrancy: Affirming the Accuracy of Scripture for a New… (2012)

de Norman L. Geisler

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1041209,110 (3.88)No n'hi ha cap
Apologist Norman L. Geisler, who was one of the original drafters of the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy," and William C. Roach present here a defense of the traditional understanding of inerrancy for a new generation of Christians who are being assaulted with challenges to the nature of God, truth, and language. --from publisher description… (més)
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This review could have been much longer, since parts of the book are worse than others, (occasionally very bad), and I didn’t want to make criticisms that don’t apply more or less to the whole thing. I also didn’t want to imitate its.... style.

I will say, though, that the book is too long, or at least, contains too many parts. (It’s also repetitive, repeating, for example, the line about “inerrant phone books” five times.) Part Two with its whole summons-to-court tone (contra Bob, contra Steve) should have been dropped entirely, or at the very least integrated into Part Three, which is topical, which should have been the bulk of the book. These chapters still do have a somewhat anti-person element to them, but at least they are more organized around topics and less about venting about people than what went before.

Sometimes you do want to hear your rival’s rebuttal of your argument, but rarely does anyone want to hear the hostile lawyer’s summary version of their argument, together with every blessed thing they’ve ever heard in their life that they don’t like.

It’s a very legalistic book. I.e., implicitly, they view God as a tyrant; actually, they seem to view everyone as a tyrant! As for myself, I cannot explain what terrible thing happens when Daniel Fuller becomes accepted by others as being an evangelical.

Now, it’s your book and you can certainly go for the kill if you really think that pleases God, but I think he conforms quite closely to the negative stereotype of a lawyer (who themselves often find language objectionable or “argumentative”), which doesn’t really represent the best that the law has to offer.

Reading this book has made me less likely to read his other books.

N.B. I’ve tried to be kind, although I decline to transcribe my prayers for the authors, since I am not an angelic doctor and they are not eloquent.

But one thing I will share, and this is not a pedantic insight: I don’t think God is pleased when we demand too much certainty in this life (which is certainly news to me, too).

Although there are indeed times when the intellect wills works of mercy.

…. Actually I should say that it could’ve been worse: this book, as compared to how I’ve seen this play out in personal life. For I have seen a man release a label like a single hound, (he said with a flourish), and reason was not even in the chase, but stormy emoting. This was a little different. Here the thought police is prosecuting very closely, sure, but they’re very neat and courtroom-like about what the charges are and aren’t, and if there is not the wideness of justice here, there is some sense of an order.

…. …. …. I am a non-nationalist, because I believe that the nation is not the fundamental truth of life. God is this truth, though what he is is not totally captured by a cute label. But he’s not the same as your nation or village. This truth can be exaggerated; if you like Tolstoy, it makes some difference to you whether Russia is reduced to ruins by Napoleon or not, or whether Pushkin and his friends are ever born. Still, for some people God becomes God not of the whole earth but of the village, which is a sort of sub-Christian-ism. So in the one for whom orthodoxy is a matter of sufficient narrow mindedness, we meet with a mirror image of The NY Times elitist, preening about “‘Times’ people”—you have to go to the right school, read the right books, know the right people. Yes, you have to go to the right school, read the right books, know the right people, go to the right church, or you’ll lose your soul. This is the god of the village. I think that God is the God of the whole world; he’s a universalist. This doesn’t mean that everyone is, in any meaningful way, or, necessarily, ever will be, in the happy state of being in relationship with him, but he is of the Whole World, not the clean side of the village. He can speak to all, not just to those schooled properly in the dialect of the correct village, the classic generation, for some people almost the permissible idiolect. There is a tension, of course, in say, the Psalms, for example, between the ones that deal with the particular form of God—which is sometimes needed—God in Israel, in the Exodus, etc—and the universal God, the God of nature and nations, beyond the limits of specificity and condescension (in the positive sense). A few lines, of a child or an amateur or even the divine inspired text, is enough to summarize, but there is no coming to an end to understanding. There is, for mortals, a tension in the truth though, since we are limited and it is vast and balanced. But for the person for whom truth becomes a matter of being sufficiently narrow minded, it is all a matter of becoming small (in the negative sense) and unbalanced enough. I did always say that one day you would suffer, says the god of the village on his last day.
  goosecap | May 18, 2020 |
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Apologist Norman L. Geisler, who was one of the original drafters of the "Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy," and William C. Roach present here a defense of the traditional understanding of inerrancy for a new generation of Christians who are being assaulted with challenges to the nature of God, truth, and language. --from publisher description

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