The Gods We Have Made

The Gods We Have Made April 19, 2014

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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