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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Do Nazarenes Teach Biblical Inerrency?

The following is an excerpt from an email exchange I had with some pastors regarding the Church of the Nazarene's Statement of Belief regarding The Holy Scriptures.  At the time I was only aware of a resolution circulated by the Joplin/Missouri District NYI.  Since then I am now aware of a resolution put forward by the Indianapolis and SW Indiana Districts.  Both resolutions are simply trying to make our Statement of Belief clearer and stronger.  Having read both resolutions, I think they both misunderstand what our statement already says and miss the problem with our statement.  Therefore I wanted to elaborate on both of these issues.

Here are the link to the resolution:

The wording in our Articles of Faith, while not untrue, confuses what the Scripture tells us. Our wording seems to state that the Word of God, while inspired, is only to be considered inerrant in "things necessary to our salvation". Scripture states something different even within the passages used to support our own statement.

Example:   2 Timothy 3:16-17 "16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." "All Scripture is inspired by God" - "All" meaning all not only selected verses; "inspired by God" meaning coming directly from God though written by humans in human languages; "from God" meaning it is true since God is Truth and everything that comes from Him is true. So logic and common sense would tell us that everything we consider Scripture is true. (there are many Scriptures supporting this but I won't list them here) Now I wouldn't say this means that every period, spelling and comma are inerrant as some would say because I don't see any Biblical support for that but that doesn't change the fact that everything found in Scripture is true. "All Scripture is...profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;" - "teaching" means doctrinal teaching; "reproof" means refutation of adversaries; "correction" means to set right again; "teaching" is as in discipleship; and "righteousness" refers to our disposition or conduct in common life. NONE of these things have to do with "things necessary for salvation". I think profitable can equate to true because if it weren't true it wouldn't be profitable and likewise if it is true then by definition it is inerrant.  

  So what I see is a statement that, while not untrue in and of itself, is confusing.

I found it interesting that in Chapter Four of 2 Timothy the writer goes on to command us to preach the Word and warns us of a time when people would not tolerate sound doctrine. The writer makes a clear statement about Scripture, tells us to preach it and then warns us of those who would call it into question and turn from it. We see that happening now and perhaps we, as a church, have become victims of our own failure to communicate a sufficiently strong statement about the Scriptures.      We need to make it clear in our language that we hold to the inerrancy of the Scriptures, period.       In the end, I don't see the need for our statement to contain a phrase mentioning "things necessary to our salvation" specificallly. Rather than enhance our statement it does more to confuse it really. It is a very confusing statement. First it says that we believe that all Scripture is inerrant (plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures) and then we go on to expound and thus throw into question our initial statement (inerrantly revealing the will of God concerning us in all things necessary to our salvation). If the first statement is true, the second one is true by default and need not be specified. However, if the second one is true then the first one isn't necessarily true. Therein lies the problem with this wording.  This wording would be much more accurate and clear I think; "We believe in the divine and plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, that being the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, so that whatever is not contained therein is not to be enjoined as an article of faith."

Monday, June 1, 2009


Yesterday and today have been for me, days of hatred.  

Hatred for political correctness and people's unwillingness to have serious discussions.  Because of these two things, I, and any one else who values their freedom, are unable to even comment about the events that took place Sunday morning in Wichita. So I am going to link to a typical op ed piece to show the complete lack of thinking that is being employed among those who are still free to speak in this so called "free" country of ours.  Comment at your own risk.


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