In case you hadn't noticed, things have gotten a little busy around here of late. The author of my post on Christian fundamentalism found his way here and we entered into a little debate out the usage of emails. Well, the debate still rages over on his blog though things have taken a bit of an odd turn. No longer are we merely debating views of scripture, hermeneutics and the role of tradition. Thanks to a few different posters*, we have moved into truly debating with heretics. And that's not a term I use lightly. There are a great many people with whom I would disagree on some pretty fundamental things, but I still honor them as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Like Calvinists, for instance. I think its an erroneous teaching, clearly unbiblical and ahistorical, but at the very least they are Trinitarian and that provides a good basis for dialogue.
The same cannot be said for Keith, who has brought his own particular flavor of non-Trinitarian "Christianity" to the table. Keith takes an extremely high view of scripture, as you can see:
To me, inerrancy means that the Bible is perfect. It has no errors or blemishes, but is complete and whole like God is complete and whole. But what is perfect can only be divine, right? How could something be “perfect” and not be God, because only God is perfect. If you truly believe in inerrancy, then you must believe that the Bible is divine. If something is divine, it must be worshipped. Thus, to me, we worship the Bible as much as we would worship God...
Another poster** said:
What else can we place our trust in? Are you claiming that I need place my faith in some ethereal notion of the Son of God? The Son is only made known throw the Word….the Word was made flesh. Ergo: Bible = Jesus.
As you can imagine, dialogue with these 2 has been rather (ahem) difficult since there is no middle ground, no common foundation on which to build. And, surprisingly, for a group that, literally, idolizes the Bible, they don't quote from scripture much and don't respond to correction from it, either. Keith has said repeatedly that the Bible is the only way to know anything about God and has persisted in this error even though Romans 1 has been pointed out to him a couple times. The debate has largely fallen apart since Keith won't really respond to any logical arguments and tends to rely solely on emotional appeals and calling people "liberal" when you disagree with him.
For me, this debate has only served to further demonstrate the insufficiency of sola scriptura. Without a thoroughly Trinitarian understanding of God as expressed in the Nicene Creed, anything is possible. I had unreflectedly assumed that this error would only go in the more liberalizing direction. I see now that I was very wrong.
*I suspect that at least a few of them are the same guy using different handles.
** I'm pretty sure he and Keith are one and the same, or at the very least, go to the same church.