Extracurricular Activities 8.2.14 — McKnight & Science, Enns & Inerrancy, and James Montgomery Boice
In an interview with a TV producer a week or so ago, the question came up whether early Christianity (Roman-era) was secretive and operated in a covert manner, seeking to avoid hostile attention. The origins of this notion I don’t really know (information welcome), but it seems now “out there” (along with a number of other supposed “truths”) in at least some parts of the general populace. But it seems to have little basis. A few illustrations will suffice.
...What happens when we apply this approach both to the Bible (as I had learned) and to the question of origins? We learn to base what we believe – about the Bible, about origins, about age – on the evidence and the evidence alone. Over the next decade of my life, I came to believe that if I was going to base my faith on the evidence of the Bible, by examining it and challenging as well as affirming the church’s beliefs, then I had to be honest and fair to do the same for questions about the age of the universe, the age of the earth, and the question of origins...
These are my comments I gave at the Evangelical Theological Society in Baltimore last November as part of the panel discussing the book I contibuted to (along with Al Mohler, John Franke, Michael Bird, and Kevin Vanhoozer), Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy. Each of us had 15 minutes for some remarks before we began engaging each other.
In retrospect I don’t think much was accomplished–nor could it be–in that setting and at that venue. Neither do I think the volume can have the kind of impact some might have hoped for, since–at least I felt–most of our time was spent staking out territory rather than engaging substantive issues.
Today I am kicking off a brand new series of articles I am titling The Defenders. Through brief sketches of Christian leaders, I hope to draw attention to believers known for defending the church against specific theological challenges or false teachings. I will be focusing on modern times and have chosen to begin with James Montgomery Boice, a long-time defender of the doctrine of inerrancy.
I’m no management consultant, leadership expert, or church growth guru. But if you love your church and want to see it as effective as possible–for the sake of evangelism, education, exaltation, and whatever other E’s you may have in your mission statement–try asking these two questions. One is from the pastor for his leaders, and the other is from the leaders for his pastor.
Question #1 – Pastor to Leaders: “How can I improve my preaching?”
Question #2 – Leaders to Pastor: “How can we better support you and your family?”
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