Dr. Molly T. Marshall writes about “selective inerrancy”

May 31, 2018

In her column, “The perils of selective inerrancy” on Baptist News Global, Dr. Molly T. Marshall, president and professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas, demonstrates a new vocabulary for dealing with the religious right.

In commenting on the removal of Paige Patterson from the presidency of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on May 23, she uses the following phrases:

  • “selective inerrancy”
  • “ossified theology”
  • “historically situated” to describe warnings or prohibitions about women’s leadership in passages like 1 Timothy 2
  • “masculinist” to describe textual interpretations that some people claim to be simple Bible truth, not their own patriarchal views.

We all need to use these words daily in our conversations, emails, and social media posts.  Each use penetrates the armor claiming that male privilege in church, home, and society is God’s will.

Dr. Marshall concludes, “Hiding behind inerrancy in order to preserve male privilege does irreparable damage to a lucid Christian witness.”

Read , “The perils of selective inerrancy” on Baptist News Global.


Anne Linstatter
Anne Linstatter was present at the founding of the Evangelical Women’s Caucus (now Christian Feminism Today) and attended most of the organization’s conferences. She looks forward to celebrating fifty years of CFT in 2024. A long-time Californian, she taught “Women & Religion” among other courses at California State University, Northridge, and is working on a memoir, Off Track: Confessions of a Feminist Christian.


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