The Gods We Have Made

Brian Bibb has written an insightful post about bibliolatry. He writes:

Judges 17–18…mocks Micah for believing that human-made objects could actually be gods. He is presented as a kind of fool who admits that he has constructed the objects that he calls God, saying “you have taken the gods that I made!”

Micah’s anger reminds me of the outrage that certain Christians express when scholars ask difficult questions about the Bible. When scholars point out facts that challenge the view of the Bible as an other-worldly divine production, they are accused of “undermining” the Bible or “destroying” the Bible’s authority.

When I hear these accusations, I hear “you have taken the god that I made!”, the cry of someone who has had their idol taken away. Pointing out the human origins of the Bible does not diminish its divinity, because the Bible is not a god. In the context of Herring’s discussion, the Bible may be mimetic, such that it points in some way to God, but it does not itself embody God’s presence. It is not a divine object…

…May we as a church be less like Micah, clinging to our idols, and more like the people in Hosea who promise, “we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands.”

Click through to read the whole thing.

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  • Pierre Leverette

    Yeshua’ quotations showed his profound reverence for the Word of God.
    Mark 1:22 And
    they became astounded at his way of teaching, for there he was teaching them as
    one having authority, and not as the scribes. . . When the scribes
    taught, they were fond of referring to the so-called oral law, quoting learned
    rabbis from times past. Yeshua never once cited the oral law or some rabbi as
    an authority. Rather, he viewed God’s Word as the final authority. Again and
    again, we find him saying: “It is written.” He repeatedly used those or similar
    words in teaching his followers and in correcting wrong ideas. A close study of
    Yeshua’s recorded words reveals that he quoted directly from or referred
    indirectly to over half of the books of the Hebrew Scripture canon. I think
    this is the model we should imitate

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      It is quite clear that Jesus did not treat the Hebrew canon in the way modern conservatives do. He said that humans being hungry took priority over the sabbath. He insisted that, when concern for another meant risking breaking purity laws that were clear and unambiguous in Scripture, compassion trumps the clear command yet again. And so if that is what you mean, I do indeed think we should follow Jesus’ approach to Scripture. But from what you wrote, it sounds like you may be using Jesus as a symbol for a view of Scripture that he opposed rather than advocated.

  • http://caveat1ector.wordpress.com/ Hydroxonium

    Jesus loves me this I know, for THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.

    Jesus’ love is so important to them, and “THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO” is so crucial to their belief that Jesus loves them, that questioning the bible’s authority is simply unthinkable for most people. They are so deep in their delusion that it may well require nothing short of a miracle to get them to see the major flaws of their belief system.

    It’s like some malicious vandal has scribbled nonsense all over their minds in some magical ink which nobody has found a way to erase.

    After all, THE BIBLE is God’s word. Why won’t you just listen to God’s word and be obedient followers like the rest of us faithful Christians?


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