This is in response to Richard Klueg's recent letter challenging my Clergy Corner column on the inerrancy of the bible.
I have written columns before that didn't take an orthodox view of things, but it is this one that draws a response. The reason is that for inerrantists, the Bible is God on paper, and to challenge the Bible is to challenge God himself. So in reality, while they say the Bible is distinct from God, they behave as if the Bible is God. I'm more interested in how people behave versus what they claim to believe.
As for authority, I have as much authority to challenge things in the Bible as Klueg has to defend it. Asserting that the Bible has authority over humans doesn't make it so. His view of the Bible doesn't give him an advantage in that area.
Klueg next states that the Bible has been ably defended from claims of errancy. But by who? Those who already believe it is inerrant and seek to prove it? Yes. There are many who don't believe the Bible is inerrant and come to that conclusion using sound reason. So there.
Klueg then drags out the context argument. Sorry, that is not legitimate. I sited chapter and verse. Read the passages in context. It doesn't change a thing. Only the spin of the inerrantists tries to change what the eyes read and the mind comprehends. That's why you are supposed to check with your pastor when you read something disturbing in the Bible.
As for human constructs, I guarantee you, regardless of who the preacher is, he shares his own human constructs. Just because Klueg and others like him claim otherwise doesn't change the fact of it. Their human constructs are simply passed through the grid of belief in an inerrant Bible. They are still human, with human minds and human passions just like everyone else. They are no better, smarter, or more authoritative.
Finally, Klueg uses a big no-no at the end of his letter to defend inerrancy. Using the Bible to defend the Bible is circular reasoning. Some may fall for it, but fortunately many will not.
For further reading, I recommend "The Human Faces of God" by Thom Stark. It's subtitle sums it up well: "What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries To Hide It)".
The Rev. MEL EMURIAN
Minister, Living Hope Freethinkers