Home » Biblical Errancy: An Analysis of its Philosophical Roots: revised, second edition by Norman Geisler
Biblical Errancy: An Analysis of its Philosophical Roots: revised, second edition Norman Geisler

Biblical Errancy: An Analysis of its Philosophical Roots: revised, second edition

Norman Geisler

Published May 13th 2014
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
292 pages
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 About the Book 

A number of contemporary evangelical writers have pointed to the epistemological roots of the current denial of the inerrancy of Scripture, but few have attempted to identify and elaborate them. This book is an effort in that direction. Each essayistMoreA number of contemporary evangelical writers have pointed to the epistemological roots of the current denial of the inerrancy of Scripture, but few have attempted to identify and elaborate them. This book is an effort in that direction. Each essayist is trained in both philosophy and theology and writes out of an expertise in the specific philosophies discussed.Perhaps the primary scriptural exhortation prompting this work is that of the apostle Paul: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy” (Col. 2:8). Indeed, in this book, to quote the apostle again, “we demolish arguments and . . . take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ“ (2 Cor. 10:5). But we believe that to “beware of philosophy” we must first be aware of it. We must be aware of its subtleties and of its liabilities in view of the Christians fundamental commitment to the inerrant Word of God.It is often naïvely assumed that because contemporary theologians are evangelical in doctrine and practice they are somehow immune from adverse philosophical influence. This fallacy is tantamount to claiming that doctors and nurses never get sick. Indeed, often in the history of Christianity some of the most philosophically and theologically unorthodox writers believed themselves to be defending and preserving “true” Christianity. Spinoza, who was an unequivocal pantheist and uncompromising anti-supernaturalist, doggedly denied that his view undermined confidence in Scripture. He wrote, “I have said nothing unworthy of Scripture or Gods Word . . . .” Another example of how one can be blind to the subtle but erosive influences of philosophy on his own thinking is Stephen T. Davis, a contemporary denier of inerrancy. He ironically points a finger at “liberals,” saying, “What leads them to liberalism . . . is their acceptance of certain philosophical or scientific assumptions that are inimical to evangelical theology. . . .” A more current example is that of Mike Licona (The Resurrection of Jesus, 2010) who claims to believe in inerrancy but asserted in a debate at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Spring, 2009, that Gospel writer John contradicts the other Gospels on the day Christ was crucified.The purpose of this book is to expose some of these philosophical assumptions we believe to be inimical to evangelical theology. In this regard, an explicit disclaimer is necessary. We do not claim that all contemporary errantists are directly and consciously influenced by any or all of these philosophers. Many have been influenced only indirectly and unconsciously by only some of these views.Philosophical assumptions are often “caught” rather than taught. They are picked up unawares in the culture and through education. They are contracted almost like a common cold, simply by breathing the contaminated “air” of our age. But like the undesirable virus, these unacceptable assumptions are to be both guarded against and treated when caught.The philosophical “air” is alive with everything from Bacons inductivism to Heideggers mysticism, with Humes skepticism, Kants agnosticism, Hegels transcendentalism, Kierkegaards existentialism, Nietzsches atheistic relativism, and Wittgensteins linguistic non-cognitivism. Few errantists may admit the influences of most of these men on their thinking, but only the naive and untrained can miss the marks of these philosophers in their writings. We hope that, by exposing these alien presuppositions, these essays will alert evangelicals to the philosophical roots of biblical errancy in other areas as well.Norman L. Geisler, September 2013