Don Francisco on the Bible as Idol

Don Francisco on the Bible as Idol July 14, 2015

Christian music artist Don Francisco shared this striking reflection about the Bible on his Facebook page:

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Answer: They can rebuild them.

The foundations have been destroyed, but not in the simplistic way most of Western Christianity imagines– it has taken centuries of knee-jerk defensiveness, blind acceptance and willful ignorance to reach our present state of ruin. We have become idolaters, and we worship the Bible. Calling it infallible and inerrant, we have exalted it to a place between humankind and God. Paradoxically, we have made the Bible an antichrist.

Those are hard words, but we must hear them. In our foolish attempts to defend the Faith, we have turned the Scriptures into a solid piece of cement and blocked the doorway to Life with it. The Word of God IS perfect, infallible, and inerrant– and by the age of eighteen He had grown a beard. The Bible is many wonderful things, but it is not the Word of God– only the Father’s beloved Son is. When that living Word is redefined by men as words on a page, they murder the prophets of every age, from Adam down to the present, blocking the Holy Spirit from their own hearts as they deny His voice can be heard in anyone else’s. And His voice IS heard by anyone who will listen.

Before the foundations can be rebuilt, the rubble must be removed– the lies, misconceptions, and half-truths, and the unstable, dangerous, and hurtful structures that are built on them. The first step is exposing the rubble for what it is.

Francisco uses really striking imagery – such as when he talks about the perfection of the Word of God, and then mentions him growing a beard, jolting the reader into recognition that he had been talking about Jesus and not the Bible.

Many progressive Christians would emphasize that the Word of God transcends even Jesus, and thus avoid a simple identity of the two (just as the Logos precedes the life of the human Jesus in the prologue of the Gospel of John, and presumably does not cease to permeate the cosmos even during his life). But in general, we emphasize, as Francisco does, that the Bible does not present itself as the Word of God, and in the New Testament, in places, points to the life of Jesus as embodying God’s Word in a way that no text ever has or could.

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  • Connie Lawrence

    This man speaks my language, for Jesus is the Spirit of Prophesy….I’m hoping I can locate this man and his wife in Colorado ’cause we need to talk! And it just so happens I’m a Christian song writer and poet myself, formerly twisted and released by churches, and scientifically spit out, I still came through whole just the same….and He knows my name! The WORD, and where IT came from knows my name… currently Connie Lawrence, Tulsa Oklahoma 918-728-4550 and I can tell the truth and I’ve recognized the lies and deceptions I’d formerly built my life on, and I have an incredible True story to tell!…the walls did come tumbling down, but now I’m building my life on the cornerstone and the cap stone the builders here rejected…. opiate addiction, bipolar, alcoholism and poverty all defeated by Christ Jesus!

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      geez you sound like me! everything you mentioned I’ve gone through, been going through, will continue to go through. our story isn’t done yet! stay tuned!

  • Jim Manderino

    Jesus confirms the law and the prophets. He confirms their message and their writings. He completes this with his life of service, teaching, healing, prophesy, suffering, death, resurrection, revelation, and the coming judgment. Denying the bible is therefore denying what Jesus taught. So how is affirming what Jesus taught an idol unless you accept only some of His word, elevating it above the rest? How can you say that His blood atones for your sins and in His resurrection we have eternal life on one hand, and deny that he affirmed the bible as it was written in His time. Not only that, but he promised to preserve His word. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away. That includes His words in the Torah as well, because He confirmed them. So is Jesus a liar, or is this article deception?

    • pud

      He didn’t exist. It’s all manmade nonsense and grisly death cult mythology without a shred of truth or a lick of rationality. Pure sugar coated a la carte wish thinking by the credulous, superstitious and fearful.

      • Who are you claiming didn’t exist? The historical Jesus? If so, why choose to adopt a stance that puts you at odds with the consensus of secular historians and scholars? And what does the “manmade” character of the sources have to do with anything? Are you suggesting that the authors from which we know about actual historical figures were not human?!

        • pud

          No reputable “secular” historian could claim your man/god existed. Only delusional christian apologists married to their superstitious delusion babble the nonsense. The “authors” of your magic book were desert dwelling barbarians, story tellers and god on the brain apocalyyptic cultists

          • If you are talking about a god, then of course no secular scholar affirms the existence of deities. I was referring to the historical figure of Jesus. You do know what the consensus of secular historians is about him, right?

