Evangelical Theological Society Purges "Heretics" (Or Seems to Be Getting Ready To Do So)

Evangelical Christian theologians like Chris Tilling at his interesting moderate Christian blog, Chrisendom, are "disturbed" by the recent decision of the Evangelical Theological Society to adopt the Chicago Statment on Biblical Inerrancy, because it was probably lead to members of that society being voted out as "heretics," and not being recognized as "Evangelicals." (Reminds me of Catholics who have been excommunicated yet who still call themselves "Catholic." Though in the later case the excommunicado seems firmer, while Evangelicals can simply start their own church or seminary, and there already are plenty of non-inerrantist Evangelicals, including whole seminaries full, so the term remains more fluid.) At any rate the comments at Tilling's blog are worth perusing if you have ever been involved in a debate with an inerrantist, say, J.P. Holding of Tekton apologetics, who still clings to the myth of "inerrant autographs." You see, there is no need for "Christian debunkers" get involved in debates over the inerrancy of the Bible, since Christians excell most at debating each other's views of the Bible, and there are plenty of moderate Baptists out there as well as moderates in all the world's major Christian denominations willing to debate inerrantists. You just have to know where the moderates are on the web so you can point inerrantists their way. Tilling's blog also contains links to likeminded moderate Christian Evangelical scholars like himself. Though forgive me for attempting a few criticism of my own below, of the blessed Chicago Statement of Know Nothingness:


"The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy"

Articles 13 & 14, state, "We deny that inerrancy is negated by Biblical phenomena such as a lack of modern technical precision, irregularities of grammar or spelling, observational descriptions of nature, the reporting of falsehoods, the use of hyperbole and round numbers, the topical arrangement of material, variant selections of material in parallel accounts, or the use of free citations. We deny that alleged errors and discrepancies that have not yet been resolved vitiate the truth claims of the Bible."

[COMMENT: So, the Bible is inerrant DESPITE a plethora of items that any sane person would take as prima facie evidence of errors.]


Article 15, "We deny that Jesus' teaching about Scripture may be dismissed by appeals to accommodation or to any natural limitation of His humanity."

[COMMENT: Yet these same inerrantist are free to appeal to any and all possible "accommodation" hypotheses to explain a host of other Old Testament and New Testament verses related to other topics from genocide to Jesus's command that "the slave who was disobedient shall be beaten with many stripes."]


Article 18, "Scripture is to interpret Scripture."

[COMMENT: Really? The opposite appears to be a well-attested fact of all Christian history, not excluding the history of Evangelicalism. Scripture does not interpret Scripture. Rather, it takes dozens of lexicons, history books, commentaries, and plenty of education to interpret Scripture, and what are the odds those commentaries all contain the same interpretations? About the same odds that every Evangelical theologian contributing to the ever more numerous "Viewpoints" series of InterVarsity and Baker Books will interpret Genesis and Revelation and everything inbetween the same way.]


Article 16, "We deny that inerrancy is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism."


Exegetical conflicts arose from the 1860s onwards. It was a time of turmoil that also led to the Catholic Church adopting its doctrine of papal "infallibility." The view that the Bible is "inerrant" and the pope "infallible" seem to have similar roots around that time.

Essays and Reviews (a book on the Bible that said among other things that the raqia or firmament in Gensis 1, was solid) published around the time of Darwin's Origins (the mid-1800s) caused quite a stir in the religious world as did Colenso's book, The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua Critically Examined, as did the questions of German theologians.

Battle lines began being drawn, and the Catholic church came up with papal "infallibility" (which also was invented to combat growing ideals of "freedom of conscience and belief" that the Catholic Church was against), and the Presbyterians came up with inerrancy of the Scriptures.

For instance soon after The Presbyterian Review was founded in 1880, Warfield and Hodge began formally arguing in its pages for verbal inspiration and consequent inerrancy of the Scriptures.

One prominent "heresy" case (a generation before "The Fundamentals" were even published) involved several Presbyterian professors, Dr. Briggs, Dr. Henry Preserved Smith and Dr. Llewelyn J. Evans. (A retelling of the case in Smith's own words may be found in Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists.) All three men pointed out that neither their church's Presbyterian Creed nor the teachings of many of the best known seventeeth-century Puritan theologians would have agreed with the ideas of "inerrancy" that Hodge and Warfield were then developing.

H. P. Smith's account of his heresy trial in 1892, and the arguments he and Dr. Evans put forth regarding their rejection of "inerrancy" can be found in a book titled, Inspiration and Inerrancy [Cincinnati, Ohio: Robert Clarke & Co., 1892]. Smith added that if you wanted to go back much further, Walton's work from the mid to late 1600's, The Considerator Considered, was also still worth reading. (Walton published in 1657 his great Polyglot, giving the ancient version a place alongside of the Hebrew text, and also supplemented the work with a list of various readings that called forth a bitter attack from John Owen, defender of Presbyterian orthodoxy. Owen deprecated the publication of facts which might militate against the authority of Scripture. Walton's reply to Owen was the work Smith suggested reading, The Considerator Considered.)

Dewey M. Beegle from the 1960s-70s is a more recent example of an Evangelical Christian theologian who left inerrancy and thereafter debated his inerrantist brethren in print, yet remained in the church. (H. P. Smith had to switch denominations to a non-inerrantist one, wherein he continued his scholarly writing career.) Beegle was on the board of trustees and the translations subcommittee of the American Bible Society, and was author of God's Word Into English, as well as, Scripture, Tradiation and Infallibility, and, Prophecy and Prediction. He also composed articles on Moses for Encyclopedia Britannica and the Anchor Bible Dictionary, i.e., based on his research for his book, Moses: The Servant of Yahweh. (Beegle's story, "Journey to Freedom," is in L.T.F., the book already mentioned above, in which Smith's testimony can also be found.)

