The Debate Over Inerrancy: Comparing B.B. Warfield and Harold Lindsell – Part 8: The Battles – Conclusion

If you are an Evangelical Christian (or you know any) then you know how divisive the debate over the inerrancy of scripture can be. However you might not know that every generation this battle comes up over and over again. In this blog series we will be taking a look at two iterations of this debate, then we will be comparing them. Hopefully there is something to learn from the past…..

Today we close out this series by looking at what we can learn from these two men’s stories.



            Although the issue of inerrancy still remains an important topic for many Christians today, it is no longer a hot button issue in the same way it used to be, so what can we learn from debates that took place over 100 years ago and over fifty years ago? The most important thing we should learn from these debates is that there will always be issues that divide the church, but as Christians we must not resort to unchristian ways of conducting these debates. Warfield displayed courtesy and even charity when dealing with his opponents who were also Christians. Lindsell on the other hand made out his opponents to be an evil force, that like cancer needed to be eradicated.[1]  Both were dealing with other Christians, one treated his opponents like brothers the other treated them like enemies. Perhaps the greatest lesson that we should draw from the history of the debate over inerrancy is that in debates we must remember that Scripture tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another.”[2]  If we walk in the Spirit and display the fruit of the Spirit perhaps even when there is division with the Church, we can bear witness to the world that God’s grace has the power to transform even broken sinners like us.

[1] Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, 185.

[2] Galatians 5:22-23


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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