Evangelicalism, Inerrancy, and ETS

Greg Strand – November 18, 2013 Leave a comment

As a follow up to the last post on inerrancy, the theme of the Evangelical Theology Society’s annual meeting (November 19-21) is “Evangelicalism, Inerrancy, and ETS.” Thomas Schriener, the ETS Program Chair, and James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, writes the following in his opening welcome to attendees:

The theme for this year’s conference (“Evangelicalism, Inerrancy, and the Evangelical Theological Society: Retrospect and Prospect”) takes us back to the founders of the Evangelical Theological Society and to the reason the society was established. As evangelicals, who stand in the stream of the Reformation, we believe Scripture is the final and ultimate norm, so that the Scriptures are our final authority. Scripture stands over reason, tradition, and our own sensibilities and feelings as the authoritative Word of God. Hence, the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant. Such a view of Scripture’s authority and truthfulness represents the teaching of the church throughout history. The founders of the Evangelical Theological Society were not innovators; they stand in the stream of the orthodox church, learning from the saints of previous generations. Still, we are particularly grateful for the founders of the Evangelical Theological Society since they blazed the trail for us as a society in their unswerving devotion to the Scriptures.

The truthfulness of Scripture is contested in every generation, though the guise in which that rejection appears changes. Today there are new challenges and questions to Scripture’s authority, and thus we are called upon to proclaim the truth of the Word of God afresh, “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and to teach that “the law of the LORD is perfect” (Ps. 19:7).

Three plenary lectures are scheduled focusing on different aspects of inerrancy:

Plenary Session 1: John M. Frame, “Inerrancy in Christian Perspective”

Plenary Session 2: D. A. Carson, “An Evaluation of Some Recent Discussions on the Doctrine of Scripture”

Plenary Session 3: Ben Witherington III, “The Truth Will Out: An Historian’s Perspective on the Inerrancy Controversy”

In addition to these plenary lectures, there will be hundreds of papers addressing the theme of inerrancy and other biblical, theological, historical and pastoral issues that affect and are affected by the doctrine of the inerrancy of the Scriptures.

This is a timely topic and it should be an excellent conference!

Greg Strand

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Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

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