YECs and inerrancy

Having been told to start a new topic…
It seems to me that the only reason for insisting that Genesis 1 is correct and the YEC standpoint is because the bible has supreme authority and is inerrant. IOW you cannot argue against anything the bible claims.
Is that a fair assessment?
If so perhaps someone would like to show me the proof or reason for such a standpoint.

Inerrancy is an a priori faith commitment, not a conclusion.

I am sorry but if that were true I could not argue against them due to the Millstone effect. Furthermore, I do not believe that God would instigate such a situation. Such a position is self-fulfilling, all or nothing, and self-defeating. The fact is that some of the “claims” or explanations given in the bible are clearly false. The breeding of speckled sheep, for instance. If any minutae could be proven inaccurate then the whole house of cards collapses along with the faith of the person in question.

Yeah? How successful are you in arguing the true believers out of their affirmation of inerrancy by arguing against inerrancy?

I’m not saying “inerrancy is true,” I’m saying people weren’t argued into their acceptance of it. They were taught they had to accept it, so they do. I don’t think you get people to move away from it by arguing inerrancy is stupid, you argue it isn’t required to be a faithful Christian or to hold a “high view or Scripture.”

Plenty of people maintain a belief in some kind of inerrancy and can handle issues with the Bible without deconverting, don’t oversell it.


If the belief was taught as unquestioning gospel then nine times out of ten the recipient comes to their senses and reality wins. The problem comes when they have been taught certain proof texts, usually involving “God-breathed”.
Having said that, the aim is not necessarily to dissuade the immovable, but rather to raise questions in the minds of the uncertain onlookers who are less dogmatic.
I have long found that it is not the protagonists who change their minds, but there have been exceptions.


Sorry, but this is a strawman. Nothing within the Doctrine of Inerrancy states that a person has to shut off their cognitive faculties or suppress their opinion. The reason YECs like to invoke it is that it is an easy appeal to authority which like baraminology or flood geology makes the speaker sound knowledgeable even if they don’t have a clue what they are talking about. John Walton affirms the Chicago Statement in his book The Lost World of Scripture and he is not a YEC.

My experience is that many YECs who invoke ‘inerrancy’ (along with plenty of people who argue against inerrancy) don’t actually know what the term is or means. Generally, speaking inerrancy is a technical term, with a very specific meaning as defined in the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978):

The short definition(!) states:

  1. God, who is Himself Truth and speaks truth only, has inspired Holy Scripture in order
    thereby to reveal Himself to lost mankind through Jesus Christ as Creator and Lord,
    Redeemer and Judge. Holy Scripture is God’s witness to Himself.

  2. Holy Scripture, being God’s own Word, written by men prepared and superintended by
    His Spirit, is of infallible divine authority in all matters upon which it touches: it is to be
    believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it affirms, obeyed, as God’s command, in all that
    it requires; embraced, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises.

  3. The Holy Spirit, Scripture’s divine Author, both authenticates it to us by His inward
    witness and opens our minds to understand its meaning.

  4. Being wholly and verbally God-given, Scripture is without error or fault in all its
    teaching, no less in what it states about God’s acts in creation, about the events of world
    history, and about its own literary origins under God, than in its witness to God’s saving
    grace in individual lives.

  5. The authority of Scripture is inescapably impaired if this total divine inerrancy is in
    any way limited or disregarded or made relative to a view of truth contrary to the Bible’s
    own; and such lapses bring serious loss to both the individual and the Church.

The long definition runs to 29 articles! I wonder how many YECs have actually taken the time to read the statement in full?

NB: I don’t hold inerrancy as set out in the statement per se, but I move in circles with many wonderful, godly Christians who do.


It may not be stated but it is the result. You cannot claim inerrancy where there is none whether it is just stated, or justifed. No article of faith can override reality and inaccuracy, be it scientific, or just plain contradiction or inconsistency. Anyone who actually reads the bible properly will identify these flaws. Many will find convoluted justifications or bypasses but however it is done it is mental dissonance or blinkered reasoning.
I am just trying to ascertain whether our local YECs have actually read the bible properly or are just spouting dogmas.

