A few weeks ago I was on Christian blog where one of the posts was from a person looking for evidence that the Bible was indeed just a collection of interesting stories and not the actual word of God. This person was looking for confirmation of several possible contradictions within the Bible that would prove it to be much less than what it actually is. There was a lot of back and forth about science and history and the like as if the Bible was a high school text book. So, after considering everything that I have been taught by my Bible teacher, I responded with the post below and have yet to get a response:
The bible is not a science book. If you are looking for scientific explanations of creation and origin of man you will be sorely disappointed. The early writers of the bible, although divinely inspired, did not have the benefits of thousands of years of scientific study required to present a scientific evaluation of these events. And for God to present himself in the context of E=Mc2 would seem a bit preposterous to a civilization that had no concept of the universe outside of the few square miles they inhabited. Revelation is provided in comprehensible pieces – spoon fed over time. The Bible is historical in that it is the history of our salvation. It does not include everything there is to know, only what we need to know in order to live our lives as believers. There are parts of the Bible that are to be taken literally (Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected), and parts to be taken literarily (Noah spent 3 days in the belly of a whale). There is also nothing that science has subsequently determined that contradicts the existence of God, and there never will be. God is the author of science as much as He is the author of the universe.
Christ was a devout Jew, and as a devout Jew He grew up studying and knowing scripture. There are many instances where Christ quotes scripture in the New Testament both to reinforce the Word and to offer, until then, new interpretations of its meanings. If you are going to call yourself a Christian believer you are going to have to reconcile any lack of faith in scripture with the reality that Christ is indeed that Word made flesh. It would be like calling yourself a communist and then saying that you’re not in line with the teachings of Lenin, Marx and Trotsky. Also, as a believer in Christ, you need to rely on Christ’s understanding of God and scripture and not your own. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” So separating your belief in Christ with your belief in scripture is not something that seems possible.
I feel that as Christians our obligation is to live our lives as Christ would so that others may witness this and do the same. In order to live our lives as Christ would we would need to understand how Christ lived and as far as I know the bible is the only historical source of that information. I also believe that if you are going to call yourself a believer you cannot pick and choose what parts align with your own philosophies. If there is something that you find you are not able to reconcile – then just leave it to that and know that in the end you will understand it all.
Lastly, everything useful that I have learned from the bible was taught to me by a very talented and experienced bible scholar, Kevin Saunders / Arizona Bible Class. This is the only way to study the Bible. This is the way it was supposed to be used as a guide to our understanding of God. It is not a narrative to be picked up and read like a novel. The early Jews understood this and made bible study a core to their secular and spiritual lives. In my opinion, the movement away from this by some churches over time is the root of most of our worldly problems. I hope that you do not sacrifice your relationship with God through Jesus. Get into the Word, yes, but not if it is going to cause you to doubt that God does love you and wants you to be part of His kingdom.
(I also came across this link of 10 points about understanding the Bible for what it is – check that out by clicking here.)
“…..if you are going to call yourself a believer you cannot pick and choose what parts align with your own philosophies.”
I think that is called denominations.
It can be good to read, study, be mentored etc. but it is only constant self examination and the settling of a matter in our own mind that God will look at. (IMO) That is how I chucked the belief in eternal torment into Hell (Gehenna…garbage dump) you were there weren’t you RT? I hear it’s has a park in it now?
We may not understand everything but we should have a reason for why we believe in what we believe.
Got fried on the tractor today!
Yep – I guess – I was not as clear as I should have been…but clarity is a bit of a stretch sometimes when you are trying to express your thoughts when limited by a mind – The post was a response to something I read.
Your point I get, God’s love doesn’t extend only to those that read, or hear or see or even understand for that matter (IMO). Wouldn’t we all be better off if we simply had faith and the depth of reasoning of a 5 year old?
And wouldn’t you agree that the bible does provide the context against which we are able to examine ourselves once we get past the age of 5?
I thought you tractor guys just road those things when the sun was low….RT