Recently I have been observing and/or engaged in various conversations in the blogsphere with Christians who believe that the bible is verbally inspired, inerrant and infallible.
This might blow up in my face completely, but I would like to offer here some suggestions about "how to talk to 'liberals'". (Just one remark. I'm thinking of a number of different web conversations, so if you think this is a veiled dig at you, it isn't.)
First, a definition. I'm defining "liberal" as anyone who does not believe the bible is verbally-inspired, inerrant and infallible. (Hearafter "VIII") I am aware that this definition is simplistic and non-nuanced. So....
1) Be aware that the group of people do not believe the bible is VIII includes a huge range of theologies and approaches to the bible. Many "nonVIII" people self-define as evangelical. Ask an individual what he or she believes on a particular point of doctrine and don't assume that you know their views.
2) Many or most of us think that we believe in the bible and we think that we value and respect the bible. Many or most of us are very sincere in our desire to read the bible faithfully and to be obedient to God.
3) Many or most of us probably don't think that you are insincere or that you have bad motives. We just disagree with your theology.
4) Most of us probably think that we have given quite a lot of consideration to our theology, especially those people who have degrees in the subject.
5) Please do not expect to convert us to your point of view after a couple of exchanges on the internet. Patience is required.