I’m wondering if one must hold to the doctrine of inerrancy in order to hold a high view of Scripture? What exactly does a high view of Scripture entail? Is belief in the inspiration of Scripture enough to place one’s view in the high category? Does one have to hold a somewhat Docetic view of Scripture (i.e. all God, no man involved) to have a high view of Scripture? Would a simple belief in the accuracy of Scripture constitute a high view?
I’m not sure that I know the answers to these questions, but if asked I would affirm holding a high view of Scripture. I personally do not believe in the doctrine of inerrancy (especially as defined in the Chicago Statement) but I do hold to the truthfulness of Scripture. I believe that the Biblical writers accurately recorded things to the best of their knowledge and in the context of their culture. This means that I don’t sweat the small stuff like seeming ignorance concerning modern scientific discoveries — these writers would not have been knowledgable of certain issues (e.g. cosmology) and even if they were I doubt they would have cared much.
Likewise, I don’t believe that God was the only one active in the process of producing Scripture. I believe that the Bible is a very human book in as much as it is a very divine book (or rather anthology). Yes the Holy Spirit moved upon the authors and caused them to produce the books we call Scripture, but they produced them in their languages, in light of their cultures, with their words, expressing their emotions, etc. For the most part I am highly skeptical of any claim that Biblical writers knew what they were writing was inspired by God to begin with (apart from the obvious ‘thus saith the Lord’ passages, but even then the authors were simply recording what prophets said — this doesn’t necessitate that they knew what they were writing was God-breathed).
I believe that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. I don’t believe that the answers to all of life’s questions are found in the Bible, although I do believe all the answers to life’s most important questions are found therein. I don’t believe that Scripture is sufficient to interpret Scripture for the modern reader. I believe that this was true for the ancient reader because they had a sufficient familiarity with the context in which these things were written. We on the other hand have to engage in historical study, sociological study, linguistic study, etc. in order to properly interpret what the ancients simply took for granted.
I believe that I can say that I hold a high view of Scripture because I do believe that it is a record of God’s self revelation to mankind but certainly not the only revelation to mankind — ultimately, God revealed himself in the Incarnate Son and Scripture records this glorious truth.
What do you think? What is necessary to hold a high view of Scripture?