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United Methodist Authority and the Question of Inerrancy(1)

by R. Dale Tedder, Jr.

I. Introduction

A battle has been raging for the last three decades within the United Methodist Church. One side of the battle has been pleading for theological pluralism, while the other side has been striving to protect the classical orthodox Christian faith. Yet, like the Protestant Reformation, the formal cause of this battle rests on the issue of authority for United Methodists. United Methodist liberals(2) suggest that Scripture is authoritative because it has been the Church's book for hundreds of years and therefore maintains continuity with the past. This side of the debate suggests that the Bible is a culturally, geographically, and time-bound book. Because of its antiquity, it cannot exercise absolute authority over its modern readers. Thus, while the Bible is authoritative for the Church, there are limitations placed on it by virtue of its pre-modern settings and assumptions. United Methodist evangelicals(3) assert that Scripture is authoritative because it is the inspired Word of God. That is, the authors of Scripture were inspired by God. Therefore, the Bible is authoritative because it is essentially from God and not merely a human document. With few exceptions, this is essentially where the battle lines have been drawn. Both positions have contributed to the debate in positive ways. Yet it will be the purpose of this paper not only to reveal where they have failed in providing convincing reasons for the Bible's authority, but this paper will also claim that only the doctrine of inerrancy can genuinely support Scripture's proper authority.

II. The Debate

A. Introduction to the Debate

Unlike other communions within the Christian faith, United Methodism's current debate over the authority of Scripture is taking place without even the slightest mention of the doctrine of inerrancy. Both sides of the debate embrace the authority of Scripture as they understand it, yet neither party espouses or even entertains the notion that the doctrine of inerrancy should be part of the debate. Perhaps much of the resistance by United Methodist liberals and evangelicals is the result of an unfamiliarity with the doctrine. The next two parts of this section will observe the liberal and the evangelical view of Scripture. One should be careful to notice the absence and implicit rejection of the doctrine of inerrancy.

B. United Methodist Liberalism

Prominent clergy and scholars within the United Methodist Church have emphasized that the Church needs to be aware of the shortcomings of the Bible. J. Philip Wogaman, in an article about the interpretation of Scripture, shares his concern that literalistic interpretations of Scripture have actually injured people. He writes:

"I am thinking particularly of women, who are admonished by St. Paul to acknowledge the dominance of their husbands and not to speak in church. I am thinking also of slaves who, in the last century, were admonished on scriptural authority to obey their earthly masters. I am thinking of those upon whom harsh punishments have been inflicted on the basis of Pentateuchal codes."(4)

The cause of this injurious behavior, according to Wogaman, is poor biblical hermeneutics. He suggests that the first rule of biblical interpretation should be to view the text in its proper context. The proper context "reflects the limitations of the life and culture of the writers. ...But that deeper context is obscured when we fail to acknowledge that Scripture is also a human document expressing limitations as well as profound revelation of the nature and purposes of God."(5)

For Wogaman, a proper understanding of the Bible is what the clergy needs to share with its laity. However, beyond that, the Christian community needs to understand that rigid biblical literalism is an obstruction to some in the church. Wogaman says:

"...because we carefully protect people from the human limitations of our Scripture, we allow the impression to persist that the church is naive about such things. Thus, we create stumbling blocks for people who are thoughtful enough to see the moral and factual errors in those Scriptures for themselves.(6)

According to Wogaman, if Christians are going to truly bear witness to the truth of Scripture, there needs to first be an acknowledgment of the "limitation and error in Scripture."(7) Thus, the clergy can no longer neglect its duty to share the truth about Scripture with the laity. Only then can the church move away from its literalistic captivity.

Others have charged that a high view of Scripture is bibliolatry, or "Bible worship." Rev. Joe Sprague in his critique of the evangelical movement within United Methodism, said that this bibliolatry was simply "another idol which stands in the place of the Holy One."(8) He argued that the words of Scripture are "inspired but human, of eternal value yet time-bound and culturally conditioned."(9) Thus, for Sprague, the church once again needs to beware of an unbridled view of Scripture's inspiration and authority, and instead, understand its human nature.

