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Which Christian churches believe in biblical inerrancy and which support questioning?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
After reading a few threads here today I wanted to ask which Christian Churches teach biblical inerrancy and which ones support those who question the bible? Are there more Christians that believe in biblical inerrancy or more who don't?

Just curious.
SJ
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissSJ View Post
After reading a few threads here today I wanted to ask which Christian Churches teach biblical inerrancy and which ones support those who question the bible? Are there more Christians that believe in biblical inerrancy or more who don't?

Just curious.
SJ
My church believes in Biblical inerrancy. I'm a Missouri-Synod Lutheran.
post #3 of 21
Disclaimer: This opinion is not based on facts, just my observations

Most churches I have experience with teach Biblical Inerrancy.
Most Christians I know do not believe in Biblical Inerrancy.

This is in Canada, and while most people proclaim themselves to be Christian, most DON'T attend church (or don't attend it regularly). I think this is a relevant point, because believing one should question the Bible is a quality of many liberal Christians, who are also less likely to be involved in organized religion.

As to which churches teach what, I am not sure.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissSJ View Post
After reading a few threads here today I wanted to ask which Christian Churches teach biblical inerrancy and which ones support those who question the bible? Are there more Christians that believe in biblical inerrancy or more who don't?

Just curious.
SJ
What exactly are you questioning?

It's hard to say because some of it depends on specific church not just denomination. And any given denomination's interpretation of scripture is going to mean they have a different view of scripture overall.

I'd venture a guess that more denominations encourage or tolerate questioning on an individual level, but that the majority are going to hold up some level of biblical authority in general.

Denominations that don't appear to be "strict" in their interpretation of the Bible include Methodist, Epsicopal, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, Catholic, American Baptist, Presbyterian and a whole bunch of others, but within those groups some churches will be more strict than others, and many denominations have very similar sounding names, so you might think you're at one kind of church when you're actually at another.

Why would you claim to be a Christian if you didn't find some level of truth in the Bible?

As far as I know UU is the only church that doesn't insist on some level of scriptural truth, and even there it depends on the individual church itself. UU also isn't necessarily Christian.
post #5 of 21
[QUOTE=dealic;9568064]

Most churches I have experience with teach Biblical Inerrancy.
Most Christians I know do not believe in Biblical Inerrancy.

QUOTE]

I think that's rather true.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dealic View Post
Disclaimer: This opinion is not based on facts, just my observations

Most churches I have experience with teach Biblical Inerrancy.
Most Christians I know do not believe in Biblical Inerrancy.

This is in Canada, and while most people proclaim themselves to be Christian, most DON'T attend church (or don't attend it regularly). I think this is a relevant point, because believing one should question the Bible is a quality of many liberal Christians, who are also less likely to be involved in organized religion.

As to which churches teach what, I am not sure.
I would "speculate" that those churches that are considered non-denom and don't adhere to a specific doctrine would "allow" questioning. The others *specific* protestant denominations I *think* would teach inerrancy... but I haven't done huge research so I could be wrong. Hence the "speculate" thrown in.

And yes, it is true that the idea of the church being right and one coming to an understanding of it is a dying idea. Most do question everything individually.
post #7 of 21
The church of my childhood, Southern Baptist, teaches Biblical inerrancy (though I've never heard that term before). The church I now attend, United Church of Christ, supports questioning.

I'm currently reading a book by Marcus Borg titled "Reading the Bible again for the first time: Taking the Bible seriously but not literally".

Here's a link to the UCC's website "Authority of Scriptures" http://www.ucc.org/beliefs/theology/...oquy-2000.html
post #8 of 21
Assemblies of God believe the Bible is without error. Not sure on the questioning part as a whole church. But my local church (and I) believe if there is something you don't understand, it's okay to question it. You go to God and ask Him to help you understand it. But questioning/ not accepting the fundamental truths is a different thing. We all agree on the fundamental truths.... but if we are discussing the Old Testament Tabernacle and all it's meanings.... then we probably don't all agree. Make sense?

