HAS ANYONE EVER ASKED YOU THIS? “Do you have a high view of Scripture”?
They’ve asked me.
It can feel pretty much like the question, “Do you beat your wife?”
Many Christians say it’s an intrusive, intimidating query that feels like a threat because there’s only one acceptable answer, as far as the person asking the question is concerned.
Typically the question comes from someone who says they believe in inerrancy: the theory that the original copy of every page written in the Bible is error-free—not a trace of human foible. No such original page has ever been found, or part of a page. So there’s no way to check the theory.
The doctrine of inerrancy emerged a couple of centuries ago, after science started giving some Christians reason to doubt the literal history of Bible events such as the six-day creation and the flood that supposedly covered the entire planet at a time when people had no idea how big (and round) the planet was.
The “high view of Scripture” question begs the answer, “Yes, I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture.” So when bachelor Paul tells Timothy to keep the women silent in church and to select as pastors only men whose “children are obedient with complete respect” (1 Timothy 3:4 CEB), he was speaking for God. It wasn’t just the opinion of an unmarried guy who needed to spend a little more time around women and kids before offering his Dear Abby family counseling.
I have a suggestion for an answer, if you’re one of the Christians not inclined to adopt the inerrancy theory.
Next time someone asks, “Do you have a high view of Scripture?” tell the inquisitive soul: “No. I have a low view of Scripture because I have a high view of God.”
If you believe that some of the stuff the Bible writers attributed to God would embarrass him to death if he weren’t immortal, a response like that might just sum up what you actually believe.
I know this response would irritate many inerrancy Christians, but if you’re not a preacher you don’t have to not irritate them.
You know I’m having fun with this, right?
But I am serious about the “high view” question sounding spiritually snooty, at least to Christians who don’t buy the inerrancy pitch.
Here’s what I’m wondering. Is this “high view of Scripture” a question one Christian should ask another Christian?