I've watched a lot of discussion online recently about biblical inerrancy and the authority of Scripture. An article by Australian theologian Michael Bird caused no small amount of discussion when shared on a Facebook group for discussion among scholars in my national church fellowship.
A couple of days later, I read the following statement in an article about biblical authority and divisions in American Christianity:
Note that last phrase: even if biblical literacy was not quite what it had once been.
Perhaps in certain parts of academia – and in ministerial training in some denominations – historical criticism caused some to question the authority of the Bible, but for more than a century after the Civil War, the reading preferences and church affiliation choices of millions of American Protestants suggested that respect for the Bible’s authority continued undiminished, even if biblical literacy was not quite what it had once been.
We must not allow ourselves to take just one part of the Bible, rip it from its contexts—canonical, literary, historical, and cultural—and claim the authority of the Word of God for our own personally biased interpretation of a sentence or two. In this podcast interview, Dr. Beth Allison Barr of Baylor University says, "Unfortunately, we've been trained to only look at parts of the Bible, and not to link it all together."