The Devil Contradicts Me By Quoting Scripture!

The term “fundamentalism” is supposedly derived from a belief in the “fundamental” inerrancy of Scripture. It is not obvious precisely in what way the noun “inerrancy” is qualified by the adjective “fundamental”, but there is a greater problem still with this biblical rigorism. Namely, that many fundamentalists do not appear actually to believe in inerrancy in any shape or form, as witness the readiness with which they pronounce that “The Devil can quote Scripture”. That is to say, the claim is that the particular scripture that their opponent is quoting is not inerrant at all. Apparently, what the scripture says is of less importance than who is saying it.

Whether or not something is said in the Bible is thus not an absolute standard, but a standard subordinate to a higher-order criterion, namely its congeniality. For profoundly uncongenial scriptures may be stigmatised as having been quoted by or under the influence of the Devil, which means that no notice need be taken of them. It is clear that the inerrancy resides somewhere else than in the scriptures themselves – and the obvious choice is in the impregnable assurance of a person prepared to make judgments invalidating the scriptures on the basis of his own gut reactions to them. The core value of fundamentalism, at any rate of such fundamentalists as employ this device, is therefore not biblical inerrancy at all, but narcissistic self-admiration.

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 22:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Longest Con, Miscellaneous

Leave a Reply