Sorry, don't have any other insight into other church's beliefs....
post #9 of 21
I'm confused by what you mean by "inerrant." Do you mean "literally true and free from error"? Because many Christian denominations view the Bible as Divinely inspired, but not literally true throughout. The Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, Episcopal/Anglican Church are not Bible-literalist denominations.
post #10 of 21
I belong to a Presbyterian (USA) church, and the sermon yesterday was on this topic. I like how our minister said we believe in God, and God inspired the bible, but we don't 'believe' in the bible, as that would be idolatry. He pointed out many of the old testament laws that most Christians, even those who claim to be see the bible as literal, don't follow those laws (how many Christians keep kosher, or only plant one type of seed in a garden?). Also, the bible teaches about God loving people, people loving God, and faith, but it's not meant to be a science book, a history book, an economics book, it is a book of faith.

So I see this denomination (or this particular church, anyway) allowing for meaningful questioning of the bible.
post #11 of 21
The doctrine of innerrancy is definitely distinct from the belief in the authority of scripture.
Wikipedia:
Quote:
Biblical inerrancy is the doctrinal position [1] that in its original form, the Bible is totally without error, and free from all contradiction; "referring to the complete accuracy of Scripture, including the historical and scientific parts". [2] Inerrancy is distinguished from Biblical infallibility (or limited inerrancy), which holds that the Bible is inerrant on issues of faith and practice but not history or science.
Pretty much any Christian church believes in scriptural authority, that the Bible is God's word and useful for teaching us about who God is and how we are to live. However, a much smaller number believe that the Bible is literally true in every word and free from any error.

I'm not an inerrantist: I see many contradictions in the text, and I don't think it's perfect. However, I do belive that the Bible is absolutely TRUE in the big picture and the word of God. Does that make any sense?
post #12 of 21
IMO, this is a hard one to answer.

Some Baptists are fundamentalist. Some are not. Same with Lutheran, Catholic, etc.

Generally speaking, IME, 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Hardcore Pentacostal, Assembly of God and one other I can't remember tend to be Fundamentalist as a whole.

I believe there are more who question....
post #13 of 21
GAH!!!

This is something that I round and round about in my head.

I believe the Bible is the ultimate authority. But I don't think we can really understand it without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He fills in the gaps.

I believe there are inaccuracies within the translations.

I attend an Evangelical Free Church.

from the website:
Quote:
Within the Evangelical Free Church, there is allowance for legitimate differences of understanding in some areas of doctrine.
Quote:
"In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ." -- Chrysostom
post #14 of 21
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post #15 of 21
When we get the definative list going, I'm going to print it out and carry it in my pocket.
post #16 of 21
My church - Unity - definitely supports questioning. My experience growing up United Methodist in the NE part of the US is that they supported questioning as well. I'm given to understand that's not the case with all Methodists. DH's Methodists inlaws in NC seem to be very, very different from how I was raised. But perhaps that's more of a southern-northern problem.
post #17 of 21
I don't think questioning is the opposite of beliving the Bible is without error. . . .
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
I don't think questioning is the opposite of beliving the Bible is without error. . . .
I have to agree here. It is good to ask your questions and it is good to seek answers. You can't grow unless you are learning. But I think the for me is should I go into it automatically believing that the church and theologians who have studied in depth, even in different languages are wrong and I must be right cause I read the paragraph a couple times or go into it thinking, I have a lot to learn and if I still don't "get it" maybe I need to keep studying? I choose the later. Most choose the former.
post #19 of 21
I'm Mennonite, and my church teaches that the Bible is not a "flat" book--meaning, some parts are to be given more weight than others. We would say that the words of Jesus himself are paramount, and the Sermon on the Mount should be the primary guide for living the Christian life. The "red letters" would be followed by the rest of the New Testament, then the OT prophets.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post
I'm Mennonite, and my church teaches that the Bible is not a "flat" book--meaning, some parts are to be given more weight than others.
Yup. 'Nother Mennonite here. Thought I was the only one around MDC!

I became Mennonite as an adult and had trouble with the "flat" concept at first, but understand it now to mean that we view the OT through the "lens" of the NT, and all of the bible through the "lens" of the words of Jesus as recorded by the writers of the four canonic gospels, if that makes any sense at all. Many mainline (and esp. liberal) Protestant churches do the same, though they don't use the flat/not-flat language. Also, many modern Protestant churches (often the more conservative evangelical denominations) have seen Paul's writings as primary and tend to do less questioning.

I think a lot of this hinges on the divide between those who interpret (and to which school of interpretation they adhere) and those who do not (or try not to) interpret, but read more literally. In my congregation (probably not at all representative of Mennonites in general), we put a lot of effort into understanding the cultural and historical context in which any given book/story/letter of the bible was written and seeking meaning that way, which definitely opens things up for lots of questioning.
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