Dr Eric Reitan has graced us with another post in his series: Authority Without Inerrancy?
Oy, where to begin?
Here is the comment I left:
Hello Dr Reitan,
-Rather than viewing the Bible as the very Word of God, the progressive Christian views the Bible as a seminal human testament to divine revelation.-
One hopes he'll deal, then, with the fact that Jesus thought very differently.
-in profound mystical encounters-
Which are anything but objective.
-in providential events-
Which don't communicate much of anything specific, w/o a framework already in place thru which to interpret said event.
-through our relationships with one another-
Which are sometimes good and reflect holiness and are very often evil, disgusting, harmful, and sinful. "Progressives" live in happy-happy-land.
-In many of these cases, the actual writers were probably not striving to express their own experience of divine revelation so much as striving to faithfully put to writing stories that expressed the religious experiences of earlier generations.-
Even when they specifically state that they're writing the very revelation of God? All those "thus saith the Lord"s are "their own experiences" and "stories"?
-this means that approached on a verse-by-verse basis, one cannot confidently say, simply because the passage appears in the Bible, that it truly expresses the will of God or offers us an accurate understanding God’s nature.-
Leaving the "progressive" completely and utterly in the lurch. If God has not spoken clearly, we have nothing, no objective way to tell right from wrong, holiness from sin, Heaven-bound-ness from Hell-bound-ness. In short, it sucks to "progress".
This really seems just to beg the question. Numerous fallible witnesses lead sometimes to what we think are correct verdicts and sometimes lead to the OJ Simpson trial. What about INFALLIBLE witnesses, inspired specifically by the final, infallible God?
-The revised belief system, while still imperfect-
You mean "while still imperfect, ***I THINK (without any standard outside of myself to distinguish whether I'm right)***".
-But the process is ongoing and, in philosophical terms, "dialectical." -
So we could still be in our sins, and we'd have no idea. Heaven could be a fantasy.
Progressing towards...whatever...is purpose-less and w/o a goal or destination. You're bowing before the mirror.
-If every claim about God is taken to be a perfectly accurate description of the divine, then the reader will suppose there is no trajectory of development to look for.-
And how do you know that "development" is a good thing? This is apparently your fundamental presupp, and I can't question this more strenuously.
-Instead of seeing earlier biblical images of God as stages in a process of fuller and truer understandings of the divine-
Well, it depends on what you mean. We inerrantists recognise the reality of progressive revelation. But it's up to YOU to point out precisely how our understanding is a mishmash and doesn't work. And we all know how much progressives love actual substantive debate! (Not very much.)
-the process of refining our understanding of God probably didn't end in biblical times. -
We agree there, but you're not just talking about refining our understanding. You're functionally downgrading our primary source of info about God to the same level as the clueless pundits of today. It's foolish.
-in an evolving tradition through which God is still revealing Himself. -
I'd love to see a theory of what it means that God reveal Himself, on your view. It is apparently alot like ME revealing MYSELF. What's special or authoritative about that?
-A source can be authoritative without being inerrant--as is the case with our senses, a point I made in the first post in this series.-
And I invite anyone to see how we interacted in that combox and at my blog on that topic.
This supports my contention that God revealing Himself = me revealing myself. And what special insight do I have on the ultimate nature of reality, about sin, about good and theodicy, about eternity?
-in a way, the progressive Christian's willingness to question the perfect accuracy of the biblical account of Jesus' story reflects the seriousness with which they take the resurrection story.-
That's so rich. We think it's full of holes, and that just means we RESPECT it that much more!
This is exactly like the wife-beater who cooes to his bleeding, semi-conscious wife: "I hit you like that b/c I love you so much!"
-Jesus is someone with whom we can have an experiential relationship now, today. -
And maybe that contention is supported from the errant part of the text. You have proposed no objective way to know that. It would appear you'd say that we can have a relationship with Jesus if we THINK we can. Happy-happy-land, like I said. Wishful thinking, pixie dust, "Think of a wonderful thought, any happy little thought" and you can fly, first star on the right, straight on till morning. How this kind of thinking appeals to anyone who is seriously considering the truth (or not) of whether God has anything to say to us and anything to do with us is completely beyond me.
Give me Romans 8 any day, not this happy-pill crap.