05 November 2009

Inerrant Religion

To provide a sense of certainty, the Catholics argued that the Church - most simply represented in the office of the pope - was inerrant and the ultimate source of authority. The Protestants scoffed at this obviously ludicrous claim and pointed instead to the Bible as the source of inerrant truth.

As it turns out, they were wrong. There is nothing inerrant. Typos, errors of judgment, muddled ideas and flat out mistakes and contradictions populate the mouths of popes and the pages of the Bible. The point is not certainty but wonder - not ultimate authority but what inspires - not the absence of mistakes but the courage to make them. Respect for the other would seem to include respect for the other interpretation, the other viewpoint, the other's convictions.

Maybe the humility and caution that comes from an awareness that I might be wrong is what allows anything approximating love for others - particularly if love includes showing something more than token respect for, and listening to, the other.

1 comment:

Lifehiker said...

You mean that no person or book has the "truth", the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Hello, brother.