Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Today's Prophecy and Inerrancy

A week ago today a friend of ours from Auburn treated my family to lunch at the Founders Cafe of Southern Seminary. (This friend is a student at Boyce College, and she had extra meals on her meal plan that she needed to use up before the end of the semester.)

Over lunch our friend mentioned that in one class she was required to debate a classmate on whether the gift of prophecy is still to be practiced in the church today. As I understood it, she thought that this debate was a good experience: she argued the negative position and her classmate argued the positive position. From her account, the student arguing that the gift of prophecy continues in the church today took the position that today's prophecy (unlike the prophecy practiced by the Old Testament prophets) is not necessarily inerrant; as it is supposed to function today, God does grant an inerrant word to the "prophet," but then the "prophet," due to human fallenness, may relay this word in a way that includes errors.

Note that this explanation of today's prophecy is identical to how Protestant Liberals have generally believed that all the prophecies (and other words) recorded in the Bible were given. Classic Protestant Liberalism has sought to have some place of respect for the Bible-- they have taught that there were words of God delivered to the authors of the Bible-- but they have argued that human fallibility prevented the Bible from being infallible or inerrant.

In thinking through these issues, the Christian seeking to be faithful to God's word must ask the following questions:
  1. Does the Bible itself allow for the idea that true prophets may make errors when delivering a word from the Lord?
  2. If prophets were expected to deliver prophecies without error during the biblical age, is there any hint in the Bible that a lesser type of prophecy-- consisting of prophecies that admit errors-- will be operative in the Church age?
  3. If the answer to both of the above questions is "no," then doesn't the idea of fallible prophecy prone to error, as mentioned above, provide a pathway to Liberalism?

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