Today's Evangelical Christian "inerrantists" include Evangelical Theological Society members whose views range from young-earth creationist, to old-earth creationist, to theistic evolutionist (like Clark Pinnock), as well as those who hold rival interpretations of the book of Revelation and the "end times," as well as those with rival interpretations concerning all manner of "teachings" and "commands" in the Bible (as can be read about in the "Viewpoints" series of debate books published by InterVarsity Press and also Baker Books).

Neither can various "inerrantist" seminaries agree whether a person is "saved" by believing in Jesus as "Savior and Lord," or just by accepting Jesus as their "Savior." Nor can "inerrantist" Evangelical and "inerrantist" Pentecostal churches agree on how necessary or unnecessary "speaking in tongues" is, or whether or not it is a visible sign of having rec'd the baptism of the holy spirit. Nor can "inerrantists" of various churches agree on how to view the Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church.

If you want to read a brain sizzling book on the topic of inerrancy, there is one that may soon be available at amazon.com, titled, Inerrant the Wind: The Troubled House of North American Evangelicals. It compares and contrasts the many view of inerrancy and semi-inerrancy advocated by different Evangelical theologians. Very interesting distinctions each makes.]

Edward T. Babinski


Enlightenment said...

I apologize that this is off-topic, however it is of paramount importance so please bear with me.

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch, with someone who was there when he was attempting to fly a small airplane saying that Hanjour was so clumsy that he was unsure if he had driven a car before. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports after Mohammed Atta supposedly leaves two rental cars at two impossibly far-removed locations. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name ("Hi mom, this is Mark Bingham"), more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces most no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

Debunking Popular Mechanics lies:
someone else debunking Popular Mechanics crap:
still more debunking Poopular Mechanics:
and still more debunking of Popular Mechanics:

Poopular Mechanics staff replaced just before laughable “debunking” article written:
another neo-con 9/11 hit piece explodes, is retracted:
Professor Steven Jones debunks the N.I.S.T. “report” as well as the F.E.M.A. one and the 9/11 commission "report":
N.I.S.T. scientist interviewed:
F.B.I. says no hard evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11 which is why his wanted poster says nothing about 9/11:
Fire Engineering magazine says important questions about the Twin Tower “collapses” still need to be addressed:http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID

Twin Towers’ construction certifiers say they should have easily withstood it:
USA Today interview with the last man out of the South Tower, pursued by a fireball:
Janitor who heard explosions and escaped has testimony ignored by 9/11 whitewash commission:
Janitor starts speaking out about it and his apartment is burglarized, laptop stolen:
Firefighters tell of multiple explosions:
Eyewitnesses tell of explosions:
Interview with another firefighter telling of explosions:
Firefighter saw “sparkles” (strobe lights on detonators?) before “collapse”:
Other eyewitnesses talk of seeing/hearing explosions:
Surviving eyewitnesses talk of multiple explosions there:
Cutter charge explosions clearly visible:
The pyroclastic cloud (that dust cloud that a second before was concrete) and how it wouldn’t be possible without explosives:
Detailed description of the demolition of the Twin Towers:
Freefall rate of “collapses” math:
More about their freefall rate “collapses”:
Video footage of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers:
Video footage of the controlled demolition of WTC # 7 building:
More of WTC # 7 controlled demolition:
Naudet brothers' video footage of the North Tower crash:
Photos of the Pentagon’s lawn (look at these and see if you can tell me with a straight face that a jumbo jet crashed there):
More photos of this amazing lawn at the Pentagon:
Very unconvincing fake “Osama” “confession” tape:
More about the fake “Osama” tape:
Fake “Mohammed Atta” “suicide” letter:
Commercial pilots disagree with “official” 9/11 myth:
More commercial jet pilots say “official” myth is impossible:
Impossibility of cell phone calls from United 93:
More about the impossible cell phone calls:
Experiment proves cell phone calls were NOT possible from anywhere near the altitude the “official” myth has them at:
Fake Barbara Olson phone call:
Where the hell was the Air Force?
More about the Air Force impotence question:
Sept. 10th 2001, Pentagon announces it is “missing” $2.3 trillion (now why do you think they picked THAT day to announce it? So it could be buried the next day by 9/11 news):
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan:
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan mentioned:
More on Unocal Afghan pipeline:
The attack on Afghanistan was planned in the summer of 2001, months before 9/11:
Pentagon deliberately misled 9/11 Commission:
Evidence destruction by authorities and cover-up:
9/11 whitewash Commission and NORAD day:
The incredible fish tales of the 9/11 Commission examined:
Jeb Bush declares state of emergency 4 days before 9/11 for Florida, saying it will help respond to terrorism:
Steel debris removal from Ground Zero, destruction of evidence:
Over two hundred incriminating bits of 9/11 evidence shown in the mainstream media:
Tracking the “hijackers”:
“Hijacker” patsies:
“Hijackers” receiving flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station:
Several accused "hijackers" still alive and well, wondering why they are accused:
Yet the F.B.I. insists that the people it claims were the "hijackers" really were the "hijackers":
No Arabs on Flight 77:
Thirty experts say “official” 9/11 myth impossible:
“Al Qaeda” website tracks back to Maryland:
Al Qaeda videos uploaded from U.S. government website:
Operation: Northwoods, a plan for a false-flag “terror” attack to be blamed on Castro to use it as a pretext for America to invade Cuba, thankfully not approved by Kennedy back in 1962 but was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sent to his desk: