Here are my thoughts, your comments and feedback positive or negative are gladly accepted.
When I hear the debate about inspiration I am in agreement with most scholars that the Bible is the inspired word of God. When it comes to inerrancy I am certainly okay with the idea that the Bible is without error yet I am open to other views about this.
Where my thoughts caught me this morning was thinking about some of the statements I read from Towns. Here is the one that got me thinking the most,
"Just as a man can say, 'I am as good as my word,' God can say the same thing, for the Bible is God's Word. When the Bible is raised to this level, it is as perfect as God, and its perfection extends to every word." On the surface the statement may seem to be harmless but if you dig a little deeper you might see where I came up with my thought.
When you review what was said Towns seems to infer that the Scriptures are in fact God if they are as perfect as he is. Earlier he denies this point as something non-inerrantists like to use as a tactic of ridicule. He states, "They accuse the inerrantist of 'bibliolarty' - worshiping the Bible." , yet it appears Towns could be leaning towards this point.
I think Scripture would be best understood like a good biography. If I wrote my biography and someone was to read it they would be able to get a feel for my life, personality, thoughts, beliefs and my very nature (namely that I am human). Yet on the other hand the reader could not carry the book to bed with them and state to their partner that, "Chris is coming to bed with us tonight." That seems most absurd to say something like that and I would suggest that person seek psychological intervention. Yet when we elevate the Holy Scriptures to this status it does leave the window open for someone to make the Bible the 4th person of the divine union of God.
In this way I believe some inerrantists place a burden on the Scriptures such as the Catholic theologians did when they postulated and instituted the doctrine of Transubstantiation on the Eucharist. Every time a Catholic takes communion they are literally eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ. This makes the wafer and wine out to be the very God we are said to worship. My God is no cracker or liquid and as we can see from a elementary study of Scripture, God is an immaterial being, "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth" (Jn. 4:24), how can he be imbued in a wafer?
Well those are my thoughts, we need to be cautious of the weight and burden of inerrancy we put on the Scriptures. Though I am certainly inclined to believe and affirm the Bible as God's perfect word, I am never open to claim God's word as equal to God, this is heresy. Again, though Towns does not affirm this, such a strong stance on inerrancy may lead one down a slippery slope to idolatry. It happens to pastors who are on radio or television, these men are raised to rock star status when they did not nor were they intended to be raised to this status. When this happens it becomes more about their message and transformation than the Heavenly Message Giver and Transformer. I think again, this could happen to some who places such a weight on Scripture, they would worship God's Word and not the God who uttered and inspired those words.
1. Elmer L. Towns, Theology for Today (Mason: Cengage Learning, 2008), 72.
2. Ibid., 65.