America and Christians Part Four: The Bible

Disclaimer: This are only my opinions, presented to generate discussion on the issue. It is completely fine if you disagree. I respect the fact you may have another opinion and ask you respect mine. Comment on any part of this, whether you agree or disagree. Again this is presented to generate discussion.

This is probably my most controversial part of this series. This issue (among a few others) has split the SBC and is at times a hotly debated subject. I will attempt to leave most of that argument behind if at all possible and deal with the Bible in the state we currently have it. The unfortunate thing I see with the Bible in some circles is its treatment. Some people currently treat the Bible as if it is a god, whether they mean to or not. I believe this to be a very unhealthy view. Lets be honest with ourselves and everyone else. The version of the Bible we currently have is not perfect. Despite what you believe the original copies of each book to have been we do not have them or any copy that comes close to being a full copy. This is my biggest argument against calling the Bible inerrant, maybe it would have been if we had the originals, but we do not and we do not know exactly what they said. However, we several thousand copies from later dates that generally agree with one another. This is the information we should be promoting, we have more copies of the Bible from antiquity than we do of any other historical work. This fact alone should be proof enough for us. Debating over what the nature of the originals were only confuses our congregations. What comes out in the pew is that the English version in front of the congregant is an inerrant copy of the Bible. This is not the case and by throwing these terms around we are doing more damage than good. If the congregant believes his Bible in hand is inerrant then when presented with factual information to the contrary, what do you think happens to that person. I know of two scenarios that are likely, he boldly defends the Bible making him look the fool to others or he accepts the information and loses faith. Does it matter in the long run if the originals were inerrant, I do not think so. I do I believe the Bible to represent a divine communication, yes. Now you ask how do those two work together. Simple I believe the Bible to be a book about God’s relationship to man and vice versa. Godly men wrote their experiences of God and his relationship. These men are not perfect and their words not perfect either, however the message that radiates throughout the entire Bible is one of seeking a relationship with God (through Christ Jesus). Are there mistakes in the Bible, currently, yes, originally, who knows. Does it matter much, only if you are elevating the Bible to god status, in my opinion. Does my opinion matter much, probably not, does my view of the Bible as a purely relationship book between God and man and vice versa, I believe so. While many will quote 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching…” however this only states it is inspired by God, man still wrote it. To me it is large leap to claim definitively that this proves the original copies to be perfect, does necessarily make it impossible, no, but neither does it prove it. We should quit worrying about the originals and deal with the version we do have, a truthful book that teaches how to have a relationship with the One True God. Does this view perfect everything, no. Does this view fight against scholarly criticism, yes. To me in our day and age scholarly criticism is a major danger facing Christians. It takes only one person to start pointing out problems in the Bible, it takes a large group to defend against these.

Next week is the current last part, Schools

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One Response to America and Christians Part Four: The Bible

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff Travis. I don’t think that people will ever agree on the Bible. I, like you, believe that it should be used as a resource to help us better our relationships with God. It is truthful historical literature. Not to take anything away from the Holy word, but I think God judges us by our hearts and not by what version of the good book we choose to read, teach, or promote. -R.Bays

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