Monday, December 11, 2006

The Boar's Head Poll

The Boar’s Head Tavern, which is really more like a country club than a Tavern (no non-members, no brawls, etc.), has recently put up a poll covering several issues. The Boar’s Head is place that includes many members that blog elsewhere highlighted by the Internet Monk, who started the poll. A few others around the blogosphere have joined in like Joel Garver and Kevin Johnson. It is an interesting, but very disturbing poll. It shows a wide variety of people attend the Boar’s Head with the majority of them favoring Credo-baptism, but it is neither the sacraments nor their disagreements I wish to highlight. Nor are their disagreements particularly disturbing. The few places where they agree shocked me. Besides the obvious massive agreement to keep comments closed, they only overwhelmingly agreed on two other subjects.
First, only two members of the blog thought Young Earth Creationism was valid. Two out of at least 23. That is less than 10% of the people held to a Young Earth view. Not only that, but also many of them held a Young Earth view in a great deal of contempt. One mentioning that he had "outgrown the T-shirt", and another making sure we all knew that Young Earth and the science behind it "dishonors the creator". I have to admit this took me by surprise. With evolution faltering in the secular world and science favoring William Paley as much as it favors Charles Darwin, I fail to see a reason for such venom. Even if one wants to snub ‘Creation Science’ as a mistake for some reason (some of it is bad, but not all), it still seems unwarranted to doubt the Biblical data. Archbishop Ussher would be disappointed his chronology is rejected, but beyond Rev. Ussher’s timeframe, biblical reasoning for Day-Age or Framework is hard to find. The plain and simple reading is literal days, a fact many Day-Age and framework people admit. I would be very interesting in discovering exactly what provokes such an Old Earth view in the gang at the Boar’s Head.
Second, not a single member of the Boar’s Head agreed with Cessationism, the idea that the miraculous gifts are not longer around. It is true that some admitted to practically being a cessationist, but they still thought the Bible did not end the gifts. One did admit he thought the theory of cessationism was fine, but failed in practice, whatever that means. Again some venom was spewed forth here as well. One wonders if they believe that the Bible is complete? If prophecy is still around, then how can one close the Bible? A question I would like to see them answer.
The final and most disturbing point is one that seems to tie the first points together. Ten out of twenty three people denied the inerrancy of the Bible. Only eleven affirmed with two admitting they did not know. Thus, the majority of the people answering the poll did not affirm the fact that the Bible did not contain errors. Many would put forth the Bible was infallible, but would not say that it was inerrant. This fact not only blows the mind, but also makes one wonder if this is a new sensation sweeping through Christianity. Of course a Bible with errors makes it easier to reject creationism and necessitates continuing revelation (since previous revelation is full of errors). Yet once the door of the Bible is opened to error, what can be left for the Christian to hold? Every truth of the Bible must be challenged, and what will be the final arbiter of truth? Some of the polled claimed that inerrancy missed the point because the point of the Bible was Jesus Christ. Yet, how can one know anything for sure about Jesus if the Bible that reveals him is wrong often or even from time to time. Is the Virgin Birth wrong? Is Jesus both God and man, or is that wrong? What about the Trinity? All such doctrines are attacked by secularists and non-believers as much as the Young Earth doctrine, why not jettison those as well? And if not, why not? How can you know what is right and what is wrong in the Bible? It is true that no one at the Tavern is openly arguing for errors, but they seem to be advocating the idea that they could exist since God is not the ‘author’ of Scripture, but rather the ‘director’. The Boar’s Head is a place where many of differing stripes gather to talk and discuss things. However, this development of the theology of the Boar’s Head should put the Church on notice. We cannot take for granted the fact that those in the pew believe the Bible is without error, and the only source for truth. There is an obvious growing movement within the church itself against inerrancy.


Andrew Duggan said...

Disturbing, yes, but are you really that surprised? If I were a betting man, I'd bet you're more disappointed than surprised.

Lee said...

Well, I am disappointed. I have no idea where this attack on inerrancy began, and rejecting it because it is an 'enlightenment' word. They have responded to the post and they seem to think inerrancy is a 'straightjacket'. I did not think it that hard a concept. Does the Bible contain errors? If you answer no, the you believe the bible is inerrant or 'without errors.' From their reactions you would think I was out of step with the historic church and that rejecting inerrancy was helpful, but yet not actually admitting to errors.

Disappointed barely begins to cover it.

Matt Powell said...

Really, to be honest, I think the denial of inerrancy number ought to be much higher- approximately equal to those who deny YEC.