International Council for Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI) put together the definitive statement on the doctrine of inerrancy. These statements outline the parameters of what it means when we say the Bible is the error-free word of God. A complete archive of events and documents is available on the Dallas Seminary web site.
The ICBI statements are part of the official doctrinal statement for Reasons To Believe (my employer) and form the foundation for many other denominations, societies, seminaries, colleges and ministries. These are as close to being an "authoritative" position that evangelicals have. It was agreed upon by a broad coalition of scholars.
It came to my attention recently that Answers in Genesis believes that the ICBI's statements are "inadequate" and have "opened the door to false ideas in the church." As a result, they have proposed an "addendum" or "supplement" to the original document, containing an additional set of Affirmations and Denials. It is signed by several pastors and scholars, including pastor John MacArthur. It calls for others with advanced degrees in theology to sign the statement and "do all they can to encourage Christians in their sphere of influence to embrace, teach, and defend these additional affirmations and denials." How can one organization attempt to rewrite an entire doctrine that has been so widely agreed upon? They lay out their case for this change in a book by a group of young-earth scholars called, Coming to Grips with Genesis.
If I am understanding this article accurately, it appears as though AiG wants to redefine the doctrine of inerrancy in such a way as to categorically exclude old-earth creationists and is calling Christian leaders to vigorously do the same. This gives me new insight into why we have so many problems getting into homeschool shows and the like. All this time I've been thinking this is an issue over the interpretation of Genesis 1-11. That's actually a secondary issue, however. The REAL issue of dispute for my young-earth friends is inerrancy, and consequently, authority.
I certainly want to commend AiG's efforts to preserve orthodoxy. I'm sure they are making their best attempt to follow their conscience. However, I do think it's worth asking whether AiG's concerns on this particular issue are miguided.
In my mind, one of the key questions is this: Is AiG attempting to add something to the definition of orthodoxy that isn't required? This is a sincere question and I understand the complexities that stand behind the question, especially since I'm not Catholic and there is no Magesterium to pronounce a decision on the matter. Even so, I think it's a legitimate question to explore.