Good old James McGrath, who is something like the Lady Gaga of the biblioblogosphere if blog rankings are anything to go by, has been preaching against some sacred evangelical relics.
First, James has a post comparing the defence of the inerrancy of the Bible with the tactics used to defend Sarah Palin’s recent blunder on Paul Revere (though I think Stephen Colbert has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that her case is faultless!). My default setting is to adhere to the “infallibility” (WCF/1689 LBC) and “sufficiency” (39 Art.) of Scripture according to the historic Protestant confessions. “Inerrancy” is a robust assertion of biblical authority, though I’m fully aware that it can also go “a bridge too far” if not qualified and conformed to the phenomenon of Scripture. I should say that I’m also down to contribute to a book on 5 Views of Inerrancy in the future which will be one to watch out for. A response to James is made by Colin Hansen over at the Gospel Coalition website.
Second, James reposts some stuff he’s done about penal substitution. These objections have been all heard before. These are not new arguments and need no new counter response. Let me say this, I confess that in reading Gal 3:13 and Rom 8:3, I simply have no idea how you can come away without thinking of Jesus’ death as substitutionary sacrifice. Substitution and representation are not antithetical and they go together. The correction that is needed, I think, to many PSA theories, is to relate it to the story of creation, Israel, discipleship, and consummation. On that see Scot McKnight’s A Community Called Atonement and his more technical book Jesus and His Death.