Not unrelated to my previous post, Charles Halton has written a nice piece about “Calibrating Expectations for Biblical Studies.” We get along better in reading the Bible if we have realistic expectations about what we expect to find there in terms of genre, worldview, cultural context, etc. In terms of Christian theology, we arrive at more truthful (and defensible) understandings of what “biblical inspiration” even means when we come to accept the Bible for what is actually in it, not what we think it ought to contain.
This is a big challenge for some Christians, especially those who were brought up in a more conservative or evangelical environment and have never been exposed to the sorts of methods and assumptions others might bring to the study of Scripture. In fact, a couple years ago, one of my Old Testament Intro students felt the need to unpack some of her reservations about some of the things we had been discussing in class, and was kind enough to permit me to share my response to her email queries on this blog:
Some readers might also want to take a look at a presentation I gave around that time to the good folks at First Baptist Church of Forsyth, Georgia, which I titled, “Why I Am not an Inerrantist—Even thgouth I Am (or Vice Versa).”