          • Jim Manderino

            pud, I am sorry you hate us barbarians. I have not found that the bible is either false or barbaric. Our society is barbaric, our morals are immoral. I hope you are just being paid to say these things or are a bot. If you truly believe we christians are evil, then you must have met some terrible christians, or you must hate what we believe. Either way, I would encourage you to open your mind and test what you believe to be true. This world may have convinced you to hate christians, but do you trust the world you live in and the people who feed you your information. Please seek out the truth in this. In the very least, it will give you more ammunition to attack us christians.

          • Andrew Dowling

            Practically all secular historians affirm a historical Jesus of Nazareth. Carrier is a fringe hack. You have no idea what you are trolling about.

        • ccws

          “Are you suggesting that the authors from which we know about actual historical figures were not human?!”

          OK, Giorgio, let’s hear it! (Sorry, couldn’t resist, hee hee…)

    • Jesus viewed the law regarding divorce as a concession from Moses that did not reflect God’s perfect will. And he prioritized helping others over obeying rules about purity and other such things. Your attempt to misrepresent the teaching of Jesus in an effort to substitute your own unchristian dogma about the Bible is not merely unpersuasive, it is an attack on the very teaching of Jesus.

      • pud

        Gods do not have wills, needs, wants, desires etc Jesus never said a single word, never wrote a single word, never left a single artifact…other delusional cult leaders said he said and did this and that.

        • How do you know that Jesus never said a single word, exactly?
          Socrates never wrote a single word, and never left a single artifact. Do you really think that is a good reason to suggest he never existed?

          • pud

            1. There is no rational reason to “believe” someone of his description ever existed

            2. All information about this mythical person is heresay written by apocalyptic cult members in a hysterical primitive barbaric ignorant culture.

            3. Not a word attributed to him is profound, new, amazing, cutting edge or rational.

            4. If he did exist so what? The narrative of a maniac god demanding a human sacrifice is sick. The entirety of the bible is ridiculous, evil, cruel, superstitious and perverted.

            5. Anyone who could cure a leper but not cure leprosy is a sick bastard. Imagine a doctor who had a cure for ebola but withheld it from humanity to make some stupid point.

            6. It is a mental illness to “believe” in invisible sky daddys, mythical places, speaking to angels, being possessed by demons and every other bit of childish fearmongering your book of babble professes

          • You seem to be running a confused jumble of different things together. The historical Jesus was not a “sky daddy.” Human beings say things that are not new nor profound all the time. You can’t seem to make up your mind whether you are talking about the historical Jesus or religious dogma. If you are interested in engaging Christian dogma, you are free to do so, but why shoot yourself in the foot and make yourself look foolish and unpersuasive by denying mainstream history?

          • pud

            There is no historical evidence for the existence of the biblical jesus. None. Is that clear enough? The entire premise for the most important figure to ever walk the planet is entirely biblical heresay by anonymous people at least 100 years removed from the timeline given. There are historical standards by which we evaluate the likelihood of a person existing and there are none met for your jesus fellow. If you want to debate this topic specifically you would do well to watch the two videos I linked you to first.

          • OK, I can only assume you are a troll. Paul is neither anonymous nor a century after the fact. Asking me to watch still more of Richard Carrier’s bunk, when you presumably have read my blog posts (if not indeed other articles) about his views, can only be an attempt at humor, but I do not find historical denialism to be a laughing matter. Goodbye. If you wish to have another chance, feel free to contact me, providing some indication of why I should think you are ready to discuss this subject in a scholarly historical manner, and not at the level of inane internet apologetics.

