I couldn’t begin to count how many times it’s happened.  I’ve been discussing a certain issue with someone, and eventually to prove his point, the phrase “well this is what the Bible says” comes up – usually followed by a long, poorly edited, copied and pasted passage from BibleGateway.com.  In the person’s mind this passage is the end of the argument, the last hurrah, the final amen.  It is the trump card of debate, and the checkmate of discussion.  The howitzer of the Bible has been pointed squarely at me, and I am a casualty of theological disagreement.

I’ve often wondered where the practice of referring to the Bible as a weapon came from.  I remember in Children’s Church when we have “sword drills“.  The teacher would open her Bible, pick a verse at random, and the student who found the verse in the least amount of time won.  Not to boast or anything, but I remember winning more than my fair share of these battles.  Perhaps growing up in a pastor’s house where I was surrounded by Bibles had given me some sort of innate ability to thumb through the pages of Scripture quickly…

I also remember sitting in the audience at youth events listening to speakers tell us how to “use our Bibles to push back the forces of darkness”.  I remember hearing that one way or another our public schools were being invaded by evolutionists, homosexuals, or perhaps worst of all, the secular humanists.  It was our job as Christian teens to stand up against these people, and use the weapons at our disposal to do Christ’s work.  After all, Satan has already taken too much ground.  Generally, I would leave these events pretty hyped up, at least for two or three days.  Then it seemed that fighting Satan’s minions took a back seat to math homework, English papers, or, let’s face it, doing nothing (I wasn’t that big of a nerd…).

In college, things were different, but yet they were the same.  I quickly got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ, and I remember attending one of their cleverly-titled “Cross Training” events.  At these events we would go through various Crusade literature (including the 4 Spiritual Laws booklet, of course), and learn how to contend for our faith and give watertight answers for the skeptics we would inevitably meet.  Again, Scripture was presented as a tool at best and as a weapon at worst.  It seemed that purpose of knowing Scripture verses was to blow away our ideological opponents.  We were the Christian Dirty Harrys on campus, just itching to meet an atheist and have him “make our day”.

Towards the end of my college career (such an odd term, as so little of college falls into the category of work), I started thinking about how ineffective these training sessions and booklets seemed to be.  I wondered why no one seemed to be interested debating with me about the existence of God, and even less about why homosexuality is wrong.  Heck, it seemed most people were content to let me believe whatever I wanted to as long as I left them alone.  I wondered why Christians told me that a state university would be such a hostile environment to my faith, when in reality it seemed like most professors saw faith as a good thing.  I wondered what was the point of all my “weapons training”?  What if in the midst of trying to become a better fighter for the faith, I had forgotten to let the Word mold me and change me?  What if in trying to win arguments, I had forgotten that people really need a friend they can trust and talk to, rather than a watertight argument?

So that brings me to where I am now.  I almost physically cringe when I hear Christians use the phrase “the Bible says” anymore.  Just the other week I heard someone advertising a class that would teach Christians “how to use the BIble”.  I am tired of using Scripture as weapon to beat people with.  I am tired of making myself greater than Scripture.  I believe that if you think of Scripture as a tool or weapon, it inevitable places you in a position that is greater than Scripture.  The person who is holding a weapon is the one in charge of the weapon.  The person who wielding a tool is directing that tool.  I believe this almost a complete 180 from the way we are to approach Scripture.  I believe we need to submit to it.  It molds us and shapes us, and it directs us on how we are to live.  When we start talking about “using” Scripture, I believe it’s a dangerous endeavor.

Now I know I might come off as cynical here, but I really am not.  I do believe that everyone I encountered had the best of intentions.  I think they believed they were just being faithful to the Christian faith they had receieved.  I’m sure many of them would point to 2 TImothy 3:16 to justify their actions.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

After all, that verse specifically mentions Scripture in the context of training and correcting.  It certainly seems that Scripture is being used as a tool in that context.  However, if we take a look at that whole passage, I think the picture becomes a little different.

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So it seems that Paul is not just telling Timothy to continue to learn Scripture to win theological arguments and to convince pagans how wrong they were.  No, Paul is telling Timothy that he needs to lean on Scripture to train him, to equip him for service.  It’s not that Paul is reminding Timothy to memorize Scripture to fight back the heathen philosophies of Rome, as much as he is reminding that Scripture is his source of life.  It’s the thing that keeps him going.  Just as God breathed in Adam, He breathed into the Scriptures.  When we read them and let them mold us, we are partaking in the life that God has for us.

