Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On The Bible

The more I discuss interpretations of scripture, the more I come to an inevitable conclusion.  A person can legitimately use the bible to prove radically opposing ideas.  Yes, I said legitimately.  Over and over and over and over I listen to people insisting and arguing about "what the bible says."  Both sides arguing feverishly (myself not infrequently one of the ones arguing) and throwing scripture verses like stones.  Both sides using commonly accepted interpretive principles (different principles at different locations).  Both sides generally using the Bible as a legal document to prove their point about God or morality or politics or whatever suits their fancy.  And both sides doing so justifiably, coming to valid conclusions that are diametrically opposed.  What does that tell us about scripture?

I just can't help but come to another conclusion:  I don't think we're using scripture the right way.  Scripture is a testimony.  It is a story of how God has worked in the lives of the heroes (and at times, the villains) of our faith.  I cannot find where its writers insist that it is of inerrant nature.  They do claim a kind of authority for themselves and for their writing, but I don't know if the kind of authority it claims is the kind of authority we want to push off on it.  I do believe scripture is inspired, but I fear that my understanding of inspired is not the same as large portions of the Christian community.   Neither do I find that they are consistent with their own specified understanding of inspiration.

The question is... how should we be using it.  Hmmm... I have some ideas.  Maybe I'll consider them on here sometime.

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