In Response To ... Tom Nettles
                                              on Inerrancy












  More Writings by Bruce Gourley


January 2006

Tom Nettles speaks like a proud father watching his son follow in his footsteps.  The Southern Baptist Convention has become just what he wanted. 

And just what is it that Tom Nettles so long desired for the SBC?


You know, the controversial view of the Bible that claims the original written biblical text is textually perfect in every manner, including in matters of science, geography, astronomy, and all other areas of human knowledge.

Listen to Tom Nettles’ joyful claims regarding Southern Baptists:  “Inerrancy now rules the consciences of a vast majority of local church pastors, and in a much better informed way, and inerrantists seem well-entrenched in leadership positions at seminaries, mission boards, and other strategic agencies and organizations. Inerrantists are everywhere.”

No wonder Tom Nettles is beaming from ear to ear.

But wait a minute.  Something is amiss.  

The truth is that not a single Baptist has ever preached from an inerrant biblical text; not a single Baptist has ever held an inerrant biblical text; and not a single Baptist has ever even seen an inerrant biblical text.

In addition, the Bible itself says not a single word about inerrancy.

Inerrancy, in fact, is a modern theory of biblical inspiration built upon the modern scientific understanding of “truth” as empirical data that can be systematically analyzed and quantified.

Why is Tom Nettles rejoicing that Southern Baptists have moved away from the Bible itself to a modern, humanistic view about the Bible?  It is a question that our Baptist forefathers, who consistently and repeatedly asserted that the Bible is “infallible” only in “matters of faith and practice” (a view consistent with 2 Timothy 3:16), would doubtlessly like to ask if they were yet alive. 

Nettles' celebration of the demotion of the Bible in Southern Baptist life seems rather bizarre … unless the agenda of the inerrantist leaders of the SBC is something other than the Bible.  Indeed, Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, asserts that the new official SBC Bible (Broadman & Holman translation) is a Bible “we can control.”

Now that inerrantists control both the SBC and the Bible, what is next on their agenda?  God?  (It’s been tried before; remember the Pharisees?)

Which brings us to the question of who is Tom Nettles?  He is none other than a professor at Al Mohler’s seminary, and a leading apologist for the fundamentalist-inerrantist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention.

You may want to invite Nettles to your church to explain why he is so excited that a modern, humanistic, non-biblical view of the Bible “rules the consciences” of pastors and is “well-entrenched” among SBC leadership, seminaries and mission boards.  His email is, or he can be reached by phone at 1-800-626-5525.

If you do consider inviting Nettles to your church, make certain the invitation is extended with one condition: that he bring with him the inerrant biblical text.  And if he agrees to do so, please invite me, all the other Christian congregations in your city, your local news stations and all the nationally syndicated news shows, for we all want to be among the first to view the original written, perfect biblical text.