The limitations of this paper preclude more examples, yet these two illustrations provide an accurate representation of what many in the United Methodist Church believe regarding Scripture. United Methodist liberals acknowledge a tension in Scripture. On one hand it is God's message to humanity. On the other hand, Scripture is limited by virtue of its humanness. Yet, according to the liberal position, Scripture is still an important authority for the Christian community.

C. United Methodist Evangelicalism

Evangelicals are quick to show that officially, the United Methodist Church embraces a high view of Scripture. The United Methodist Book of Discipline(10) clearly reveals the primacy of Scripture. Article V of the "Articles of Religion"(11) states:

"The Holy Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."(12)

Article IV of the "Confession of Faith"(13) is similar in its articulation of Scripture's authority. It explicitly states that the Bible "reveals the Word of God... and is.. the true rule and guide for faith and practice."(14) Furthermore, the theological guidelines stated in the 1992 Book of Discipline also reveal the primary authority of Scripture for United Methodists. It states:

"Scripture is primary, revealing the Word of God 'so far as it is necessary for our salvation.' ...United Methodists share with other Christians the conviction that Scripture is the primary source and criterion for Christian doctrine. ...The biblical authors, illumined by the Holy Spirit bear witness that in Christ the world is reconciled to God."(15)

Thus, it is clear that officially, United Methodists regard Scripture as their primary source and standard of authority.

This has also been articulated by leading voices in the church today. One of the prominent evangelical spokesmen of United Methodism, Bishop Earl G. Hunt, has expressed concern for the direction he believes the denomination is heading. He is convinced that the cause of this wrong direction is the denomination's retreat from a high view of Scripture. He states:

"It is the studied conviction of this writer that many maladies which characterize our denomination in this present day are traceable to the plain, simple, and extremely unfortunate fact that across the years, we have gradually compromised our original understanding of the Bible as God's Word."(16)

Yet, even Bishop Hunt, as he calls the church to return to a high view of Scripture, explicitly disavows the need to affirm Scripture's inerrancy. He suggests that "There must be a conscious, unapologetic adoption of a high doctrine of the Bible. This does not mean belief in Biblical inerrancy..."(17)

It is evident from the literature in the evangelical camp, that the Church needs to embrace Scripture as its primary authority. Their argument asserts that because Scripture is the inspired Word of God, and therefore God's self-disclosure to his creation, it logically follows that the Bible should be the final and authoritative word for the Church.

III. Responses

A. A Response to United Methodist Liberalism

1. Strengths

The first helpful contribution to the discussion of Scripture's authority by the liberal position is its insistence that the church-at-large, and specifically the laity, understand that the Bible was written in time and space history. There is too little recognition, according to this view, of the human contribution of Holy Scripture. Many fear that recognizing human participation automatically casts a pall over the integrity and reliability of Scripture. This contribution to the debate reminds the church that the Bible was written in time and space by real people in real cultural, geographical and historical settings. Therefore, Scripture's humanness should be remembered when reading and interpreting the Bible.

Second, the liberal position helps the church to remember that not all of Scripture is didactic and historical narrative. In addition to those two literary forms, there is poetry, wisdom and apocalyptic literature just to name a few. Bearing this in mind, the church should beware of an unbridled "literalistic" interpretation when reading Scripture. The fact that there are many different literary forms in Scripture is important for the reader to recall as he or she seeks to understand the Bible.

Finally, this position prompts Christians to acknowledge that for all that the Bible is, the Bible is not God. If one does not move beyond the pages of Scripture to the One about whom Scripture speaks, the reader is no closer to the relationship that God desires. Mere knowledge of and reverence for the Bible should not be equated with intimacy with and love for God Himself. Thus, the liberal position aids the Christian community by emphasizing these three areas in the debate.