      • Jim Manderino

        Easy there. I’m not sure calling someone non-christian makes you look like an authoritative christian. He did emphasize loving others the way God loves us. For only God defines love, not us. For example, God intended that Man and Woman live in the Garden of Eden, but he kicked them out of the garden when they disobeyed Him, because it was for their own good that they may be saved from an eternal life of suffering by eating the tree of life. Thus, the intention was for them to live one way, they decided not to, and God kicked them out for their own good. Additionally, God divorced Israel because of their coveting foreign gods. He had to die to free them from the penalty of the law and return them to Himself. This is the gospel. If Jesus did not agree with the law handed to Moses by Him, why did he ask the Pharisees what Moses said? If you want an explanation on how Jesus was explaining the law to the pharisees and not dismissing it you can check out this teaching, if you are here to be the controlled opposition in order to make christians look bad or you just don’t want to test your beliefs then never mind. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVY7S2UOd1s

        • Funny how conservatives object when others talk to them in the way that they typically talk to others. I speak this way for that reason more than any other – in the hope of getting conservatives to see themselves as others see them and to recognize the hypocrisy of their own attitudes.
          You seem to think that the story about the Garden of Eden is a story about something that actually happened, rather than about what is typical of human existence. Have I understood you correctly? If so, you might find it useful to visit some of the previous blog posts here about the stories in Genesis 2-3, to help correct that misunderstanding, before we move on to discussing other things.

          • Jim Manderino

            I am a christian radical. This is far from being conservative. Did I call you a name or speak inappropriately, or do you just have a problem with having a rational debate on the issue at hand and have chosen to just say that I am 1)non-christian and 2) conservative in order to label me and prime your audience against my arguments? If I am a conservative and a non-christian who is defending the Word of God and what He said, then what does that make you?. Yes, I do believe that the bible is true, all of it in its original context. I believe God created the earth in 6 days and rested on the seventh. I believed we messed up His creation. I believe His laws are good and just and holy. I believe in His prophets. I believe in His son and the gospel.

            Discussing Genesis, it looks like your websites article doesn’t reason at all, it just says that it can’t be true and talks about how other religions made stuff up like this. Other religions did make stuff up, because they aren’t true. I agree with this at least, but you can’t say that this is an argument. You can choose to just assume it isn’t a real story and explain how that fits with Jesus, but I would like to see you try to say that Jesus did not affirm all of the law and the prophets, including Adam. A rational argument does not begin with, I believe Genesis can’t be true, so it must be metaphorical. A rational argument would be, we have evidence that no other historical people have any account like Genesis or the flood, we have proof there was no flood, we have proof that God did not create the earth in 6 days and rest on the seventh, we have proof that Jesus was an apostate of the religion He created and the laws He gave thousands of years earlier, and therefore you can’t really take any of the bible or Jesus seriously. But you and no one on earth can do that, so the best you can do is say that it seems ridiculous, which is what you do. Which then means you can deny the virgin birth, the healings, the suffering, the resurrection, the law, the prophets, everything that a christian could call christian, because they “seem ridiculous”. So this begs the question, who are you working for?

          • Oh, but the geological evidence that there was never a worldwide flood not only exists but is clear, just as it is clear that the dome which Genesis and other texts think was over the Earth is not there. It is you who, in trying to pretend that the Bible gives an accurate description of scientific and other matters when it verifiably does not, are merely setting people up to expect something of the Bible that it cannot deliver, to be disappointed when they discover this, and to lose their faith. That hardly seems like the approach of someone defending or advocating Christianity.

          • jekylldoc

            “Other religions did make stuff up, because they aren’t true.” That is your position in a “nut”shell. You believe that if any of the Bible is not literally true, that all of its value goes out the window. You draw conclusions about the Holy Book of Christianity based your affirmation of Christianity as a whole.

            This is exactly the problem McGrath is pointing out – people so obsessed by their fears that they elevate a book to God-like status.

          • ccws

            Sorry, but your hardcore literal-factualist theology is far from “radical” – indeed, it’s completely cut off from its roots. It was invented out of thin air about 200 years ago by Darby, who read his KJV in a historical/traditional/linguistic vacuum. It was brought to this country and fossilized into pretty much its current form by Scofield, who’d actually spent time in jail for fraud. Even the concept of “penal substitutionary atonement” only goes back about a thousand years, to Anselm of Canterbury.

            Want to see “radical”? Take a look through the eyes of Jewish New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine, who regrounds the human Jesus of Nazareth and his teachings within his own thoroughly Jewish country and culture.

            And while you’re at it, ask yourself: Are you worshiping the dead letter that kills (committing the sin of bibliolatry), or are you trying to follow the Living Word (Jesus) whose spirit gives life?

