Accepting the Bible for What It Is

Accepting the Bible for What It Is May 30, 2016

Pavlovitz Inerrant Bible Quote

This is one of several great quotes from John Pavlovitz’s recent blog post, “Why this Christian doesn’t need a perfect Bible.”

The key reason is that it is idolatry, it attributes to the work of human hands an attribute that belongs to God alone.

Click through to read the rest.

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  • John MacDonald

    It’s a leap of faith to JUMP FROM “I believe the Scriptures to be the work of the hands of a faithful, earnest, striving Humanity seeking to understand, know, and honor God.” To “The writings don’t need to be inerrant or devoid of the preferences and personalities of their authors to powerfully illuminate God for us.” Just because writers passionately explore a subject doesn’t imply the have successfully illuminated anything about the subject. Maybe God is Evil (the fact of 3 year olds dying of cancer would suggest this). Maybe God committed suicide after creating the universe. Maybe God doesn’t exist. Maybe God exists but couldn’t care less about us. We really don’t know anything at all about God.

  • Matthew Green

    James, this would probably be my stance if I was a Christian. The biggest reason I am not a progressive Christian is because I think that the resurrection of Jesus is essential. Sure, individual stories about the risen Jesus could be metaphorical or symbolic in some way but without Jesus having risen in bodily form from the dead, I can’t see any point to being a Christian.
    I personally wouldn’t have any problem accepting errant Scripture. The way that I look at it is like this: if conservatives can believe that God uses evil as a means to achieve a greater good, then why can’t God use myth, metaphors, propaganda, historical narrative, and other parts of the Bible as a means to achieve the greater end of educating us? So, the story of the fall of man in Genesis is a myth; but can’t this teach us a greater truth? Namely that disobedience to God’s rules (or any authority for that matter) can have ugly consequences?

    • Sorry I didn’t manage to respond while I was traveling. I would say that our tendency in Christianity is to make our own survival of death the centerpiece of religion and its whole rationale. That has not always been the case, and I don’t think it has to remain the case moving forward into the future.

      If Christian language and imagery are just one of the many ways that humans have articulated convictions and explored big questions, then the appropriate thing to do if one is part of that heritage is to adapt them and develop them in ways that make sense for oneself and one’s time. Abandoning symbolic language won’t work if we are going to talk about life’s mysteries, and so the real question is whether another set of symbols and metaphors seems preferable to you to these, and if so why.