…the idea that Scripture is without error isn’t something fundamentalists cooked up in a lab a century ago. Irenaeus, in Against Heresies, lays out a very explicit inerrancy-like view of Scripture when battling the Gnostics who taught the errancy of Scripture.
The following is a letter my dad wrote several years before his death, which he left in his desk, where he knew we would find it.
People give all types of reasons for why they no longer attend church. Most of those given mask the real reasons someone becomes a former church member? It’s the same motivations for virtually every other human decision: pain and pleasure.
If you associate church with pain or church with interfering with your pleasure, you probably won’t go. Those are the real reasons why you don’t go to church, but they still shouldn’t be what keeps you out. Here’s why.
In the book of Acts, it’s hard to miss the fact that the apostles gave their attention “to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). But what does this actually mean? Up to this point in Acts, there hasn’t been that much praying (so, for example, it isn’t even completely clear whether 2:42 means ‘they prayed’ or ‘they kept going to the temple’). But in Acts 4:24-30 we see that when the church prays, it prays for the preaching of the apostles. And although I can’t prove it, I suspect that from this point on in Acts praying for the impact of the apostles’ preaching is considered a complete no-brainer.
The difference between wreckage and seeds though, is that one falls apart and produces nothing, and one falls apart and produces everything. And it is important to remember the difference and to keep on remembering it.