the Empathy List #68: Is the Bible literally true?
What the Evangelical Church Never Taught Me, Part 7
Hey friend, Liz here.
As I work on book #2, furiously tapping away at my desk while my kids run laps at day camp, I’ve been thinking about evangelicals’ emphasis on the inerrancy of the Bible.
Biblical inerrancy, to us, is the idea that every word of the Bible, exactly as it has been written, from every angle, is always true in every way.
I suppose it won’t surprise you to hear that I find this reading of the Scriptures problematic.
For within the onionskin pages of the Bible, there are glaring problems.
To be clear, I am not a novice when it comes to the Bible.
I have mined the ancient pages over decades—out of love, intrigue, guilt, delight, and confusion. For most of that time, I’ve been floating within the rushing waters of nondenominational American evangelicalism (though I’m currently swimming laps in the pool of Anglicanism). I even graduated from the Harvard of Christian universities, where I studied the Bible alongside distinguished religious scholars who speak the language an…