2. Weaknesses

However, for all of these contributions, there is much to criticize in the liberal view of Scripture. First, though Wogaman and others often abstain from using the word "inerrancy," they attack the literal interpretation of Scripture. By using broad and undefined phrases like "literalistic interpretation" they hope that the doctrine of inerrancy will be guilty by association. The first and perhaps easiest response to this attack is to simply say that in no piece of literature was there found a clear definition of what was meant by "literalism," only vague examples. Thus, this attack is merely the assaulting of a straw-man. However, there is much that can be said in defense of a proper understanding of the literal interpretation of Scripture. In The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, Article XVIII makes clear what is meant by the "literal interpretation" of Scripture. It says:

"We affirm that the text of Scripture is to be interpreted by grammatico-historical exegesis, taking account of its literary forms and devices, and that Scripture is to interpret Scripture. We deny the legitimacy of any treatment of the text or quest for sources lying behind it that leads to relativizing, dehistoricizing, or discounting its teaching, or rejecting its claims to authorship."(18)

In other words, says R.C. Sproul, "to interpret the Bible literally is to interpret it as literature. That is, the natural meaning of a passage is to be interpreted according to the normal rules of grammar, speech, syntax and context."(19) This understanding of interpreting Scripture is not a recent invention. Indeed, the Reformers accented it. Yet, the liberal criticism of a "literalistic" interpretation of Scripture never responds to this. Instead, they attack what must be considered a poor caricature of "fundamentalist" biblical hermeneutics. Thus, if they would seriously consider what has been written about biblical interpretation by inerrantists, they would be obliged to recoil from their charges.

Second, it is assumed that because of the human contribution to the authorship of Scripture, the Bible is therefore culturally conditioned, time-bound, limited, and prone to error. In fact, Sprague attempts to make the case that Scripture, though inspired, is still human and therefore prone to these limitations and errors. One might first ask what he means by "inspiration." The typical response to an inerrantist appears to be to charge him with a mechanical or dictation view of inspiration. Yet, though that charge is asserted, it is never proven. In fact, there is little effort exhibited to even define terms such as "rigid biblical literalism." Arthur Maynard explicitly suggests that anyone who interprets the Bible literally must therefore be categorized as someone who believes that the Bible was dictated by God.(20) This is a most unfortunate inclusion. I would agree with B.B. Warfield that "it ought to be unnecessary to protect again against the habit of representing the advocates of verbal inspiration as teaching that the mode of inspiration was by dictation."(21) The fact is, with very few exceptions, there is no instance where a form of the dictation theory even appears in evangelical literature. If it even exists today, it certainly is a minority report. Once again, the respected standard for the doctrine of inerrancy, The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, succinctly and explicitly states the relationship between Scripture and the human authors. It says in Article VIII:

"We affirm that God in His work of inspiration utilized the distinctive personalities and literary styles of the writers whom He had chosen and prepared. We deny that God, in causing these writers to use the very words that He chose, overrode their personalities."(22)

Furthermore, it is a false assumption to assert a priori that the humanness of Scripture therefore makes it a fallible and erroneous document. The Chicago Statement again makes clear that "with the aid of the divine inspiration and the superintendence of the Holy Spirit in the giving of sacred Scripture, the writings of the Bible are free from the normal tendencies and propensities of fallen men to distort the truth."(23) If God did not communicate to humanity through human language, how else would we know him? Jerry Walls suggests that "the United Methodist Church must decide whether or not it believes God has revealed himself to us. If we believe he has, there is no evading the further claim that we know the essential truth God intended to reveal. ...Indeed, if we do not know the essential content of God's revelation, then the very claim that God has revealed himself is undermined."(24) God created humans as creatures with the capacity to communicate through human language. Is it an outlandish idea to suppose that God could also communicate to his creation without error through the use of that same language? Calvin suggests:

"...Who, even of slight intelligence, does not understand that, as nurses commonly do with infants, God is wont in a measure to 'lisp' in speaking to us? Thus such forms of speaking do not so much express clearly what God is like as to accommodate the knowledge of him to our capacity. To do this he must descend far beneath his loftiness."(25)

Thus, God was able to communicate or 'lisp' to humanity through the use of human language. Moreover, in saying that Jesus of Nazareth was fully human, does one have to assume he was errant by virtue of his humanity? To speak of Scripture being inspired by God, yet limited and prone to error because of its human authorship is an incoherent and inconsistent notion.