  • pud

    What total gibberish. There is no historical evidence what so ever that anyone named jesus existed. And even if he did the entire narrative is disgusting and revolting. Scapegoat human sacrifice, demons into pigs, healing a leper but not curing leprosy…what kind of madness is this that compels people to lose their minds and consider it wonderous? The myth of jesus is despicable when given an ounce of critical thought, delusional when given an ounce of credence.

    • It is ironic that you call what others say “gibberish” and then show yourself to be ignorant of both the relevant ancient sources and moderrn scholarship.

      • pud

        There is no extra biblical evidence..none. All heresay and noise from christain apologists already predisposed to their delusion.

        • What does the fact that sources eventually came to be included in a collection known as the Bible have to do with anything, from a historical perspective?

          • pud
          • Now that is serious trolling – going on the blog of a professional scholar who has published peer-reviewed scholarship about the historical Jesus, and saying “Educate yourself” before linking to YouTube videos of fringe apologists. Priceless!
            But this is a blog for serious discussion. If you are not interested, then there are plenty of places on the internet where the standards are much lower and your trolling would fit in just fine. This isn’t one of them.

          • ccws

            ***HEADDESK HEADDESK HEADDESK***

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      I just took a look at your profile PUD interesting choice of name buddy! as in the urban dictionary definition of PUD;
      ‘i’m so worried about Billy! I saw him behind the shed playing with his pud.’
      yeah, good name for a troll!
      you’ve been actively mocking on Christian blogs for quite a while now.
      winding people up/putting them down.
      it’s an addiction!
      quite a few atheist trolls like you get their nuts off binging for days!
      I think it’s the way, maybe the only way,
      you have of socializing. SAD! )=

  • Michael Larkin

    I shall leave a couple of verses to consider: Psalm 138:2, “I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, For You have exalted above all things your NAME and your WORD” 2nd Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but MY Word shall not pass away” Those who try to undermine the word of God can in no way be members of His household, they are of their father the Devil. The author is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I shall leave those verses for your consideration, however I will not respond to the author, for it would in deed be casting perils before swine. Remember the very first attack on God’s word, Surely God did not say….. It began in the garden and still goes on to this day through the likes of this dead man who promotes doubt on the word of the living God. your judgement cometh and that soon.

    • So you think Paul, for instance, was attacking God’s Word, when he took a clear teaching of Scripture – that anyone who is to be included in Abraham’s household must be circumcised, even if they are not his actual descendants – and eliminated that requirement?
      Or are you just one of those people who doesn’t know the Bible well, but thinks that if he mentions judgment he can scare other ignorant people on the internet into not looking closely at his claims?
      Either way, you clearly reject the approach to Scripture that Jesus taught and his early followers applied. And so how can you then pretend to be defending “God’s Word”?

      • Michael Larkin

        Yo a are an apostate. A dead rod. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. You speak only what you have heard from your father , the devil. Your judgement cometh and that will be soon.

        • Thank you for clarifying that you are in the second category. Obviously I could call you names back, but doing so would suggest that I have no substantive criticisms to offer of your views. This is a blog for substantive discussion, not for trolling and insults. If you cannot offer the former and have to resort to the latter, then this blog is not for you.

          • louismoreaugottschalk

            with respect please pray for Michael he’s in the last stages of an addiction! he is crying for help I think.

          • Jim Manderino

            This is funny. It must mean you have no good arguments when you call me conservative and non-christian.

        • Jim

          Maybe very few listen to your apologetic diarrhea because there is very little useful information in such responses. You’d almost think that if God wanted to deliver a message, he would want to pass on something intelligent and credible. But then again according to Paul “Not many of you were wise …”, so maybe it’s just par for the course.

        • Andrew Dowling

          Yawn, the folks around here know much about the Bible than you do buddy; your street-corner preacher act is not going to go anywhere on this blog.

