Inerrant and Infallible

A lot of the arguments over the Nashville Statement are premised on the idea of Biblical inerrancy — is the Bible fallible or changeable?

Certainly there are things in the Bible that have changed. There is a doctrine called progressive revelation. We can see shifts in treatment of people from Old Testament to New Testament. So, for example, the Bible’s treatment of slavery evolved over time such that by Philemon it is clear even if slavery is the law of the land, Christians must treat slaves as brothers and sisters. Likewise, the treatment of women evolves over time. In the New Testament, Paul writes that we are all “sons” of God’s inheritance. That’s important because women could not inherit in Roman times. Saying that women too were sons of God’s inheritance made them equal before God. But not everything progresses. The Bible, in both the Old Testament and New Testament, condemns homosexuality. How we are to treat those who are homosexual changes. But the sin is still the sin. There is no redemptive change in that or after that. Christ makes clear there will be no more revelation beyond what the New Testament offers until the second coming.

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