Leaving the Question of Inerrancy


Leaving the Question of Inerrancy

I am not particularly interested in the question of inerrancy. The church teaches it, I believe it. I do make some attempt to understand it with the Church's mind--but I may well be quite unsuccessful. On the other hand, if I hold a stricter definition and it poses no problem for me, then I am certainly not flying in the face of Church teaching.

However, I do find Scripture wholly other. It is a direct encounter with the Word of God. Breathed by the Holy Spirit, it speaks constantly and lovingly to us of the Savior, even when it seemingly does not speak of the Savior at all. One priest I knew referred to the Bible as a series of love-letters from God. While inspired (authored) by the Holy Spirit, the writers are undoubtedly human. What sense would it make for God to write of Himself, "How lovely are your dwelling-places, O Lord." And yet the inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit and the writer writes it with the gifts God has given. The Holy Spirit preserves the intergrity while cultivating the gift. I am amazed and awed by the stunning cross-pollination. Both are works of God and gifts of God (inspiration and talent) and yet the obedience of the writer and the witness of the Holy Spirit so perfectly combine.

Let's face it--we've all read religiously oriented books of the modern day. Some better, some worse. However, few, if any, touch us the way Scripture touches us. And scripture can do so not because of very talented writers, but because of the Holy Spirit. Truthfully some of St. Paul's sentences are syntactical nightmares that go round and round and round and come out here. But the whole of the writing makes for a fabric of faith, a foundation upon which a church that has endured two-thousand years relies for continually informing and forming its members. Scripture and Tradition flow together and apart (but parallel, not antithetical) to help produce the richness of the faith.

The word of God is sharper than any two edge sword--so true, and like a sword, a work of fine craftsmanship, balance, and purpose. The words of holy scripture are life. "Teach me thy ways O, Lord, shew unto me thy paths" (Psalms 25:4). The Bible is one font of this teaching.

In the Bible we encounter Jesus face to face. By reading the Bible, we move beyond ourselves and begin to understand meaning and purpose as God would have us know them. Reading the Bible is considered so important, so crucial to the Catholic that the Church grants daily a plenary indulgence for one-half hour of scripture reading (under the usual conditions) and a partial indulgence for any period less.

All of this is simply a long winded way of asking, "Have you read your Bible today?" If not, put away that newspaper, novel, or law review and pick up the only really important or relevant library you need to read. The things of this world are passing and frail--proper preparation for meeting God requires that the potential wedding guests at least know their host's name and have some notion of which of the many people there He will be. Bible, first thing in the morning, Bible at noon, Bible last thing at night. There are a great many places on the web that you can find one-year reading plans if you've no idea of where or how to start. But pick it up daily, and frequently throughout the day. It will make a difference in your life.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 28, 2003 8:25 AM.

Biblical Inerrancy was the previous entry in this blog.

In Iraq, at the Shrine is the next entry in this blog.

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