        • Jim Manderino

          I’m not sure if these people are actually real. I’m pretty sure they are being paid to do this and it might be one person and not 4 attacking you here. But, the fact that they are attacking you, probably means they are not following the Word of God. For, you shall know them by their fruit, and the fruit of good does not slander someone for defending the Word of God. Now, the fact that you attacked them like this either means you are filled with righteous anger, which is justifiable, you have been hurt by their words, or you are also one of the ones trying to be the controlled opposition. In the first case, pray for their understanding and forgive, in the second, pray for strength and God’s peace, in the third, what are all of you doing fighting against the Word of God like this? Please, repent from your ways and follow Jesus. Do you really want to be on the side you are on? What kind of promises do you think you have outside of the Word of God?

          • Jim

            Speaking of your statement “I’m not sure if these people are actually real …”, I’m wondering why it is that when I read your comments (like the ones implying that no one can prove the earth isn’t just 6K years old etc.), I begin to hear the Outer Limits theme song?

      • Jim Manderino

        Paul says circumcision is not a requirement for salvation, which is true. Salvation requires 1) repentance 1b) turning to Jesus, the Word of God incarnate (is technically part of repentance) 2) believing in your heart and confessing that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. That’s it. However, Paul does not say that we should abandon the law, he affirms that it is good and just and holy. He encourages others to follow it because it is a blessing not a curse, meant for good and not evil. Additional evidence is that Paul concedes to James that some of the law has to be followed before new christians can eat with the assembly of believers. Note that this does not mean they are not saved. So where does it say that Paul hates the law again? Didn’t he say that he followed the law, as did Peter and James? I am embarrased for you that you continue to insult believers. There has to be someone less obvious to carry the message of division and hate for the entities you work for.

        • Genesis 17 is clear. One cannot be considered part of the household of Abraham without being circumcised. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+17

          A biblicist, inerrantist approach to the Bible cannot make sense of Paul’s setting aside of this clear requirement. When Paul made his case for this, his words were not yet Scripture. He was just a Jew who believed Jesus to be the Messiah, finding a way around a clear teaching of Scripture. And yet conservatives think they are being faithful to Paul when adopting the stance on the Bible that he argued against.

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      with respect I think you might be a religious addict.
      as Louie Armstrong said; ‘some people don’t know and you can’t tell them’
      I feel sorry for you.
      it’s a progressive disease. Sad! )=

    • Jim Manderino

      Truth brother. Keep up the fight.

    • summers-lad

      Michael
      Your comment shows that you are taking it for granted, because it is what so many of us have been taught, that Word of God = Bible. The first and third verses you quote do not say they are referring to Scripture, and the second one doesn’t mention the Word of God. Granted, the Bible contains God’s words, in law and in the prophets for example, but the clearest definition of the Word of God is in John 1 where it refers to Jesus. That is what Don Francisco and James McGrath are getting at.

    • Andrew Dowling

      Those verses are not referring to the Bible . . .

  • Herro

    >The Word of God IS perfect, infallible, and inerrant– and by the age of eighteen He had grown a beard.

    Ok. Good for him for not being a biblical inerrantist. But surely being a “Jesus” inerrantist is also extemely irrational.

    • louismoreaugottschalk

      not sure what you mean. does that make Jesus the Antichrist?

      • ccws

        THIS is the ONLY Jesus. 😉

  • Michael

    In 2 Peter, Peter equated Paul’s writings as scripture. I’m afraid you may be guilty of doing what Peter said was being done to Paul’s writings and the rest of the scriptures.

    • The author of 2 Peter, a late pseudepigraphic work, views Paul’s letters as Scripture. So?

    • ccws

      Scripture (graphos) is good as far as it goes, but it’s static and unable to respond to new events – and all too often it gets turned into the dead letter that kills. It becomes an idol as lifeless as any other.

      The word/Word (logos) is, first of all, a spoken word (truly I say – legō – to you). How many times did Jesus say, “It is written…but I say to you”? Jesus was no literalist! The logos (in Hebrew d’var) is also a power (dunamis), the dynamic power to create the living world simply by saying “Let there be…” and finally, Jesus is that dynamic Word “made flesh” who pitched his tent in our world to show us how to live dynamically, beyond the confines of the “paper idol.”

    • Andrew Dowling

      Ironic in that the author of II Peter was certainly not being truthful about being Peter the Apostle . . .