Finally, the liberal view seems to suggest that because Scripture was written at a certain time, by certain people, in a certain situation, its authority is not absolute nor can it transcend the centuries to our day. Addressing this view of biblical interpretation, United Methodist scholar, Victor Furnish, says:

"[Scripture] ...documents how our mothers and fathers in faith sought to discern and do what love required within the particularities of their various times, places, and circumstances. It is therefore not surprising that the specific laws and moral counsels of the Bible are diverse, often in tension with one another, sometimes even contradictory."(26)

Furnish further elaborates his understanding of biblical interpretation and moral application by suggesting that a "proper biblical interpretation" explains that the ancient thinkers, which includes those who wrote the books of the Bible, were limited in their understanding concerning ethical issues. Moreover, as people living in a particular historical, geographical and cultural context, these biblical writers merely reflected the "times" in which they lived.

The obvious response to this is to assert that if Scripture is not understood to be the self-revealed, transcendent Word of God, then it becomes the musings of an ancient people who attempted to make sense out of their world based on the limited amount of wisdom and knowledge at their disposal. Even if it is granted that God is revealed in these writings, the most this position can assert is that Scripture is a fallible instruction guide giving us glimpses into what these ancient writers believed to be the case about God. Greg Bahnsen asks:

"...Will Scripture be the Christian's normative guide or must it yield that position of authority over ethics to modern scholarship, personal experience, natural reason, new mystical insights, public opinion, or some other standard?"(27)

For an ethic to be meaningful it must be normative. Otherwise it does nothing but describe what is in fact occurring. It should be obvious that there is nothing inherently binding in one human telling another human how to behave. There is nothing normative nor transcendent in an autonomous human ethic. History has shown how this type of ethical system quickly disintegrates into moral relativism. Instead,

"It is time to recognize the depths of sin to which the liberal and humanistic attitude toward Scripture is prone. When revealed theology is reduced to an autonomous study of man, when biblical authority is replaced by an unstable human wisdom, when behavior is directed by the descriptions of social science instead of the prescriptions of God's Word, then we have returned to the situation prevailing at the time of the Book of Judges: every man will do what is right in his own eyes."(28)

Instead, historic Christianity has always asserted that its ethic is transcendentally revealed. "Its source is a special Divine disclosure to man. In contrast with the ethics of human insight and speculative genius, Christian ethics is the ethic of revealed religion."(29) In fact, Carl Henry suggests that any ethical position that does not take into consideration God's revelation in and through Scripture, cannot "represent itself as being genuinely Christian in character and composition."(30)

Thus, the liberal position is inadequate. In spite of its positive contributions to the debate over the doctrine of Scripture, it cannot provide a satisfactory basis on which to speak of Scripture as being genuinely authoritative.

B. A Response to United Methodist Evangelicalism

1. Strength

The evangelical view of Scripture provides a firm foundation on which to ground the authority for the Church. Evangelicals have convincingly showed that this authority is rooted in the inspiration of Scripture. They have demonstrated that only an inspired, transcendent and trustworthy word from God is worthy enough to be the Church's authority for faith and practice.

