This by Cranmer's Curate appeared yesterday on VirtueOnline:
Following the news that the Revd Dr Richard Turnbull is no longer principal of Oxford theological college Wycliffe Hall, the question now arises as to what sort of evangelical will succeed him.
Will the college Council go for a smooth-talking evangelical-ish PR person cum amateur therapist who fancies their 'people skills' - proudly sporting a doctorate and proclaiming themselves a 'healer'?
Or will they have the spiritual and moral courage to go for a believer in the infallibility of the Bible - with or without some fancy academic letters after their name?
It is important to be clear here. A theological college principal who believes that the Bible is like the film Chariots of Fire in its historical approach plainly believes that God's Word written contains inventions and distortions.
The 1981 Oscar-winning film about the 1924 Olympic Games is fact-based but it contains many inventions for the sake of dramatisation.
A 'Chariots of Fire' principal would believe that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus were historical events. So, provided he or she believes that Jesus died for their sins and that the Lord's resurrection was bodily and eternal, it would be wrong to say that such a person is not a true Christian believer.
But their view of Scripture is such that they would feel free to perceive as invention, for example, Matthew's account of tombs being opened in Jerusalem just after Jesus died and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep being raised (Matthew 27v52).
The biblical infallibilist by contrast believes Matthew's account of these resurrections, miraculous though they are, is historically true - as historical as his account of Jesus' crucifixion and the resurrection. Matthew records that these resurrected saints came out of their tombs after Jesus' resurrection and went into the Holy City of Jerusalem where they appeared to witnesses (Matthew 27v53).
The infallibilist's approach shows proper respect for God-breathed Holy Scripture. And indeed for God himself.
The God of truth is not the author of a film script, inspiring fabrications for dramatic effect.
That is fundamentally why the 'Chariots of Fire' approach to biblical narrative is cavalier and intellectually arrogant. A principal who treats God's Word written like that is not fit to be entrusted with the theological education and training of future ministers of the true Word of the Lord Jesus Christ. Read here.
This sermon - Give thanks to God the Diamond Evangelist - appeared on Archbishop Cranmer.