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That is your opinion, which you are welcome to have. However, could not poor teaching be equally to blame? Supporters of Inerrancy are not theologically monolithic. There is a great deal of debate and room for an opinion about a great many things among those who affirm inerrancy. Again, as an example, John Walton, Tim Keller, and John MacArthur all affirm the Chicago Statement yet each holds a different view of Creation.

It sounds like you’re saying that only those who agree with your interpretation of a handful of verses are reading the Bible properly? Isn’t that the same thing that the YECs do?


OOh, scratchy!
I never said or implied either of those.
I basically said that the bible has flaws, some of which are scientific, others are just contradictions or inconsistences. And if you agree that you can breed speckled sheep by making them drink impure water then perhaps I will concede that I have a jaundiced view of certain passages of scripture.
This forum is science-based not biblical but fundamentalists dismiss science out of hand and are happy to bury their heads to avoid anything that might be conceived as contradictory to scripture. Evolution is a beast to be slain rather than a genuine argument against literal reading of scripture. They neither understand what Evolution actually is, or care. All they see is David Attenborough (et al) trying to kill God with science. They could not possibly conceive God having anything to do with Evolution because that is how it is taught.
You can argue carbon dating until you are blue in the face but they do not have to accept it. It is all just spurious deformations by the devil.
I even posted a Christian view of Genesis 1 that was not literal and it has been ignored as if it was never posted. (Because I didn’t mention Evolution or science or even a time scale for Creation.)
Until we can identify the correct way to read/understand Scripture all this talk of science is just hot air. Or perhaps you can read Genesis literally and still claim a scientific standpoint? The moon is a light? Some sort of dome over the earth with Hell at the earth core and Heaven beyond the dome. Little lights pinned to the dome to make it pretty. The sun goes underneath when it is dark. Humanity from a single set of genes. An invisible garden with a flaming sword guarding it.God walking on the earth (not as Jesus). Talking serpents (and a donkey). I could go on.

Nope, not at all. Any scratchiness you are inferring is not coming from me, friend. Enjoy the rest of your day, Richard.

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Is a not very veiled insult. I call that scratchy. Friend

Perhaps they are approaching the problem from the wrong direction. It seems more prudent to interpret Genesis so that it isn’t inaccurate. It is much easier to change an interpretation of scriptures than it is to change the facts of reality.

Right or wrong, that is the direction YEC comes from. If you start from the premise that the bible is correct, anything else must, by definition, be false. Reality be damned! Who is to say that our perceptions are accurate? We were not present at the creation of the universe.
In theory, God was. Why would God allow a false account to be written? (Unless, of course, it was never meant to be historically or physically accurate)

It seems that YEC’s start with the premise that YEC’s are correct.

And you do not start from the same, if opposing, premise?


No. I usually try to start from the premise that I might be wrong. Then I look at the evidence and see where it leads.


Then you have no faith in your ideas or beliefs. The whole point of a dogma is that it flies in the face of all opposition, be it evidence or theory. You have an open mind. The YEC has decided. The only evidence they will accept is the literal understanding of Genesis 1. All other evidence is declared null and void. Arguing against a brick wall is an understatement.

When YEC’s adopt this dogmatic approach it tips their hand. If the evidence were on their side then they wouldn’t need to build a wall between them and science. It’s like someone refusing to open their credit card bills as a strategy for lowering their debt.

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No veiled insults here, friend, genuine questions only. Nor passive aggression, snarkiness, or sarcasm. Apologies if it came across any another way, tone is a tricky beast on internet.

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You are conflating biblical literalism and belief in inerrancy. They often go hand in hand, but they aren’t the same thing. People can believe in inerrancy “in all the Bible affirms and teaches” and also grant that it needs to be culturally contextualized and it isn’t teaching astrophysics or animal husbandry or botany. You can believe in inerrancy and still understand many passages to be symbolic, figurative, apocalyptic, didactic, poetic, hortatory, or otherwise not straightforward historical narratives of facts.


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