Another interesting counterpoint is The Reliability of the New Testament: Bart Ehrman and Daniel Wallace in Dialogue, which I’ve been reading in excerpts on Amazon.com or Google Books. (I’ll probably buy it soon.)
One thing that surprised me about the Ehrman-Wallace book is this factoid: Even conservative Christian scholars agree that some small snippets of the New Testament (the one we have today) weren’t in the original manuscripts.
I like the debate format of the Ehrman-Wallace book for the same reason I appreciate Sami’s response to my earlier post. In my newspaper days, I sometimes assigned people to write a counterpoint to my own position. It’s great to see someone join my conversation here! Now wait a sec before you make a joke about the sound of crickets — if popularity was an indicator of truth or value, Lady Gaga would be the Gospel.
Like I said in a reply to Sami’s previous comment, I think there is a difference between a “culture of inerrancy” in a church and a “culture of grace that professes inerrancy” in a church. Ehrman has been helpful to me to sort of “de-fang” the Bible, or at least the Southern fundamentalist reading of the Bible. By my assessment, a culture of inerrancy tends to be focused on making the Bible into a rule book instead of a story of redemption. Moreover, obvious, plain-sense discrepencies are ignored like a kid with fingers plugged in his ears and eyes squinted closed while he yells nah nah nah nah nah. If those plain-sense discrepencies can be explained through scholarship, good, but don’t pretend that just any person with his Bible can sort it all out in his devotional time.
But alas, as I am too weak to prevent myself from saying, this past weekend proved that even a culture of grace cannot prevent a clergyman from really hurting me and my family. People get hurt with or without black leatherbound KJV Bibles zealously read with an inerrancy doctrine on steroids.