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In "Building Bridges," a Tapestry of Faith program
Participants explore how they might talk with people who believe the Bible is inerrant.
Say, in these or your own words:
One feature of Evangelical faith is a belief that the Bible is the word of God and literally true—not stories and history witnessed, imagined, and recorded by different people over hundreds of years. Many Evangelicals believe the Bible is inerrant—that is, without error—and contains all the guidance needed for life. This belief is a cornerstone of Christian fundamentalism.
Ask: "What benefits can you see in accepting the inerrancy of the Bible? What basic needs might be addressed if you believe the Bible is literal truth?
Record their ideas on newsprint. If no one offers these points, include:
Note that Evangelicals will fiercely defend their belief in the inerrant Bible. Say, in these words, or your own:
Trying to convince a biblical literalist that the Bible is flawed is not constructive. They have been challenged before. For every issue you can raise, an Evangelical believer will have an answer satisfying to them, but probably not to you. If you wish to respectfully engage in a conversation with a biblical literalist to learn their perspective, let's talk about where your conversation may lead.
Write on newsprint the primary areas in which challenges to biblical inerrancy are typically made, giving examples as you go:
Invite the youth to suggest how a believer in biblical inerrancy might respond to each of these challenges. Prompt, as needed:
Share with participants the following statement:
If one starts with the foundational belief that the Bible is inerrant and that it is the will of God, with some creative ingenuity [these] conflicts can almost always be harmonized. (Ontario Consultants, cited on the Religious Tolerance website)
How does this statement strike the youth?
Invite the group to examine the idea of inerrancy by looking at biblical text. Distribute Bibles and have youth look up these passages, in the order given:
Ask for reactions:
Invite youth to find, in Christian scripture, II Timothy 3:16-17: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God ... " Have a volunteer read the text aloud. Ask:
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Last updated on Tuesday, December 6, 2011.
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