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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Position on the Bible

As a lay Christian without credentials, I will nevertheless be honest with you where I stand on the authority of the Bible.  Even though I am in no way a Bible scholar, I think it is a reasonable expectation that as a professing Christian I should have an opinion—even if largely uninformed—about a book that continues to play a huge role in my life.  My earliest memories as a child include learning Bible stories, and my latest activity this weekend was reading extensively in the Bible.  No other book, nor no other influence, can be compared to it—its impact being so fundamental and pervasive.

I refuse to be tangled into knots about technicalities.  There is no doubt a zillion “problem verses” that I would be totally ignorant about in terms of historical scholarship.  To be honest, if today I were offered free tutelage at the most prestigious divinity schools so I could learn exhaustedly about all the lively issues in exegesis, I would quickly turn the opportunity down for what is riveting to others I am well aware I would likely find excruciating, exasperating, and dry as dust.  For me, the Bible has never been an opportunity for argumentation and debate. When I turn to the Bible, I always want to skip to “the good stuff” that has significant implications in my daily life.

Of course, what is often the question that everyone wants to know is does one consider the Bible factually true in all its parts.  Was the earth created in a few days along with everything that dwells within it; and then, what about a long list of miracles, stringent laws, and cruel acts of God?  Is the Bible best understood as mythology—not in the sense that it’s not true, but in the sense that it superbly captures truth as life confronts mankind on the levels of meaning and significance?  Does the Bible successfully enunciate spiritual reality and eternity as it impacts the faithful?  Is it experientially authentic and accurate, if on a starker more superficial level incorrect?

Of course, my faithful readers know me by now, and know that it is not my nature to sow dissention and discord.  I truly think it displeases God for us to become fixated on the speck that divides us while ignoring the spanning skies that unite us.  My position is clear, I will discuss any Bible truth one wants to discuss, but I will not play the devil’s tool and eviscerate love on a cross of intellectual pride. 

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