2. Weaknesses

In spite of the affirmation of Scripture's absolute authority, contemporary evangelical

United Methodists have conspicuously avoided the doctrine of inerrancy. They speak blithely about the inspiration and authority of Scripture, yet disavow the need to affirm its inerrancy. It is difficult to understand this disassociation with inerrancy for three reasons. First of all, biblical study indicates that an implicit, if not explicit understanding of inerrancy is what Scripture claims for itself. Second, historical study reveals that the doctrine of inerrancy has been a vital part of the Christian Church from the beginning to the present day. Third, there has been great pains and sophistication to express explicitly what inerrancy does and does not mean. Therefore, the retreat from inerrancy is puzzling. The remaining part of this section will briefly, but convincingly reveal the truth of these three assertions.

a.) The Testimony of Scripture

Like any Christian doctrine, the doctrine of Scripture must first be supported by the witness of Scripture. John Frame rightly observes, "the self-witness of Scripture has been for centuries the cornerstone of the orthodox Christian argument for biblical authority."(31) Even a cursory examination of Scripture reveals the high view it has of itself. The New Testament repeatedly acknowledges God's Spirit as the author of the Old Testament (Mt. 26:54; 5:18; Lk. 24:26,44; 10:26; Mk. 12:10,24; 7:9,13). Additionally, the New Testament writers assumed the words of Christ, as well as their own, would also have a binding authority (1 Thess. 4:15; Gal. 6:2; 1 Cor. 7:10-25; Acts 20:35; 2 Thess. 2:15; 2 Cor. 2:9; 7:15). The classical argument for the orthodox Christian position suggests that both the Old and New Testaments had such authority because they were, in fact, the very inspired words of God. Thomas Oden succinctly explains the argument for Scripture's inspiration. He writes:

"The Paraclete is the Spirit of truth who brings Christ's words to reliable remembrance and bears witness to him. ...God the Spirit enabled the revelation that is faithfully remembered in the form of canonical Scripture. The list or canon of scriptural texts was repeatedly received consensually as God the Spirit's own address, who bestowed upon the writers the gift of rightly remembering the events through which God became revealed. In their original form and language, prior to any possibility of copyist errors or glossings, the canonical scriptures, according to ecumenical teaching, constituted the address of God to humanity enabled by the Holy Spirit working through attentive, reliable attestors."(32)

Thus, this reliable attestation enabled by the Holy Spirit amounts to "the plenary inspiration of Scripture; that is, inspiration extends to the writings in their totality, in the whole and in the parts."(33) Carl Henry adds that "Warfield insists that the Bible not only teaches the divine origin and full inspiration of Scripture but also explicitly teaches the doctrine of verbal inerrancy, thus disallowing the possibility of error in the text of Scripture"(34) Consequently, the overwhelming testimony of Scripture is that it is the reliable, inspired, and therefore, inerrant Word of God.

b.) The Testimony of Christian History

The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy affirms in Article XVI that "the doctrine of inerrancy has been integral to the church's faith throughout its history. [Furthermore, it denies] that inerrancy is a doctrine invented by scholastic Protestantism, or is a reactionary position postulated in response to negative higher criticism."(35) Sproul, in his commentary on this article, convincingly argues that the doctrine of inerrancy has been "taught, embraced and espoused by men such as St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, and a host of Christian scholars and teachers throughout the history of the church."(36) The evidence of this distinguished list of adherents to inerrancy is overwhelming, however, for the purpose of this paper, only John Wesley will be highlighted as a historical proponent of inerrancy.

Both United Methodist liberals and evangelicals need only look in their own historical backyard to see that their founder, John Wesley, was committed to inerrancy. Wesley's high view of Scripture is generally agreed to by most within the Church, liberal or evangelical. Discussing Wesley's view of Scripture, Joel Green says, "The authority of Scripture can logically be divided into two functions, authority as source of truth and as norm for truth. Wesley sees the Bible as both."(37) Bishop Earl Hunt quotes Wesley:

"I want to know one thing, the way to Heaven: how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way; for this very end He came from Heaven. He hath written it down in a book! O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me."(38)

It is clear that Wesley was committed to sola Scriptura. This was a necessary part of what he deemed the "necessary things" that were essential for Methodists.

