My concern with this commentary is that it opens a controversy that could deepen the division the Churches of Christ are already struggling with. Indeed, it could even open up an entirely new split. I think, however, that division over inerrancy is both unnecessary and contrary to the very scriptures we are arguing over.
Some want to argue that we can’t believe the Bible at all unless we believe it to be flawless. Others want to argue that the Bible contains errors but is still God’s word. I want to argue that the Bible is true, trustworthy, and to be lived. The question that matters is whether we live it, not whether we have faith in it. Our faith is in Jesus — not the Bible. Hence, I have no interest in even taking a position on inerrancy. Rather, I’d far rather work for unity between those who disagree over inerrancy.
There is very important common ground between the inerrant and not-inerrant (“errant”?) positions — ground that is more important and more precious that inerrancy or modern scholarship or whatever else drives your thinking. I mean, so long as we can agree that the scriptures are trustworthy and to be lived, why would we be that concerned about the epistomological pathway that got us there?
Historically, inerrancy has been a part of countless denominational creeds and so has come to define orthodoxy in the minds of many — even among the “creedless” Churches of Christ. But salvation doesn’t come from faith in the Bible. It comes from faith in Jesus — whether gained from scriptures or from a parent or a friend. The inerrancy of the source doesn’t save — even a very imperfect teacher can teach enough to save and to live a life very pleasing to Jesus.
Therefore, we need to avoid the temptation to divide over this issue. We need rather to realize that the principles that are important to the Churches of Christ allow us to be united despite our disagreements on such things. Even though the Baptists and many others have divided over inerrancy, we don’t have to. After all, the original saying, going back to the time of the Campbells and Stone, is “We have no creed but Christ.” And as we do in fact agree on Christ, we agree on what the scriptures say truly matters.