A Christian discussion blog for those interested in living a blend of Christianity that is as counter-cultural as it’s supposed to be. As a counter-culture we need to make ourselves truly different, yet also truly available – to anyone and everyone. Postmodernism is here and the Church needs to embrace a paradigm shift- (i.e.- emergence). And we need to do this while coming together (i.e. convergence). The journey continues…

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Moving Beyond Black and White with a Colorful Orthodoxy

Over the last few days I’ve been perusing through local bookstores trying to find Brian McLaren’s book, “A Generous Orthodoxy”. Fortunately for Brian and the Emergent cause, the book seems to be selling very well. Unfortunately for me, its selling so well that it seems to be sold out every where I go. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find it soon enough. Speaking of Brian, recently while meandering through his website, I came across a comment someone had sent in questioning McLaren’s view on the inerrancy of Scripture. I felt for Brian because I know that is a difficult issue to tackle without offending someone. So I sent in a post of my own in Brian’s defense. It went something like this:

I must say Brian, that in reading one person's question on your website about your view on the inerrancy of scripture, I felt very sympathetic towards you and the dilemma of dealing with that issue. It seems there are many Christians in North America who have devoted their energy to this one hair-trigger issue. That's not to say that it's not an important issue. It certainly is. But so often people want to paint the picture in only two distinct colors- one representing those who see the Bible as inerrant, and the other representing those who make it out to be whatever suits them in the moment. I think this is a highly simplistic, unrealistic, and (dare I say) biblically unfaithful, way to deal with the issue.

If we're going to examine inerrancy, we should firstly be speaking about the original manuscripts, and secondly we should be defining the terms "inspired" and "authoritative" as they were defined at the time of canonization. When one studies what the early Church fathers meant by inerrancy, one finds the meaning to be more multi-dimensional than our contemporary Evangelical definition. Now I'm sure that the person who wrote the original post will find this comment "lacking in clarity, "vague" and "wide open to flagrant mis-interpretation". That may be so. However, the fear of the misuse of the truth should not make us shy away from declaring it. Personally, I subscribe to the Eastern Orthodox perspective which says that the TRUTH is an equation where things exist in tension with each other. Now I'm sure that this too will make some uncomfortable. But so be it. The issue is just not as simple as some would assume. Like you, the Word of God is absolutely central in my life. But it is central in a multi-dimensional kind of way. And I would suggest that perhaps this makes me more dependent on its teachings, not less so.

-Darren King (http://christiancounterculture.blogspot.com/)
En route from Knoxville, TN to Spokane, WA. (Born a Brit, raised a Canadian, currently incarnating as an American...)

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