Friday, July 5, 2013

Clarifying the Nazarene View of Scripture

It seems that I have left some ambiguity and created some confusion in my last blog about the Scripture Study Report. Please let me clarify some things:

1) The report and the General Assembly have in no way changed the Nazarene view of Scripture. Rather, it has affirmed the long-held beliefs contained in the Article of Faith: The Bible is a sacred theological text, inerrantly revealing God's will concerning Christian doctrine, salvation, and the Christian life. The report is not changing anything about our beliefs. It is simply affirming what we already believe.

2) While the report rejected the language of being "inerrant throughout" in "all things it teaches," it was not rejecting theological inerrancy. The distinction between the two is well spelled out in the report. However, "inerrant throughout in all things it teaches" flows from a "detailed inerrancy view," which comes from a specific theological heritage outside of Wesleyanism. In other words, Wesleyanism maintains that the Bible is inerrant theologically as a whole. It is not meant to be an authoritative text on ancient history or science by isolating individual verses or passages.

While the report is a bit wordy and academic in voice, it does describe the belief in Scripture quite well. I hate to elaborate too much "off the cuff" for fear that I diminish the value and articulateness of the report itself. I do hope this is helpful in clearing up any confusion I created by summarizing the history of the conversation or quoting a select passage of the report.

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