Tag: religion

The Importance of Error in Apologetics

Wrong and Right

The word “error” meant little to me when I was an atheist. An error was just a mistake that could be corrected if necessary. However, the word “error” means far more than just making a simple mistake.

First, here are several English dictionary definitions of the word:

“an act or condition of ignorant or imprudent deviation from a code of behavior” (Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary)

“An act, assertion, or belief that unintentionally deviates from what is correct, right, or true”

“The condition of having incorrect or false knowledge” (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

“belief in something untrue; the holding of mistaken opinions” (Dictionary.com)

“an incorrect belief or wrong judgment” (Collins English Dictionary)

I find this one interesting. It’s from the Webster 1828 Dictionary and includes the Latin word and meaning.

ER’ROR, n. [L. error, from erro, to wander.] A wandering or deviation from the truth; a mistake in judgment, by which men assent to or believe what is not true. Error may be voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary, when men neglect or pervert the proper means to inform the mind; involuntary, when the means of judging correctly are not in their power. An error committed through carelessness or haste is a blunder.”

The word error took on a new meaning when I became a Christian. I was reminded of that recently when someone asked me a question about something they heard on a religious radio program. Interestingly enough, that program is what started me on the path of an apologetics ministry more than 40 years ago.