Although Wesley plainly had a high regard for Scripture, did he believe in the inerrancy of Scripture? Wesley clearly alludes to Scripture's inerrancy by suggesting:

"This is what we now style the Holy Scripture: this is that word of God which remaineth for ever: of which, though heaven and earth pass away, one jot or tittle shall not pass away. The Scripture therefore of the Old and New Testament, is worthy of God; and all things together are one entire body, wherein is no defect, no excess."(39)

Wilber Dayton insinuates that it is wishful thinking to assert that Wesley did not believe in the infallibility of Scripture. Even those opposed to inerrancy admit that Wesley held some view of inerrancy.(40) Colin Williams begrudgingly quotes Wesley as saying, "If there be any mistakes in the Bible, there may as well be a thousand."(41) Though there is speculation as to what Wesley would say about inerrancy today, Dayton says, "if one takes Wesley as meaning what he says and as saying in clear and sober terms what he means, there can be no doubt that he would affirm the complete infallibility and inerrancy of the Scriptures. And if anyone has ever earned credibility for his statements, certainly Wesley has by his long and consistent life and by his zealous proclamation of the Word."(42)

c.) Contemporary Considerations

What the literature within United Methodism reveals is that there is a poor understanding of the doctrine of inerrancy. United Methodist evangelicals have avoided the logical conclusion of Scripture's and Wesley's view of inspiration, which is inerrancy. There has been an abundance of sophisticated and scholarly work to define inerrancy by those who affirm the doctrine. The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy has perhaps the best-known definition for inerrancy. The statement carefully affirms and denies what is meant by the term "inerrancy." It says in Article IX:

"We affirm that inspiration, though not conferring omniscience, guaranteed true and trustworthy utterance on all matters of which the biblical authors were moved to speak and write. We deny that the finitude or fallenness of these writers, by necessity or otherwise, introduced distortion or falsehood into God's Word."(43)

Throughout the Chicago Statement there is an abundance of affirmations and denials communicating what is and is not meant by inerrancy. Yet this effort has apparently been largely ignored by opponents of the doctrine. What little there has been said against the

doctrine of inerrancy has been either inaccurate or has been anticipated and answered in the Chicago Statement. Therefore, one is lead to conclude that the doctrine of inerrancy has not been repudiated or ignored because it was soundly defeated by academic argumentation. Instead, the doctrine of inerrancy has been avoided by liberals because of their theological commitments and by evangelicals because of ignorance and perhaps fear of being labeled a fundamentalist. This can best be summarized by the old saying that says "a good stigma can defeat a good dogma anytime."

IV. Conclusion

Why is the doctrine of inerrancy important? Why should United Methodism embrace inerrancy as its foundation for Scripture's authority. Millard Erickson correctly observes that if the Bible claims to be inspired by God, then certain implications follow. He says:

"If God is omniscient, he must know all things. He cannot be ignorant of or in error on any matter. Further, if he is omnipotent, he is able to so affect the biblical author's writing that nothing erroneous enters into the final product. And being a truthful or veracious being, he will certainly desire to utilize these abilities in such a way that man will not be misled by the Scriptures. Thus, our view of inspiration logically entails the inerrancy of the Bible."(44)

Scripture is ultimately authoritative because it is inerrant. Authority has to do with the right to impose obligations. God, as the "author" of the universe, has the right to impose any obligation he desires. Any ultimate authority less than God is an idol. However, humanity could not know God and what he required were he to have remained silent. However, the Christian faith has always believed that God has revealed himself to his creation. To say that God has revealed himself to his creation is to confess that his revelation was successfully given and received. Though the recipients of such a revelation are by no means inerrant, surely the Revealer is. Therefore, United Methodism must claim that Scripture alone is the Church's final authority. To affirm this is to do more than declare allegiance to an amorphous doctrine of inspiration. Instead, the authority of Scripture can only be truly sustained if is grounded in the sovereign hand of the Lord who continues to exercise his authority over his Church through his inerrant Word.

1. At the time this paper was written, I had not yet read Paul Mickey's treatment on The Junaluska Affirmation." He discusses the use of the term "accurate" instead of "inerrant." And though I still contend that "inerrancy" is a perfectly good word, I am grateful to see a United Methodist responding to the idea of inerrancy in a positive way. For though he does not prefer to use the word "inerrant," Mickey's use and description of the word "accurate" comes very close to the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy's description of what is meant by the word "inerrancy."

