Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Right Side of History

An excerpt from Marshall's The Peril of Selective Inerrancy:

Today is a time of reckoning for Southern Baptists, as even Albert Mohler has observed. It seems like he is hastening to get toward the right side of history on sexual abuse — distancing himself from his colleague — even though he was a pawn in the larger conservative movement. His ambition blunted his theological perspicuity, and he changed his course for the sake of being acceptable to his sponsors. As a professor when he was a graduate student, I remember a different persona.

Selective inerrancy is as damaging as cherry-picking of texts that reinforce liberal presuppositions. Reading the whole of the human-divine text tells the story of God’s engagement with humanity in the various epochs of forging the Judeo-Christian tradition. The Bible relentlessly speaks of societal changes and the hope that the new community forged by Christ will override patriarchal structures.

Hiding behind inerrancy in order to preserve male privilege does irreparable damage to a lucid Christian witness. Lord knows, we need to tell our story better and live it more fully, so that both women and men might flourish.