  • ccws

    My dad, an American Baptist minister, used to catch crap all the time for saying “The Bible isn’t the Word of God – JESUS is.” We all need to ask ourselves: Are we worshiping the dead letter = graphos (bibliolatry), or are we following the life example of the true Word = Logos made flesh (Jesus), who more often than not leads us far beyond the chicken scratch on the page?

    • Dave O’Brien

      Why did God inspire men to write the words contained in the Bible, not according to their own interpretation, but what He intended them to write? And how do you know the “life example” of Jesus apart from those writings?

      • Why are you assuming that God causes people to write exactly what God wanted them to? And why does your second question seem to assume bizarrely that we only know about the past through inerrant texts or independently of texts altogether?

        • Dave O’Brien

          It’s not assumption, it’s a fact (unless you believe that God is a liar). Rom 3:4; 2 Peter 1:20-21

          The Bible is the revelation of the message of Jesus. There is no outside source that is a reliable witness of His life and death. To make that leap, makes you a cultist.

          • That makes no sense. You are the one making the Biblical authors out to be liars when you claim that God was the author of the works they composed. And you are also making God a liar when you claim that God pretended to be those human authors.
            You seem not to have understood the point about the Gospels. Why are you being so adamant in disagreement without first understanding what others are saying?

          • Dave O’Brien

            It makes perfect sense to those who believe God over man, obviously you do not.

            2 Peter 1:20 is not a lie. No one who wrote the Bible did so under private interpretation. The Bible is as if God wrote it Himself. To suggest otherwise is to call God a liar, and it is you, not God, that lies.

          • You keep quoting what humans wrote, and yet you claim to “believe God over man.” Do you not see the problem?
            How is it calling God a liar to suggest that the Bible is what it shows itself to be?

          • Dave O’Brien

            No, you foolishly believe that the Bible is man’s invention, rather than God’s direction. The truth is, you don’t believe God is capable of orchestrating every word of it’s contents through the agency of men. Your childish attempts to put the onus on man, rather than God, is YOUR problem.

          • This is not abut what God can or cannot do. That God could create in a second does not mean that God did not actually create in six days, or over a much longer period of time. Instead of lobbing insults and engaging in idolatry, you might want to try actually acquainting yourself with the Bible’s teachings, as it has to say things about both those topics.

          • Dave O’Brien

            I not only “know” the Bible, but, unlike you, believe what it says. Those who believe God KNOW that He created the heavens and the earth in six days. Those who don’t “know” that, believe someone else.

          • Phil Ledgerwood

            I believe God implicitly. Stake my life on Him. I know He did not create the heavens and the earth in six days. That would make God incredibly deceptive.

          • Dave O’Brien

            Well, let’s see, either you or God is a liar.
            I’m going to say it’s YOU.

            What would make God deceptive is to say He created in six days when He didn’t. You are sadly confused, and not a believer.

          • Since you seem incapable of homest or rational discussion, I think it is time for you to leave. Pretending that God wrote the Bible, and then pretending that anyone who recognizes the limited human perspectives of the Bible’s human authors is “calling God a liar” is itself dishonest. Your idolatrous approach to the Bible shows clearly that you are the one who is confused and not a believer. Goodbye. If you repent and are willing to discuss the Bible honestly and rationally, please contact me and I will happily rescind the ban.

          • Phil Ledgerwood

            You seem nice.

            What would make God deceptive would be to say He created the world in six days and then create a world that displayed all evidence of having been created by a much different process that took a much longer span of time. It would be like me breaking your window, leaving my fingerprints all over the place, then getting angry with you for accusing me of breaking into your house. I’d be setting you up.

            Further, since Genesis 1 is written in an obvious parallelism, any ancient Hebrew readers would most definitely have understood this as a theological construct. If God meant to communicate to them that He created the earth in six literal days, he deliberately communicated it in a structure that His people were bound to interpret as non-literal, which is also deceptive. He should have eliminated the parallelisms and thematic structures completely and probably left out Genesis 2, all of which would give ancient readers the wrong idea.

            I don’t know why you insist on making God so deceptive. I believe He is truthful, which is why the empirical evidence shows what He actually did and the structure of Genesis 1 actually communicates His intent. I don’t know why you’d want to twist all that.

