How do you reconcile two seemingly contradictory concepts? For example, how can we claim we believe the Bible is free from error when it was written by fallible men?
As Roman Catholic theologian Bruce Vawter writes, "A human literature containing no error would indeed be a contradiction in terms, since nothing is more human that to err" (Biblical Inspiration, Philadelphia, Westminster 1972).
As Wesleyans we steadfastly maintain that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Is that a defensible position? How can we reconcile these perceived inconsistencies?
Let's think about that for a few moments.
My washing machine was made by imperfect men, but when I follow the manufacturer's instructions and push the right buttons it works perfectly.
Jet aircraft are built by fallible men and 99% of them fly millions of air miles and carry hundreds of thousands of passengers with no malfunctions.
Imperfect men are capable of creating machines that operate perfectly because they faithfully follow specifications and instructions that have been meticulously designed. Perfect plans followed perfectly can take men's imperfections out of play.
An imperfect man and an imperfect woman can produce a perfect baby.
Consider this: The testimony of Scripture is clear. God used fallible men to receive and record His infallible Word so that it would reach us, correct and without error. Sounds difficult? With our God it's not. As He said (Jeremiah 32:27, NASB), "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?"
The Bible is inerrant not because of man's infallibility or scholarship. It is inerrant because they had hearts and minds perfectly tuned with God's Holy Spirit so that God's perfect Holy Spirit could perfectly plant God's perfect thoughts into the willing minds of imperfect men. The same Holy Spirit directed the writing, the canonizing, the translation, and the compilation of these Scriptures that we know are true. Praise God for His faithful Holy Word!
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," II Timothy 3:16
If you can believe in a perfect, infallible, and holy God, you can believe in the inerrancy of the Bible because you will know that the perfection of God is greater than the weaknesses of man!
Like they say, even a stopped clock is right twice a day!