Tag Archives: biblical interpretation

Henry Morris and the Case of the Missing Signature

Henry M. Morris (1918-2006). Along with Grace Theological Seminary's John C. Whitcomb, this engineer was one of the fathers of the contemporary Young Earth Creationist movement.

Henry M. Morris (1918-2006). Along with Grace Theological Seminary’s John C. Whitcomb, this engineer was one of the pioneers of the contemporary Young Earth Creationist movement and a leading figure in the inerrancy crisis of the 1970s and early 1980s.

The pen lay undisturbed on the table. The document needed one more signature. Others had scribed their name in ink. But Dr. Henry Morris had left the room. The hope for having a unified front in defense of the inerrancy of the Bible were dashed at that moment.

The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) had accomplished so much. In 1977, this group of Bible scholars and teachers had drafted a document affirming a set of principles that sought to expound on the meaning of Biblical inspiration and authority. Christian leaders from across the widest denominational spectrum had agreed to put aside their relative doctrinal differences to stand on what Francis Schaeffer had understood to be the “watershed of the evangelical world“. Against the tide of a creeping liberalism in the churches that would compromise God’s Truth, these leaders had pinned their hopes on the banner of inerrancy to unite the evangelical church.

But it was now 1982, and despite how well things had gone, the unique opportunity for a consensus was gone. How did we get here, and what went wrong?
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Inerrancy Summits and the Valleys of Interpretation

The saddle between Grays and Torreys Peaks in Colorado.

The saddle between Grays and Torreys Peaks in Colorado. I am the guy in the red jacket.

I love hiking in the Colorado Rockies. In 2006, a buddy of mine and I hiked two of Colorado’s famous “fourteeners,” mountains that rise above 14,000 feet, in one day. In the photo, I am walking up from the saddle connecting these two huge peaks, with Grays Peak to my back and the photo being taken from a few hundred feet below the summit of Torreys Peak. I love this picture because it eerily captures the pure desolation at such heights, with the clouds just crossing this “valley” between the two mountain summits. If you click on the photo for more detail, you can barely make out the dozens of other climbers that day as they made their way between these beautiful peaks.

This camera shot fits well with the topic at hand, the relationship between inerrancy “summits” and the “valleys” of biblical interpretation.
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