2. For this paper, the term "Liberalism," or any of its various renderings, is not being used as a pejorative term. It is only being used for descriptive purposes.

3. Once again, the word "evangelicalism" is being used only as a descriptive term.

4. J. Philip Wogaman, "It's Time For You To Tell The Truth" Circuit Rider, (April 1994), p.4.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid. p.5.

7. Ibid.

8. James V. Heidinger, II, "How United Methodists Do Theology" Good News (July/August 1992), p. 7.

9. Ibid.

10. The Book of Discipline contains United Methodism's doctrinal standards, bylaws for all parts of the church, historical material, and it defines the organization of the church.

11. The "Articles of Religion" in United Methodism represent John Wesley's shortened version of the "Articles of Religion" of the Anglican Church.

12. The United Methodist 1992 Book of Discipline, p. 92.

13. When The Methodist Church merged with The Evangelical United Brethren Church, the "Confession of Faith" was added as a doctrinal standard for United Methodism.

14. The United Methodist 1992 Book of Discipline, p. 66.

15. Ibid. Pp. 76-77.

16. Earl G. Hunt, Jr., "John Wesley for Today" Good News (May/June 1993), p. 26.

17. Earl G. Hunt, Jr., "Vision for Renewal" Good News (March/April 1992), p. 25.

18. R.C. Sproul, Explaining Inerrancy (Orlando: Ligonier Ministries), p. 53.

19. R.C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press), pp. 48-49.

20. Arthur H. Maynard, "The Jesus Seminar: Friend or Foe?," Circuit Rider (November 1989), p. 11.

21. B.B. Warfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, (Philadelphia: The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company), p. 173 n. 9.

22. R.C. Sproul, Explaining Inerrancy, (Orlando: Ligonier Ministries), p.27.

23. Ibid. p.18.

24. Donald E. Messer and William J. Abraham, eds., Unity, Liberty and Charity (Nashville: Abingdon Press), pp. 147-148.

25. John T. McNeill, ed., Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion: 2 Volumes (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press), Volume 1, p. 121.

26. Victor Paul Furnish, "Understanding Homosexuality in the Bible's Cultural Particularity" Circuit Rider (December-January 1991), p.10.

27. Greg L. Bahnsen, Homosexuality: A Biblical View (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House), p. 14.

28. Bahnsen, p. 15.

29. Carl F.H. Henry, Christian Personal Ethics (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.), p.188.

30. Ibid.

31. John Warwick Montgomery, ed., God's Inerrant Word: An International Symposium on the Trustworthiness of Scripture (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers), p.178.

32. Thomas C. Oden, Life In The Spirit: Systematic Theology: Volume Three (San Francisco: Harper Collins), pp. 67-68.

33. Carl F.H. Henry, God, Revelation and Authority: Six Volumes (Waco: Word Books, Publisher), Volume 4, p.162.

34. Ibid. p. 163.

35. R.C. Sproul, Explaining Inerrancy, (Orlando: Ligonier Ministries), p. 51.

36. Ibid. p. 52.

37. Scott Jones, "John Wesley on the Authority and Interpretation of Scripture"Catalyst (Spring 1992),p. 2.

38. Earl G. Hunt, Jr., "John Wesley for Today" Good News (May/June 1993), p. 27.

39. Robert W. Burtner and Robert E. Chiles, eds., A Compend of Wesley's Theology (New York: Abingdon Press), pp. 18-19.

40. Randy L. Maddox, Responsible Grace: John Wesley's Practical Theology (Nashville: Kingswood Books), p. 269.

41. Williams, Colin W., John Wesley's Theology Today (Nashville: Abingdon Press), p. 26.

42. John Hannah, ed., Inerrancy and The Church (Chicago: Moody Press), p. 229.

43. R.C. Sproul, Explaining Inerrancy, (Orlando: Ligonier Ministries), p. 29.

44. Ibid. p. 225.

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