The end result of all of this is sadly illustrated in the book, Reforming Fundamentalism, by George A. Marsden, which informs that 85% of the students in one of Americas largest evangelical seminaries stated that they do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Beyond that, a poll of 10,000 U.S.A. clergymen (of whom 74% replied) by sociologist Jeffrey Hadden in 1987 clearly reveals the effects of this significant change of belief through the passage of time. When asked if they believed that the Scriptures are the inspired and inerrant Word of God in faith, history, and secular matters:
- 95% of Episcopalians said No.
- 87% of Methodists said No.
- 82% of Presbyterians said No.
- 77% of American Lutherans said No.
- 67% of American Baptists said No.
This sad commentary speaks for itself.
- Bib. Sac., v. 136, #541, p. 16 (Ryrie)
- Bib. Sac., v. 137, #548, p. 327 (Geisler)
- Gleason Archer, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, introduction
- The Inerrancy of the Bible, J. Witmer, in Walvoord: A Tribute,
- Donald Campbell, ed., Moody, 1982, p. 113.
A communication can be in error only if it fails to live up to the intention of its author...if they fulfill this intention we regard them as inerrant. The purpose of biblical writers was, to report the happenings and meanings of the redemptive acts of God in history so that men might be made wise unto salvation.
Imagine a family-owned sausage factory. The head is a very scrupulous, clean, proper man. One day as he is walking in the plant, he notices that as a son is dumping in pork, a piece falls on the floor. Does he throw it away, or back into the machine? He throws it away. The sausage that is produced is labeled Grade A and sent to market. Across the street is a corporately- owned and operated sausage factory. The floors are dirty, the machines are seldom washed. A supervisor sees a worker spill a piece of pork on the floor. Does he throw it away? No. He puts it back into the machine. The supervisor is happy. It too is labeled Grade A and sent to market. Both products nourish you, but which would you want to eat?
It doesnt matter if the human authors put a little dirt in with the rest of Gods Word. We can still preach the Bible and people will get saved and grow. When the son takes over the first factory, he will likely follow in the fathers tradition, but when the worker takes over for the supervisor, things can only get worse.