Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by Ananias, Oct 18, 2020.

  1. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    I am posting a link to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy on this board because it underpins much of my own point of view regarding Biblical truth and inerrancy. Whenever I discuss issues of Biblical inerrancy, truth, etc. you may assume that my views conform more or less to the statement above. (I understand that "more or less" is concerning, and I do have quibbles with the Statement as written, but my quibbles are fairly minor and do not affect my overall affirmation of the Statement.)

    I wanted to have an on-board post to link to in discussions, because I suspect this issue will come up quite often.
     
  2. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    @Rexlion advised me that the Chicago Statement may be held in some suspicion on this board due to it not being of Anglican origin. To assuage any concerns on that point, I point out that the Anglican theologian and Episcopal priest J. I. Packer was a signatory to this Statement.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    My memory was a bit sketchy. To clarify, I believe the comment made against the Chicago Statement was more to the effect of: it isn't of Anglican origin and therefore isn't binding on Anglican theology. (Never mind that it seems to be a well-reasoned, sound statement IMO.)
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix Moderator Staff Member Anglican

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    @Rexlion and I a while ago got into the subject of inerrancy, which turned into a very involved and fruitful discussion:
    https://forums.anglican.net/threads/inerrancy-and-infallibility-of-scripture.3948/

    I hesitated having a detailed conversation because of my official capacity, and yet the question of inerrancy needs clarification, especially for those who seek to stand up for the historic Christian orthodoxy on these matters.

    That thread discussed the fact of Scripture containing several genres of literature, only some of which fall under the rubric of propositional truth or error. Therefore the term inerrancy is (for those texts) a misapplication of categories; e.g., is the Song of Solomon inerrant or not?

    Furthermore, we concluded that the technical term inerrancy was not used throughout history (apart from a few exceptions) by orthodox thinkers when they had discussed Scripture. Thus the term, while well-intentioned, involves a category error and itself could fall to a charge of novelty.

    On the other hand, we would want to protect Scripture against the dangers of modernism and revisionism. To do that, the historic orthodoxy instead used this formulation: “the Word of God;” whether a chapter was poetic or not, it was trustworthy by ultimately coming from God. The other historic formulation was: “inspired,” in its technical sense, in-spired, originated from the Holy Spirit himself, and thus once again, trustworthy. These categories stood the test of time across the millennia, better protecting the same things as inerrancy, while avoiding its pitfalls.
     
  5. Ananias

    Ananias Member Anglican

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    @Phoenix thank you for the clarification.

    I've always preferred the ESV rendition of 2 Tim 3:16 as "breathed out by God" rather than the KJV's "by inspiration of God" as the translation of the Greek θεόπνευστος (theopneustos, "god breathed"). Not only is it more literal, it also lends weight to the inerrancy argument.
     
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