Looking through the lens of fear
One of the things that I’ve observed is that some evangelicals can be very fearful people. Some hold on to biblical inerrancy very tightly because they are afraid. They are afraid that once you admit there is one minor contradiction in the bible your entire faith will fall apart.
I’ve found that good theology frames my relationship with God, but the real issue is my relationship. I have a spiritual sense of connectedness to God. I believe He speaks to me and I see the fruit of that connectedness in my life. God has guided me through some difficult times and even miraculously healed me. I think that is what theology is supposed to do. It gives us a framework for knowing, experiencing and following God.
It really doesn’t bother me when I see minor contradictions because I know God. I have the “seal of His Spirit” and the full assurance of faith. Therefore I don’t need to convince myself something perfectly fits when it doesn’t.
If I take away that connectedness with God then the only thing that defines my faith is my theology and practice. If that is all I have and I see people tinkering with both then I might get a little worried. If I combine that with an expectation that the world and the church is on the slippery slide to oblivion then I get even more afraid. For many this fear leads to paranoia.
Fear is a very thick lens that skews our interpretation of society and scripture. In the last little while I’ve encountered people who find something suspicious and project it to be far larger than it really is. Then they attack. They aren’t looking for the truth or seek to understand. They are so convinced of their error they will actually start arguing with you about what you or your tradition really believes.