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Q. John MacArthur: Evangelicals declared inerrancy settled in 1978, what happened?

These men were talking about inerrancy after the writing of the book, Five Views on Inerrancy. The climate had allowed that book to exist. There are many men who have started churches without adequate theological training, and they would not be able to deal with this problem. For many others, seeker, pragmatic, inerrancy didn’t really matter


Q. Athanaius: wrote a letter stating the matter was settled (after the Council); it didn’t stay settled. Is that the way it works?

Mark Dever, Yes. Inerrancy is a perennial issue, it was Satan’s first move, Did God say?

Q. In 1966 a group tried to head off the inerrancy controversy; they met at Gordon College. Carl Henry: no one would affirm the errancy of Scripture, but no one would affirm the inerrancy. Lindsell wrote Battle for the Bible. Then the 1978 Chicago meeting. What happened there?

At that time there seemed there was not a seeming institution which had not compromised on the issue. It shocked me what people would not affirm it. There were many who not willing to affirm errancy, who would not affirm inerrancy. Winston Churchill: Americans can be counted on to do the right thing after everything else has been tried. Mac: Jack Rogers [Rogers Mckim {?] thesis] Authority & Interpretation of Scripture: wrote a book in 1970’s that the doctrine of inerrancy is a 19th century Princeton doctrine but not a historic doctrine. This was a real problem at Fuller.

Q. To Duncan: reads the first Fuller statement on Scripture. In 1972, the board changed the statement. What is the difference between those two?

Notice that “infallible” was used to be something less than inerrant. Originally, infallible actually claims more than inerrant; yet it is used for a less comprehensive view. This was a step away from inerrancy.

Q. Kevin: is the doctrine of inerrancy directly dependent upon verbal plenary inspiration?Can they be separated?

Neo-Orthodox language is one step removed from God’s Word on the page. We cannot budge on the doctrine of inerrancy without impugning the character of God.

Q. In 1969, did you expect inerrancy to be a defining of your generation?

I had read Warfield in seminary, so I knew those attacks were outside the Church. I was surprised to find them inside the church. The shock was fighting these battles inside the confessing church. [We knew all about these dead Germans who no one would ever know if someone didn’t keep resurrecting them!] Fuller and Grace were contrasted. There was a time when Wagner used to bring Fuller students to see Grace as a growing church. Then I got a call from him and he said we would not bring them anymore, because the visit confuses the students. As a practical matter, the Bible was becoming less relevant to Wagner. It was not an intellectual; it came out of practicalism

Q. to Mark: When did you become an inerrantist. You became a Christian when did you come to this?

When I first came to Duke, I told my religion department advisor all the things the Lord had done for me. I knew of unbelievers; I didn’t have a category for liberals. When I told my friend about this, he said, You know she is an atheist Jew. The men at this conference will most likely fail here when we come to evangelism or missions. “We don’t need to worry about doctrine that divides.”

Q. To Ligon: Explain how your denomination came to be [it would not exist were it not for inerrancy] PCA?

Southern Presbyterian was in decline. There was only one seminary professor who would affirm inerrancy. That is why many pastors had gone to dispentionalist seminaries (like Dallas). There is a battle inside the Southern Presbyterian over inerrancy. The split which forms PCA is over inerrancy & Westminster Confession. Southern Baptists won the war; Southern (which was then PCUSA) took over the institution. All PCA must vow to uphold inerrancy.

Q. Reformed Church in America:

The oldest protestant denomination with continual ministry in North America (from 1620). In the 1960’s there was a softer form of subscription (faith & practice). There are no inerrantists at the seminary. When I was in college, I was shaken by the attacks upon Scripture I had at college. I knew this was important. I went to college. I started to hear from Christian professors who were different than what I heard growing up. What anchored me, “this isn’t what my parents believe.” His actual church experience kept him when his Christian professors shook him.

Q. John when the Battle for the Battle broke in 1976, what did you think would happen?

At first I thought this was an answer to those outside the Church. I learned the attack was inside the Church. It made the best seller list.

Q. Mark when you grew up in a typical Southern Baptist church, did you ever hear about inerrancy?

As a kid, I didn’t pay attention. When I became a Christian as a teenager, I was in a believing community. When I was at Duke I bought, The Word of Truth (Dale Moody); systematic theology at Southern Baptist. He was mocking resurrection & atonement. I couldn’t believe that the people in my church were giving money to this guy.

Q. Mohler:

I took classes from Moody. I did my best to make peace at what he was saying in the class. He was very kind & engaging. But most was worse than him. One of my professors was on the Jesus Seminary. The inerrancy battle was won in the SBC by lay people who were sleeping in their cars to vote for it. Lindsell would not have expected this to have happened at SBC when he wrote his book.

Q. One advantage of a civil war in a denomination, is that it is clear afterwards.But the battle is back.

When I read ICI I [Duncan] I thought this matter was settled for the next 50 years. Even after Nicea, Athenasius was wrong; it was only opened up the next stage of the Arian controversy. The attacks on the Bible are different than the liberals of the 19th century. The earlier one through out the supernaturalism, not the morals. Now the attack is on the morality of Scripture. The moral attack would not have appeared in the 1970’s.

Q. Where are the landlines for inerrancy?

DeYoung: The sufficiency of Scripture


Sufficiency, Clarity Authority, Necessity

Does the Bible tell you everything you need to know about your ministry. Is the word of God sufficient to do the work of God? Prayer & Scripture.

“pervasive interpretative pluralism”. Christians can’t agree on anything, how I am to know. That is a human fallibility problem, not a Word of God problem.

Next problem: human sexuality. It isn’t that the other side has very strong arguments from Scripture.

Pragmatism is an attack. There are some who can make hay undermining authority by speaking to those who think pragmatism. Every doctrine of Scripture leads to a doctrine of God.


Membership: all the members need to affirm inerrancy. All your elders better believe in inerrancy.

Books: Watch what books you sell or recommend. Be careful about Christian books that may be weak on inerrancy.

Preaching: Take time to defend the authority of the Bible. Think how a non-Christian hears what you have to say. Be mindful of ethical, historical claims. example; Take head on issue of genocide in Joshua.

Nothing better protects the authority of Scripture like clear Scriptural preaching. An inerrant Bible doesn’t matter if you’re not an expositor. When you do that long enough, no one is questioning the integrity of Scripture. This carries such force in and of itself that it takes care of the issue.

Q. Do Roman Catholics teach inerrancy?

At the time of the Reformation they would have affirmed inerrancy, but would have included other areas of authority. It still does [as rightly interpreted by the magisterial authority]. JW’s affirm inerrancy.

Q. Mohler We have to decide what we are willing to be called.

Last week Forbes wrote that I am “mired in anti-intellectualism”. To affirm plenary verbal inspiration has for centuries you will be called anti-intellectual. Now you must be wiling to be called immoral; morally deficient. If you are not willing to be called morally deficient, you will abandon the Gospel; the Gospel itself is immoral.