Thursday, October 08, 2009

Political Conservatism Trumps Biblical Inerrancy

Today's Southern Baptist Convention - failing, flailing and essentially wandering in the wilderness - is the product of blind faith in a modern, human theory about the Bible: inerrancy.

Birthed in the 20th century from the background of the strict Calvinistic Old School Presbyterianism of Charles Hodge (the theological grandfather of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) that needed a literal Bible in order to defend southern slavery, textual inerrancy has always been about revisioning biblical authority to make the Bible seem authoritative on the playing field of modern (scientific, quantifiable, factual) truth. Neither biblical (the Bible itself does not claim textual perfection) nor quantifiable (the orginial "autographs" of the Bible do not exist, and in fact the text was predated by oral tradition), inerrancy is fundamentalist Christians' ultimate weapon for attacking "liberalism" and a bold attempt at justifiying religious legalism.

Ironically (or perhaps not, for fundamentalists) inerrancy denegrates and displaces the biblical Jesus, simply because he is too liberal for fundamentalists.

So, sooner or later the inevitable had to happen: the Bible formally succombing to the onslaught of Western political conservatism. Surely enough, a conservative political group has now publicly announced that they are rewriting the Bible in order to remove its "liberal bias." The political activist, Religious Right Schlafly family is the founder of the "Conservative Bible Project," based on the following guidelines:

1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias

2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity

3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]

4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".

5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census

6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.

7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning

8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story

9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels

10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

In short, inerrancy, nothing more than a modern ploy to start with, is being laid to rest by that which drives inerrantists: contemporary Western political conservatism.


Anonymous said...

I do not know anything about the politcal part of this post; however, I agree totally with the oberservations about inerrancy. Christians need to stand up against applying this misleading and inappropriate term to the Bible.

rico said...

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

Liberal Bias