14 February 2012

The "to err is human" dodge (NEXT! #29)

by Dan Phillips

Challenge: The Bible can't be inerrant because it is human speech, and all human speech is errant.

Response: Including that assertion? (Oopsie.)




(Proverbs 21:22)

Dan Phillips's signature

33 comments:

Tom Chantry said...

The Bible can't be inerrant because it is human speech, and all human speech is errant.

Alternative response (and not nearly as cogent): Yeah, I just love it when anyone uses Grandma's folksy platitudes as doctrinal arguments.

Tom Chantry said...

(To err is human. Not true. To err is fallen. What stops God from conferring momentary infallibility on a fallen, redeemed human - or even a fallen, reprobate one - for His purposes?)

Daryl said...

Tell that to your math teacher as a reason not to learn your multiplication tables...

Or alternatively, tell God that he can't do what you can do...use something broken to do something right.

Robert said...

So then I guess we couldn't trust those prophets, right? Oh, wait a minute! The prophecies that God spoke through them were actually fulfilled, though (except for those to be fulfilled during the reign of Antichrist and the second coming of Jesus). Hmmph.

Mark B. Hanson said...

If all human speech is errant, then I probably don't know your name, do I?

Mark B. Hanson said...

And if you answer "yes", I'll know you're wrong.

Tom Chantry said...

What'll really dazzle your mind is if I answer "no," because I'm still wrong!

DJP said...

Cool! We're swerving back towards the post!

Tom Chantry said...

Are you saying I took us off track? Because you're wrong, you human, you!

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

So our challenger makes a statement on inerrancy that makes him the inerrant one, and puts everyone else in question - the challenger becomes his own god by declaring that he is the standard by which truth is measured.

DJP said...

Yes, Web. His very assertion assumes that he is able to make an inerrant statement about how God cannot make an inerrant statement through human means. It is self-defeating — like any weapon formed against God's truth.

Scooter said...

While listening to an ISI lecture last night, the lecturer made a great point: You can't start with relativism and end with absolutism. At least not without some serious hocus pocus.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Um...

"How do you know?"

Because, obviously, the challenger is his own point of reference. For everything.

Ken said...

Oh, well, to err is human, to write scripture is divine.

DJP said...

(c:

Tom Chantry said...

Why is Firefox telling me that Ken's webpage is a "reported attack site"? I liked his comment!

Then again, everytime I update my security settings I hear that Pyro promotes criminal activities.

Ken said...

My web site is attacked regularly and snippets of code inserted by the haters and holocaust deniers. I check it as often as I can but bits and pieces get left behind. It should be clean at the moment however.

Alex Philip said...

Officer: Why did you drive through that stop sign?

Me: I don't believe everything I read.

Aaron Snell said...

Dan,

Are you using "errant" in the sense of "in error" or "having the possibility of error"?

Aaron Snell said...

Ken & Tom,

The same thing seems to be happening to the GARBC website.

Robert said...

How can you say that? How can I trust wht you're saying? As WEB, DJP, and Mrs. Grasshopper have all (more or less) said, any person saying this has to believe that they actually know the whole truth.

Only God does and can know the whole truth. And He can use whatever means He deems necessary to make some of the truth known to us. I guess some people may want to make their case to God in this regard, but I certainly don't think the outcome will be what they expect.

stratagem said...

"To err is human"

(Unless you've been on the cover of Time magazine)

Sir Aaron said...

It must be tough going through life if all human speech is errant. You couldn't even ask for directions to the grocery store!

Robert said...

@Aaron,

Just imagine what it'd be like going to the doctor!

Bill Honsberger said...

You guys obviously haven't learned the postmodern game yet. Perhaps some remedial Derrida is in order here.
Oh wait - the author is dead - i couldn't possibly understand what a French Algerian atheistic Marxist Jew is saying. Then why did I have to buy his book? I am so confused...No I get it - mutually exclusive contradictions are really just more profound thoughts that mere reason can't possibly keep up with.
Do as much LSD as Foucoult did and this will all make sense to you.
I want to personally thank Grenz, Franke, Wheaton's Phil dept and some others for bringing this garbage into the Church. Your abandonment of truth, reason and of course the Gospel is duly noted and you will be appreciated by heretics for years to come.

Scott Barber said...

Just to get the discussion going (I do understand the bible to be inerrant):

What about the ol' Mark 4:31

"It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth"

Issue:

The mustard seed is not the smallest seed (even in Palestine at the time).

Keith G said...

Scott- I think the main point to see in dealing with that text is that Jesus isn't giving us a botany lesson. This is a parable. Specifically it's a parable describing what the kingdom of God is like.

Jesus is trying, I think, to make the distinction between the seed's smallness when it is sown in comparison to its bigness when it is grown.

Again, not a botany lesson about the mustard seed, but an allegorical teaching about the kingdom of God.

I hope that helps somewhat.

philness said...

There are (2) types of people. Those who believe Gods truths and those who suppress Gods truths.

If we are not scaling the walls of the mighty and bringing down their strongholds- are we suppressing Gods truths?

I say yes. What says the rest?

Rachael Starke said...

Okay, sort of ....alongside.... the topic,

having a link that points to verses from different parts of the Bible at once is very cool.

DJP said...

The ESV site is having issues today. Links should work once it's fixed.

Tax Collector said...

In PoMo Christianity, the only inerrant part of the Bible is Matthew 7:1.

Everything else is up for debate.

Elaine Bittencourt said...

ThIs post reminded me of this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qySx8tSs8BQ&feature=youtube_gdata_player

DJP said...

Yep, Elaine. The Deepster clearly didn't even know what hit him, or how hard.

EVERY WEAPON formed against God's wisdom ulimately falls to the ground.