The problem with the doctrine of inerrancy, as many hold to it, is that it is too weak. The question, as it is usually posed, is whether or not the Bible contains errors. The liberal says that it does and the conservative says that it does not. On one level, the conservative answer is of course right, but there is another sense in which this answer can smuggle in a very dangerous assumption. That possible shared assumption between conservative and liberal is this — that the Scriptures sat down one day and took a test. The radical liberal thinks that the Bible flunked the test. The moderate (squishy evangelical) guy think that the Bible got a B plus, and is in general agreement with the contours of the wrong answers. He works for Christianity Today. The staunch conservative maintains that the Bible scored 100%, darn it, and is like that grade-conscious kid in 8th grade who was always up in front of the class after a test, arguing with the teacher about the two points that were docked from an otherwise perfect paper. The problem that all these views share is that they assume that there is an entity or worldview out there with the authority to sit in judgment on the Bible.
To play with the illustration, the Bible is not the perfect student. The Bible is the perfect teacher, and the Bible sits in judgment on all the kids in the class. The Bible does not pass the test; the Bible is the test. To say that the Bible contains no errors is wrong-headed if the assumption is that the Bible is the perfect student. It is profoundly right if we are acknowledging that our standard for determining all our errors is to be Scripture; it is wrong if we admit any human standard whatever a position of implicit or explicit authority over the Scripture.
And so the Bible sets the standard for all the kids in the class, whether it is that modernist kid who wants to be an engineer or neurosurgeon, or the postmodernist kid who wants to be Nietzsche on a skateboard. And, just to be clear about it, both those kids are flunking the class, and to recruit the postmodern critique of modernity to help out the Christian critique of modernity is like the teacher asking the kid who got a 43% on the test to help grade the paper of the one who looks like he might have gotten around a 37%.
This is not biblical inerrancy; it is biblical absolutism.