The widespread heresy is the claim that the Bible is only inerrant on matters of faith and morals. The dogma is that the Bible is inerrant on every subject about which it makes an assertion, including history, geography, and physical sciences. This teaching is a matter of faith. Catholic Christians ought to believe, regardless of how many apparent errors there may be, as an act of supernatural faith. And yet the heresy is very widespread.
1. Secular Influence
One reason for the prevalence of this heresy is the teaching of sinful secular society that gives an excess of credibility to whatever science teaches. And when science changes its view, as often happens when a field of knowledge advances, no one seems to notice that the previous view, accepted as if it were infallible dogma, has now changed.
For example: In the 1920’s, scientists believed the universe was infinite and always existed, in contradiction to Catholic dogma. Then, in the 1930’s, Fr. George Lemaitre discovered the big bang theory, which concludes that the universe is finite and had a starting point. Science was wrong, and the faith was right. But how many persons in the 20’s held to the teachings of faith over that of science?
Most Catholics are thoroughly secularized. They believe nearly everything taught by secular society. So when an assertion in the Bible seems to conflict with what science or history teaches, they are heavily biased against the Bible.
Trust the Bible.
2. Doubting the Power of God
Do you believe that God created the whole universe out of nothing? Do you believe that He creates each soul out of nothing? Do you believe that Jesus performed miracles, including healings and raising from the dead? Do you believe that Jesus himself died, rose, and ascended to Heaven?
Then why is it so hard to believe that God could write a book without error? The prevalence of this heresy on Biblical inerrancy shows a lack of faith.
Have faith in God.
Often a passage seems to be in error due to misinterpretation. Some assertions are figurative, and others are literal. As a set of events is described, a long time might pass between one verse and the very next verse. Different names might be used to describe the same person. And the things of nature are often described by appearances, rather than by the categories used today.
If a passage appears to be asserting a falsehood, seek a different interpretation. The passages that say the earth is firm, not to be moved (Ps 104:5), were at one time interpreted to mean that the sun revolves around the earth. And the solution to this problem is that the verse is to be understood as figurative, not literal.
Consider other interpretations.
4. Exalting reason over faith.
Our religion is based on faith and reason. But of the two, faith should have the higher place. So when there is a conflict, we should believe even things that reason cannot explain.
Choose faith over reason.
Vatican I: “Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the Church”
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