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On the surface, some dismiss biblical inerrancy as merely an intellectual issue. But, like most things, the surface can be misleading. Beneath the inerrancy debates -- including the intense controversy within the Southern Baptist Convention during the 1980s -- lies a moral battle: the authority of Scripture itself versus the authority of its reader.
In a panel discussion concerned with "Revisiting Inerrancy" at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bruce Ware, a professor at Southern who attended Fuller Seminary during the height of the inerrancy debates in the mid-20th century, explained the conflict of authority.
"An inerrantist really has two fundamental questions when they read and interpret the Bible: First is, 'What does the Bible mean by what it says?' and second, 'What does it mean to my life?'" he said Sept. 27. "But if you deny inerrancy, you've got a middle question between those two...