Infallibility, Inerrancy, and Authority

Monday, May 2                                                         

R.C. Sproul again.  Amateur theologians tend to throw around five syllable words with the idea that they pinpoint important doctrinal concepts.  Sometimes that’s true, but other times it can breed confusion.  Sproul makes an important distinction between infallibility and inerrancy.  These terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a distinct difference.  Inerrancy means that something is not in error, while infallibility means that something cannot be in error. As to the Bible, infallibility is much more significant than inerrancy.  Because God cannot err, the revelation of Himself cannot be in error.  A fallible man can write an inerrant document; he can also write a document with errors.  An infallible person cannot write something that contains an error.  So we deduce inerrancy of the Bible on the basis of God’s infallibility.  Sproul then goes beyond this to it’s importance.  The infallibility of the author guarntees the reliability of the document.  Reliability implies authority.  The truth becomes our authority.  God’s revelation of Himself  is for a purpose.  We not only need to understand it, we need to respond correctly to it.  Failure to do so is to say that we either assume God did not write it, or that God is not infallible and His revelation does not demand a response.

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