Final Post on Inerrancy Up at Wineskins

wordJust posted the final installment on inerrancy (midnight snack).

Here are links to the entire series:

first (appetizer)
second (entree)
third (dessert)
fourth (coffee)
fifth (midnight snack)

About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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8 Responses to Final Post on Inerrancy Up at Wineskins

  1. You might check the link to the second article. It actually links to the first.

  2. Jay Guin says:

    Tim, Thanks. It’s been fixed.

  3. Jay Guin says:

    Jerry asked,

    How does this differ from “every man doing what is right in his own eyes”?

    Well, that’s kind of where we are now — ignoring the Spirit. We assume that we’re all rational beings, unfallen, and fully capable of reading the text on our own — and every man does what is right in his own eyes.

    What’s the alternative? Well, if the Spirit is part of the discernment process, then some changes are in order.

    1. Humility. Whatever truth I may find, I find it by the power of God through the Spirit, not my own brilliance. It’s from God or it’s nothing.
    2. I am now uniquely indwelled by the Spirit. Therefore, my opinion is not better than yours. In fact, one element of hermeneutics that is routinely overlooked is the fact that living the gospel reveals the gospel. If my life does not reflect the gospel, I’m not a capable interpreter because I’m not as in touch with the Spirit as I need to be. The Spirit is not merely about intellectual accomplishment. The Spirit is about the gospel lived, and so living the gospel reveals the gospel — because we are more filled with the Spirit as we keep in step with the Spirit.
    3. Therefore, hermeneutics must be a group undertaking. It’s never just me. It’s never just me and my friends in the academy or in the ministry. I want to cast as wide a net as possible to learn as much as possible from as many perspectives as possible. Although truth is unchanging, our ability to perceive it is limited, and so the more godly, spiritual people I can involve in discernment, the better. Hence, the more discussion the better. The more comments on the blog the better. Indeed, nothing should be more concerning than the absence of disagreement, because if everyone agrees, then the Spirit is no longer revealing truth. In fact, we may have foreclosed ourselves from the Spirit by our arrogance.
    4. Because, after all, there is no one, unique, final insight or interpretation for each passage. Rather, as needs, times, and questions change, the Spirit will provide new revelation through the text. What I read in Psalm 23 today at age 60 will be different from what I read at age 30, not just because I know more, but because I have very different questions and needs.
    5. The goal, therefore, is not consensus, because the Spirit is a person, not a principle, revealing God’s truth from different perspectives, for different needs, to different people. Rather, the goal is cooperation — koinonia — fellowship, sharing, partnership — reading the text together, sharing ideas, disagreeing, testing, learning — to establish a common community of truth seekers who don’t necessarily agree on everything except that we are all believers in Jesus who love each other and submit to the text as breathed out through the Spirit.

    So, yes, we’ll still disagree, but disagreement will no longer justify division among fellow believers in Jesus who love and submit together. Rather, disagreement will be a catalyst to further study, prayer, and most importantly — living out the text together. Hence, if we disagree over election, we don’t draw up creeds, swear allegiance, and divide. Rather, we ask how we live election as we understand the text in mutual love. And we likely find that we pretty much live the same way — and so we reach the same conclusion by differing paths, remain united, and consider some questions still open for consideration rather than drawing battle lines defined by human heroes.

    Something like that.

  4. While reading this final post, my mind kept going back to Jesus in John 7 at the Feast of the Tabernacles. “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority” (v. 17, NKJV). It was at the end of this Feast that He stood and cried aloud, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John explained that in this, He referred to the Holy Spirit.

    This fits very well with your response to my question. BTW, I did not intend that question to be argumentative, but to elucidate further explanation. Your comments on loving interaction where each stimulates the other to deeper thought and more clarification are priceless! Thank you very much. I also appreciate your emphasis on the need of humility in approaching the word of God. I believe this was the last of Alexander Campbell’s principles of interpreting the Bible, which I read in his The Christian System. He said one must come within “the understanding distance,” which he went on to describe as that circle with God at it’s center and humility as its circumference. I believe he worked the desire to do His will into the description as well.

    Again, thank you for your articles and for your response to my comment.

  5. Jay Guin says:


    Thanks for the excellent question. I’ve slightly revised and relocated my answer over at Wineskins, to finish out the series on inerrancy.

  6. I still have hopes of meeting you face to face someday – but I’m not traveling as much as I used to before I became “the parent of my parents” this year. It’s a new stage and role in my life that I’m finding challenging, but also rewarding. Maybe we can get you down to orlando sometime for the Spiritual Growth Workshop now renamed The Equipping Workshop.

  7. Jay Guin says:


    I’m hoping to make it to Pepperdine this year. I’m scheduled to speak in 2016, but hope to have a Wineskins event there 2015 — and Malibu is always a great trip.

    Orlando is, by the way, my wife’s favorite place in the world. She loves theme parks! My health has kept me away lately — more walking than I’m really up to (and did I just say I’m thinking of going to Pepperdine?) but I’m working on it.

    So maybe we’ll cross paths on one side of the country or the other.

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