Re: Inerrancy and writing style

From: Mark B. O'Brien (
Date: Wed Feb 19 1997 - 10:14:10 EST

On Tue, 18 Feb 1997 19:00:43 -0600 "Carl W. Conrad"
<> writes:
>At 1:01 PM -0600 2/18/97, Randy Leedy wrote:
>>Carl Conrad wrote [you knew I'd respond, didn't you, Carl?]:
>>>>>Let me confess that one reason I am not an inerrantist is that I
>>believe that God speaks to us THROUGH these imperfect writings of
>>imperfect human beings, WITHOUT annulling or overriding the humanity
>>of the composers. >
>>Of course I don't expect everyone to agree, as much as I wish
>>otherwise. And I trust that those who will allow Carl the liberty to
>>disparage the Scripture (by contradicting its claims) while
>>unnecessarily dragging the issue of inerrancy into a discussion of
>>writing style will also allow me the liberty to defend the Scripture
>>in the process of trying to pull the two issues apart again.
>No, honestly I was stupid enough not to imagine that my expression of
>opinion on the stylistic levels of different NT texts from the
>of my own faith-stance--an opinion that I certainly knew was at odds
>that of many another--would evoke anything like an accusation of
>"disparaging Scripture (by contradicting its claims)."


A personal word... I took your original comments as simply being your
perspective on the matter, without inferring that you were disparaging
Scripture in any way. Having read your posts over the years now, I
certainly wouldn't dream of accusing you of such, and I think Randy's
comments were a little over the top.

One of the problems folks like myself from rather conservative schools
have is not dealing very well people from other traditions. I have
appreciated my seminary education here at DTS (the school has changed a
lot over the years -- I don't think we still deserve the rap we sometimes
get), and gained from the more open attitude of many of my professors,
who have attempted to show how we can profit from those who differ from
us, without necessarily compromising our own convictions.

This list has been a wonderfully "ecumenical" experience for me, and I
have particularly enjoyed your contribution to it. I know that you and I
would disagree on a great number of theological issues (actually probably
fewer than first comes to mind), but grace goes a long way, and you have
been a very gracious tutor to so many.

So, all this to say that I, as a conservative, disassociate myself from
the kind of comments expressed by Randy, and I *do* appreciate your
points of view, even though I don't always agree with them. I'll be
frank when I say that you are clearly one of the main driving forces
behind the success of this group, and I thank God for scholars such as
yourself who have the time and patience to tutor (a grand term, in my
opinion) those of us who are really just beginning our journey through
Greek culture and language. Be encouraged...



Rev. Mark B. O'Brien
Dallas Theological Seminary
Dallas Christian College, Adj. Prof.
"I have always thought that the acquisition of language and culture gave
a person completely new aspects of personality." -- Head of Humanities
and Art, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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