Inerrancy is the doctrine that the bible is fully truthful in all of its teachings. Theologians have argued over the levels to which the bible is inerrant. If the bible is not inerrant, then our knowledge of God may be inaccurate and unreliable. Inerrancy is a corollary to the full inspiration of the bible. While detailed scientific descriptions or mathematically exact statements are not possible, inerrancy means that the bible, when judged by the usage of its time, teaches the truth without any affirmation of error.
What does it mean to say absolute, full, or limited inerrancy?
What is the epistemological importance of inerrancy?
Considering the discrepancies between parallel passages in scripture, is there reason to discard inerrancy altogether?
Briefly define inerrancy
What are the three issues concerning inerrancy, and what is the author’s response to them?
As creator and source of all truth, God has the right to command belief and obedience from all human beings. Although in some cases God exercises authority directly, he normally uses other means such as communicating his message to human beings. This occurs in the bible. The Holy Spirit illuminates and applies the teaching of the bible to both the human understanding and the heart. All scripture is historically authoritative, that is, it tells us correctly what occurred and what God expected from specific persons at particular times and places. Some of scripture is also normatively authoritative. That means that those parts of scripture are to be applied and obeyed in the same fashion in which they were originally given.
For what reasons is the Holy Spirit needed if we are to understand the bible and be certain of its truth?
What is the importance of 1 Corinthians 2:14 in relation to the Holy Spirit?
Compare and contrast the objective and subjective components of authority
How are biblical hermeneutics and apologetics involved in the relationship between scripture and reason?
The bible teaches that God is both immanent and transcendent. God is present and active within his creation, but superior to and independent of anything that he has created. These biblical ideas must be kept in balance. The tendency to emphasize one or the other will lead to a faulty conception of God. Several methods have been employed to classify the attributes or qualities of God. We have chosen to follow the classification that differentiates between his greatness and goodness.
What are some problems and distortions that evidence the need for a correct understanding of God?
What difficulties arise when we overemphasize either immanence or transcendence?
How do we confuse God’s attributes with God’s acts? Give some examples
What is the relationship between God’s essence and his attributes?
Certain attributes of God express his greatness. We will concentrate in this chapter on God as being personal, all-powerful, eternal, spirit, present everywhere within his creation, and unchanging in his perfection.
Name and describe each of the attributes of God’s greatness
Why is God’s infinity in terms of space a tension between God’s immanence and transcendence?
Explain the qualifications of the all-powerful character of God. Why are they significant?
The goodness of God may be discovered in all of his relationships with his creatures. It is most effectively demonstrated in his moral attributes of purity and integrity, and in the entire complex of characteristics that are identified as his love. Sometimes these attributes are viewed as conflicting with each other, as in the case of justice and love. When correctly viewed, however, this is not the case.
What are the moral attributes of God, and why are they necessary to an adequate understanding of his true nature?
What is the importance of the holiness of God, and why is it so difficult for humans to understand this aspect of God’s nature?
How does our understanding of Jesus help us especially to understand the love of God?
Some have contended that there is tension between God’s justice and his love. How would you respond to such a charge?
The bible does not explicitly teach the trinitarian view of God, but the teachgins that God is one and that three persons are God clearly imply this view. Numerous attempts have been made to understand this doctrine, some of which have led to distortions of this profound truth. While we may never fully comprehend this difficult doctrine, there are analogies that can help us to understand it more fully.
Explain the biblical evidence for the deity of three
In which book of the bible do we find the strongest evidence of a coequal trinity? Explain why this is so
How may the various historical views of the trinity be disputed?
What are the essential elements of the doctrine of the trinity? How do they help our understanding and deepen our faith?
What do analogies contribute to our understanding?
God has a definite plan for history. There are at least nine conclusions that may be drawn from the biblical references to God’s plan. Calvinism and Arminianism pose different solutions to the problem of whether God’s plan or human action is logically prior. From our analysis, we conclude that a moderately Calvinist position is the most biblically based. Finally, there are a variety of views of history, but the biblical view posits that God is guiding history to his goal and that we can have assurance that if we align ourselves with his purpose, we will be moving to an assured outcome of history.
Explain the terms foreordain and predestinate
What can be learned from both the Old and New Testament teachings about the plan of God?
What are the general characteristics of God’s plan?
What does human freedom mean in the moderately Calvinistic model?