“The Bible is not inerrant, but MAN applying it, guided by the Spirit, IS. MAN, with Christ, IS the infallible thing, NOT the Bible (this is the very ROOT of salvation and justification; why we are no longer judged by the law, because a man or woman in Christ IS infallible; he or she cannot be judged for sin, because sin no longer can mean anything for them). Man is not totally depraved and worthless. Man’s life is priceless; man is WORTH saving; man is worth the perfection he becomes through Christ. Man, at his root, is GOOD.”
“Because it is in the Bible”, or “Because the Bible “says” it” cannot be verification of biblical truth. This is specious at best. However, I submit that the rational larceny of this idea should be obvious to all people.
In other words, the Bible cannot rationally be proof of its own veracity. Only God and God alone is TRUTH in and of Himself, without context, and without condition and without qualification. The Bible, even supposing it were God’s very words transcribed absolutely and directly by the writers of it, it could not be declared inerrant or infallible, because the Bible is still, as a function of MAN’S environment/world/reality is NOT God (and if anyone disagrees with that, they are conceding that a created thing–God’s “words” to us, either spoken or in the form of the Bible–is God. Which is of course rank nonsense).
Incidentally, I do not accept the idea that the Bible is God’s very words transcribed exactly to man. How we as Christians can rationalize “inspired” to mean “absolute direct translation; verbatim, to the point where we can utterly consider the Bible OUTSIDE of the context, interpretive assumptions, perspectives, and intentions of the human writers” is something that I have yet to see argued reasonably. If we see a movie and the movie declares “inspired by the life events of Shaft”, or “based on the novel by Tom and Jerry”, does ANYONE in his right mind consider the movie to be an utter perfect and infallible representation of the book or life which inspired it? Now, I’m not suggesting the writers of the bible took artistic license, but what I am suggesting is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to remove the perspective/interpretation/and context of the individual and singular self–aware consciousness which is relaying the story/scene/command/idea/truth/prophesy, etc., etc.. That is, the truth they are relaying can ONLY BE TRUE IF PROPERLY QUALIFIED and CONTEXTUALIZED within the holistic framework of the author.
In other words, there is no truth in the Bible which exists apart from man’s context: first for the writer, and then for the reader. And, as those two contexts may be substantially different, TRUTH can only be realized as a function of the individual as he or she applies the information. And if this is true, the only way any biblical idea can be seen as truth is in a sense always going to be SUBJECTIVE outside the individual; however, it CAN be objective, when verified are directed by the Holy Spirit WITHIN the individual. What I am saying then, is that the only way biblical truth can ever be objectively seen (excluding those sins which involve the direct violation of other human beings; for a good summary of these, look at the Ten Commandments: they are special because they deal with outwardly observable, quantifiable and thus objective sins) is in the context of each individual person; and this may or may not be visible to outside observers, which is why we are commanded NOT to judge others. Because HOW the Holy Spirit applies a biblical revelation to each individual may LOOK completely different from person to person. “Do not be yoked to the world”, may mean something totally different, applicably speaking, from one person to another, according to the understanding of that person by the Holy Spirit. So it is NOT the Bible which is infallible, but the cooperation of the human being with the Spirit of God where God’s TRUTH to man is realized. The Bible then is wholly for man, as a guide to applying GOOD (not applying God, which is impossible for the same reason it is impossible to apply an infallible Bible) to their life. The Bible is not inerrant, but MAN applying it in Spirit and Truth IS. MAN, with Christ, IS the infallible thing, NOT the Bible. This is the very ROOT of salvation and justification; why we are no longer judged by the law, because a man or woman in Christ IS infallible; he or she cannot be judged for sin, because sin no longer can mean anything for them. MAN’S life, with Christ, then, is the only “inerrancy of Scripture” if there must be such a thing.
As a point of pragmatism:
The Bible makes it clear to me when God is speaking: the words are either in red (thanks to the wonder of the modern printing press…or, well, not so modern, maybe) or they have “God said”, and quotes generally following that. Any other interpretation of the Bible as God’s very words is impossible to substantiate without, of course, returning to the tautological argument which says that because it’s in the Bible, it must be God’s very words, and because it’s Gods very words, it must be in the Bible. Again, this rational impossibility is essentially nonsense because it demands that you accept that the Bible is proof if its own “truth”. And once more, the truth is that IF the Bible is in fact wholly inerrant unto itself, as God is, then it can NEVER be for man, but only for itself, as God is for Himself. For all man can do is detract, by definition, from its perfection, which must always and only be completely in and of itself. Obviously, no rational Christian would declare that the Bible is useless for man and was never intended as a tool for refining man’s behavior, faith, and philosophy. And yet, this is precisely what they are in fact saying when they hold to the idea of biblical infallibility.