I try (too often unsuccessfully) not to judge others at all, precisely because I take Romans 2 seriously. When I condemn others, I condemn myself. Why would I preoccupy myself with trying to put modern adjudication of “technical truth” in judgment over the Bible when I want to instead be busy seeing what Christ has to say to me (often through that very Bible) instead? I mean … if “inerrancy” (according to ??? modern inclinations of science or historical/journalistic standards of men) is to be king here, then just dispense with the Bible and make use of these ??? (whatever higher standards) you already have that for you stand above the Bible. Now - you will get me wrong here, because again, you hear nothing but judgment in those words, and it sounds like I’m condemning anybody that doesn’t elevate the Bible above all. But I’m not. Christ is above the Bible. Without His spirit all the “correct” (even inerrant or whatever) Bible reading any of us do is for naught. So yes - there is definitely something (Someone, rather) who is above the Bible, and is in fact pointed to from those very pages.
I guess part of my exasperation showing through here is this: if my own human eyes are already fallible and faulty - and I will inevitably end up misusing the letter of the law (both old and new) to my own advantage, then I’ve got much bigger fish that need frying than fretting over how technically consistent or correct (according to whose standard?) the content of those words were before they entered into our little finite space. (The fundamentalist retorts that he expects it to be true according to God’s standard - in which case - if he has access to that level of insight, then he is admitting he has no need for the printed page, because why would he need to lean on that if he’s already got God?) And as I noted earlier, it wouldn’t matter how pristine any fresh water was to begin with - by the time it’s come down all my own dirty pipes to my tap, - of course it’s going to have our own cultural pollution by that point. I just have to trust that because of where it came from, it still contains the essential germ of what God wants me to hear, and even then - God will still have to open my ears to actually receive it.
So in the end, I know God (as revealed by and shown to us in Christ) will meet me where I’m at - which is in a place of brokenness, wrongness, and fallibility - not in some imaginary space of infallible or “inerrant” understandings. God’s outreach to us was already obliged to enter into a language and society to engage us with what we “know” from those culture-bound perspectives, so … us worrying about whether or not we are getting the complete, unvarnished, “inerrant” truth by the time it’s made its way through all our messy humanity and into our hearts is about like a kindergartner worrying about whether or not his teacher’s words are revealing the entire truth about math and numbers, instead of just trusting that the teacher knows what the student needs for now - just to learn to count, and that any other needed understandings will all be made availble in good time. It’s a posture of trust. The Teacher’s got this.
If you’re feeling judged by all this, then just consider it your own conscience speaking to you. I try to only judge myself, and even that judgment (even if favorable) would not acquit me - in the end, best to just trust to God’s final judgment, and God’s grace and love that is also just as inexorable.
Having only recently become a shameless new fan-boy of Rich Mullins, I commend to you these lyrics for his song “We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are.” Beautifully sung by him here.