  • Dan

    This is manifestly false teaching. Clearly, Jesus is not the Bible. Who is saying that? Rather than guiding my life by CS Lewis, who says, “We must not use the Bible . . . as a weapon,” I will be guided by Paul, who told us to “take up the full armor of God, which includes, “the sword of the Spirit, which is, the word of God.” In fact, How do you even fit Eph.6:17 into this novel doctrine? And, BTW, this doctrine is causing blasphemers and Gospel naysayers to comment in droves, and yet, none who promotes this teaching, including Don and Wendy, appear willing to correct this bad fruit, though the offense occur in front of them; but their harsh words are rather directed at those “idolaters” who do not pick choose which parts of the Bible to believe. Teacher, rebuke your disciples.

    • You seem to be assuming, for some odd reason, that when the author of Ephesians wrote that letter, he meant “the Word of God (which, although I will not explicitly says so, includes this letter that you are now reading).”

      Why not understand “Word of God” to mean that which God says, rather that taking it as referring to a collection of human writings about God?

      • Dan

        Indeed, I am assuming that; but not for “odd reason;” rather on the basis of the scriptures herein undermined. Peter himself declares Paul’s epistles as “scripture,” when he writes: “As also in all his epistles . . . which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest as they do OTHER scriptures, unto their own destruction. Peter uses the Greek word loy-poy’ (meaning “remainder.”) This is the same word translated “rest” where we read, “the election hath obtained it but the REST were blinded.” (Rom. 11:7) If Peter calls Paul’s words “scripture,” then so do I. Your reply begs the questions of what “sword of the Spirit” YOU would take up, and what “word of God” do you possess which was not conveyed to you by a man?

        • The fact that a late pseudepigraphic work written in Peter’s name considers Paul’s letters among the scriptures/writings is most certainly an odd reason for identifying these works with “the Word of God.” It is unfortunate that, although you claim to esteem these texts highly, you have not taken the time to learn the basics about them.

          • Dan

            “Pseudepigraphic?” What you call “false” has been held divinely-inspired and a sacred source of comfort and encouragement for struggling believers for two thousand years of church history. (hardly an “odd reason”) I suppose the cat-is-out-of-the-bag, as we have now gone from the question of inerrancy, to the outright assertion of the falsehood of some scripture. Fair then. At least you don’t beat around the bush, as so many others are doing. BTW, I was confident you would not attempt to answer either of my two questions.

          • You seem once again to have the bizarre notion that people cannot be comforted by pseudepigraphic workslike Daniel or the Books of Enoch. And as I said, you seem unaware of what the ancient church discussed anout works like 2 Peter, never mind recent works of scholarship.

          • Dan

            Although I’m aware of much of the history, it seems non-useful to engage a book-by-book discussion of canonicity. The believer who entertains this Higher Criticism places him/herself in difficult straits when God’s Spirit approaches in judgment. For, what has he left himself upon which to rely if the promises of Scripture are suspect? And, in the day of temptation, which of the Gospel warnings will give him strength to resist the flesh, if he has not conviction in the written word of God? Even the Lord responded, in that day, with, “It is written.” Those who share your perspective can speak nothing with authority. And so, they are left without their defense.

          • I don’t find these sorts of scare tactics at all appropriate, since, if one has paid attention to the Bible’s contents, one ought to be more worried about mistaking the work of human hands for the divine and committing idolatry, than missing the activity of God’s Spirit, as God seems at once omnipresent and all-pervasive, and perfectly capable of dealing with weak and fallible but open human beings and getting our attention.

            It also seems to me inappropriate to say that, in times of temptation, one wants certainty, and therefore God must have provided it in this way. That was presumably what justified the making of the golden calf.”Moses is gone, the people are uncertain and nervous, and surely we are meant to have a symbol of God’s reassuring presence with us.”

    • Phil Ledgerwood

      Eph. 6:17 isn’t talking about the Bible. The Bible didn’t even exist at the time.

      The “sword” in Eph. 6 is the Spirit.

      shield of faith
      helmet of salvation
      sword of the Spirit

      The Spirit is the sword, just like salvation is the helmet and faith is the shield. Paul then adds the phrase “ho estin rhema Theou” which could mean either that the Spirit is the word of God, or the whole armor of God is the word of God.

      But either way, it’s not the Bible.

  • Dan

    Is this an engineered forum too?