603,550, Precision, Redemption, and the Infallibility/Inerrancy Debate

Pardon the tedious in this post.  
I have a friend from Louisiana who lives in West Virginia.  
And I also have some different views on inerrancy and infallibility than most evangelicals.  
Moreover, I am fairly sure I have irritated my friend with my views on the topic because they more or less redefine the concepts.
Take the beginning of my post title, for example.  That number is a specific reference to the beginning of the book of Numbers, where the Lord instructs Israel to number the children of Israel by their clans and by their families, and to get a tally of their resources.  Now the numbering of these resources is a post all to itself for another time.
But the number itself is fairly precise.
And there are a number of critics of inerrancy that like to push the debate on inerrancy/infallibility to places it was not designed to go.
For example, “if that number–603,550–is off by even one, then the number isn’t exact, which constitutes an error, and thus the argument for Scriptural inerrancy falls apart.”
Or, “you forgot to include women and children, therefore you are pushing a repressive, patriarchal agenda”.
While I do not attempt to address every concern in the debate with one post, I propose–hopefully, with some measure of humility–to address better definitions of both inerrancy and infallibility that are based on a particular shade of meaning found in the words’ roots.
Errors and Failures or Fallacies
The root of “inerrant” seems to be “err”, whether that is an erring of judgment or an erring of direction or purpose.
The root of “infallible” seems to be “fail”, whether that is a failing in terms of failures or a failing in terms of fallacies (cut the 14 different ways that students of logic like to cut it).
Thus I define inerrancy as “the incapacity of Scripture to provide us with bad judgment and causing us to err in discerning God’s and our directions or understanding God’s and our purposes”
And for “infallibility”, “the incapacity of Scripture to provide us with counsel that is fallacious or leads to our ultimate failure.”
I’d say the issue with “erring” and both senses of the word “fail” is one of motive.  Was it intentional on the Father’s part, that we ultimately make errors in judgment, and thus fail in life?  
Given redemption is the heart of the gospel, does it make sense that the Father would intend that for us, erring and failures?  If we are going to assert these books are our sacred texts, and thus authoritative,  then does it make sense that we assert that the Author meant for that to happen to us?
If we are going to be part of Jesus’ plan of redemption, does it benefit him or the Father if we fail or end up in a place of futility.
I don’t think so.
Therefore, is it possible that we have hinged our debate on the details of Scripture rather than in the character of the one about whom they speak?
In my view, it is better to discuss inerrancy or infallibility from the position of whether or not God intends us to err and fail, rather than asking if all the bricks make the building that we think they are supposed to make.
God never means for us to fail.
We often like to repeat that the Bible is the Word of God in church, but often times we forget to include in the same breath that Jesus is the Word of God.  And that is to our detriment.  Our basis for faith in the Scriptures is the character and nature of the God described in the Scriptures.  They have to work together, because the voice of the Lord is what helps us understand the Scriptures, and the testimony of Scripture is what helps us understand the nature and character of God.
True,  lots of bloodshed did happen in the Old Testament.  However, did you see that the bloodshed was executed because of rebellion and sin?  And further, did you see that God doesn’t enjoy roasting us over the coals in hell?  He does not take pleasure in the death of anyone, especially the ungodly.  The judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah came because of the distress call that went up to the Lord.
These judgments were ultimately executed because of the redemptive nature of God.    Because he is concerned with the redemption not just of humanity, but also all of creation, he will discipline and judge those people and attitudes that willingly choose to defile time, land, individuals, communities, and offices.
God’s plan does not include gleeful torture.  Our foolishness leads us to accuse him of that.  He does not revel in the separation from one of his kids anymore than we revel in our separation from our source.
If we get that point nailed and set in our hearts, then we can trust him not to let us err and fail.  He also will not provide us with writings that err or fail.
He will also provide us the gifts of the Spirit and the gifts of our design that help us along the way.  
Our job is to first follow Him with the assertion that the best God we can conceive of is the God who redeems.  He fixes and makes things right.  He will take care of us, if we let him.  And He will take care of the jots and tittles.

Church Abuse and Covering-Some Original Thoughts

Recently, a preacher posed a question for discussion concerning church leadership abuse.  The assumption (not without precedent) was that many mainline churches along with independent churches (those that are more given to the “fivefold” expression of leadership) both walk in a great deal of abuse.  In these immigrations, the church member is exchanging one form abusive leadership for another, though both use different titles.
What do you think accounts for the shift from mainline churches to fivefold churches when the abuse is virtually identical?
Below is my response:
“The titles have switched, but the dynamics have remained the same.
“This may be a massive swallowing of non-reality.
“I would suggest we look at what the concepts of pastor and apostle look like from the whole of the Canon.
“And given the Greek word for pastor is only translated as “pastor” once, in Ephesians 4:11-12, I think we ought to include all reference to the character of a shepherd, such as from Psalm 23 and John 10, a d we should table some of the fivefold office terms until we really get a handle on what they mean.
“I observe we are far too casual and lackadaisical with throwing around those terms.
“Give you a good example, I know my best friend walks in the apostolic office. I do as well, My wife is a Teacher. And my best friend’s wife is a legit prophet.
“However, I just, without fear or offense or exploitation, refer to him as David and her as Wendy.
“We are just friends, and we are so far past being enamored with those things that we just walk and flow in those things as the situation arises.
“Part of what we are dealing with in the church may be one of three dynamics. In no particular order:
“1) Woundedness-we got hurt so we leave one hurtful situation for another.
“2) We have become groupies, to make ourselves and our covering feel legitimate.
3) That doctrine of covering-from a study of the Scriptures, “cover”, “covering”, and their synonyms have to do with on thing, atonement for sin with blood.
“Love covers a multitude of sins.
“The mercy seat covered, and was sprinkled with blood to provide atonement for Israel’s sins.
“Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness for sins.
“Head in the Greek does not mean ‘covering’, but rather ‘source’ like ‘headwaters’.
“Oftentimes, for the sake of legitimacy, we may place our leaders into a position they were never meant to occupy. And we in the Charismatic movements can become just as guilty of the Roman Catholics, in our desire for a spiritual father and mother, of seeking to treat our leaders as intermediaries.
“But there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
“We want a ‘covering’ in the (from my experience) unbiblical senses because we may be relying on a legitimacy crutch.
“This is part of the turn-off for me in many evangelical Charismatic churches.
“Some of those in the midst of this imbalance appear to like to incessantly ask, ‘are you submitted to your covering?’. Then, if you negate the question, they retort with, ‘without your covering you are unprotected!’
“Um, excuse me, sir/ma’am, but Jesus is my love and he covered everything that needs to be covered.
“Covering in context is used with respect to blood and atonement, not leadership.”
From the above, I would be curious to know what your thoughts on the subject are, even if we disagree.