James McGrath asks this question:
Why, for some Christians, is affirming that the Bible is inerrant more important than taking seriously what it actually says?Good question. Indeed, taking the Bible seriously means fully accepting its warts, flaws, and inconsistencies without trying to hide them under the rug or otherwise explain them away. Inerrancy is the direct opposite of taking the Bible seriously.
The question of why people cling to inerrancy is an interesting question. Does this address some inherent need? Or is it simply a product of brainwashing by fundamentalist churches that insist that the whole integrity of the faith depends on it? There is a part of me that would like to believe that at some point in future, inerrancy will be consigned to the dustbin of theological history, and Christians of the future will en masse look back at our own time with bemusement as they puzzle over how anyone could possibly believe such a thing. But if there is some psychological need for theological certainty that leads some people to believe in inerrancy, then this would be a vain hope.