by Philip Cox
Even though I hold pretty strongly to the Evangelical side of my Evangelical Friends tradition, I find it difficult to adopt the view, often associated with Evangelicals, of the Inerrancy of Scripture. Having actually read the Bible (like, all of it, more than once) I can admit that there are some stories that seem pretty historically improbable, some parallel accounts that are contradictory, and some descriptions that seem scientifically inaccurate. For the most part, this doesn’t bother me. As a Friend, I see the Bible as a secondary source of revelation. In my experience, it’s the direct, unmediated revelation of Jesus that is central (though, like Robert Barclay, I don’t think the two necessarily contradict).
Somehow, despite this fact, I find that I get along pretty well with people who are hard inerrantists because I believe that, as a spiritual discipline, part of my submission to God is that I must submit my life and ideas to my best interpretation of the Bible.
I submit to Scripture.
This submission to Scripture as a means for submitting to God has been the main defining marker of Evangelical Christianity and is the reason I identify as an Evangelical. Submission is an indispensable part of the Christian experience (and in fact, it is at the heart of every significant world religion).
It would be easy to simply dismiss as uninspired and therefore unauthoritative, the passages that make me uncomfortable (or that make my friends uncomfortable), but I choose to submit.