Roger Hutchinson’s latest defense of his belief in inerrancy

I was looking forward to Roger Hutchinson’s latest defense of his belief in inerrancy, and was rather disappointed to see him degrade from mere sophistry, evasion, and ad hominem attacks, to including parody as well. Three paragraphs into the article I stopped to make sure that the author was indeed the inerrantist Hutchinson: the assertions he makes are identical to the criticisms skeptics make of inerrantists. This appears to be a move of desperation on his part.

He states that skeptics "... denigrate the Bible when they cannot twist the Bible to say what they want." Er, that is exactly what skeptics do NOT do. We assert that the Bible’s authors mean EXACTLY WHAT THEY WROTE: it is the inerrantists who assert otherwise, and go through energetic gyrations to make the Bible’s errors and self-contradictions mean what they do not. I have been reading TSR since early 1994, and I cannot recall any instance where skeptics insisted the Bible meant something other than what it says: indeed, skepticism of the Bible is predicated upon taking the Bible exactly as it is written. I’m rather surprised that Hutchinson has not realized this yet. Has he not been paying attention?

In the forth and fifth paragraph we see more of the same: Hutchinson takes valid criticisms made by skeptics and asserts that the skeptics are guilty of those actions. This reminds me of sophomoric elementary school yard taunts of "I know you are but what am I?" That his parody does not apply to the skeptics is not something he concerns himself with; his chief motive appears to be a lack of anything better to say.

The rest of his article involves questions of "blame" about many social problems that have nothing to do with Biblical errancy, so I am at a loss to understand why Hutchinson wasted so much valuable space that he could have used to convince us that the Bible is inerrant. The issue is inerrancy, not what Clinton does when his zipper is down. If one wishes to explore the religious basis for racism, tribalism, authoritarianism, intolerance, and group violence, I suggest they read the material available by Professor Bruce Hunsberger of the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada (see Prometheus Books). In my opinion (and the data tends to show that opinion is valid), the greater the religious convictions one holds, the LESS moral and ethical the individual.

Those who love God the most tend to love their fellow human beings the least. What Jesus is said to have taught and what Christians do is often diametrically opposite: love one’s enemies; bless those who curse you; if someone ask for your purse, give him also the cloak from off your back. I am a neo-Pagan minister with many Christian friends. When they question my Paganism, I ask them in return: Why should I accept the Christian teachings when large numbers of Christians refuse to follow them?

David Rice



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