So, that is why I have chosen to lay down my weapons.  I have decided that I will try and let Scripture mold me before I try to make change other’s behavior.  I will try to submit my own will to the Bible before I try to use it to break other’s wills.  I will ask forgiveness of those who I have been casualties in the wars where Scripture has been used as weapon, and I will do my best to stand beside those on the receiving end of the blows.

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250 Comments(+Add)

1   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:52 am

Phil,

Some good thoughts in there, for example being a friend to come along side instead of bashing just to win an argument. But I do see some throwing out the baby with the bathwater type reasoning. Paul uses many military and sports allusions. Like everything else. It’s a balance which should have agape love (including mercy) as the first rule of engagement.

2   Joe C    
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:55 am

Wow, good post. I’ve only started seeing things in this frame of reference recently…

We kind of touched on it at the end of the “salvation prerequisites” forum. I’m glad you posted this, thanks a lot.

Joe

3   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:57 am

What’s funny is that, in my experience, the more often someone argues, “Well, the bible says dot dot dot,” the less likely they are to even understand the passage/s they’re quoting.

I’ve always considered it a “tell” for “I’ve never really thought this through with my own brain.”

4   Chris P.    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:44 am

“the phrase “well this is what the Bible says” comes up – usually followed by a long, poorly edited copied and pasted passage from BibleGateway.com. In the person’s mind this passage is the end of the argument, the last hurrah, the final amen. It is the trump card of debate, and the checkmate of discussion. The howitzer of the Bible has been pointed squarely at me, and I am a casualty of theological disagreement.”

The amazing thing about this blog is the arrogant strawman arguments, and the over generalizations.

Whoops, that’s the odms. My bad.

5   Chris P.    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 am

“I’ve always considered it a “tell” for “I’ve never really thought this through with my own brain.”

What about the Spirit will lead you into all Truth?

Whoops, that’s modern gnosticism. My bad.

6   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:51 am

Well, I guess Billy Graham doesn’t have a spot on this post. He used that phrase all the time and probably led more people to Christ than any other!

Poor Billy, been doing it wrong all these years…(spit in the bucket)

7   nc    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:55 am

Whoops, that’s the odms. My bad.

Whoops, that’s modern gnosticism. My bad.

No worries, mistakes happen.
;)

8   nc    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:57 am

jonathan,

you forget.
The ODiuM’s have excommunicated Billy Graham for going even more liberal than before.

9   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:06 pm

Once again a post that doesn’t reference ODM’s and lo and behold an ODM comes in and starts swinging.

10   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:25 pm

BTW: I’ve always considered it a “tell” for “I’ve never really thought this through with my own brain.”

11   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:26 pm

I’ve always considered it a “tell” for “I’ve never really thought this through with my own brain.”

BTW: So your brain makes decisions in a a vacuum?

12   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Jonathan,
I haven’t listened to Billy Graham preach in a long time, so I’ll take your word for it. My bet is though that when he says the phrase, “the Bible says” it isn’t in the conext of a theological debate. I think he has earned the respect of both believers and non-believers because he is an example of someone who has molded his life to Scripture. When he says that phrase, people will listen.

13   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:28 pm

So I am going to listen to ___________ (fill in blank), instead of Scriptures when dealing with life, morality, Spiritual issues? I don’t think so.

14   Jose    
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:34 pm

I have a question any of you have ever encounter a posessed ( by demons ) human?
What would you use to cast out a demon?

15   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Chris P: So, that is why I have chosen to lay down my weapons. I have decided that I will try and let Scripture mold me before I try to make change other’s behavior. I will try to submit my own will to the Bible before I try to use it to break other’s wills. I will ask forgiveness of those who I have been casualties in the wars where Scripture has been used as weapon, and I will do my best to stand beside those on the receiving end of the blows.

You know, when someone comes to me with an argument from Scripture my response is “Well alrighty then, let’s go to that Scripture and have a look.” I WANT my life to be in line with Scripture, so I take the comment and the teaching and like a good little Berean I go to the Scriptures and if I’m wrong I repent and try to conform my life to the Scriptures. If I think the other person has a wrong take, I let them know it, explain my reasoning and if we still disagree I move on. I have to answer to God and not them. End of story.

There is a time and place for apologetics just as there are going to be jerks in every world view. There is a lot of unnecessary angst around here sometimes.

16   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I have a question any of you have ever encounter a posessed ( by demons ) human? What would you use to cast out a demon?

I have seen people who I believe were possessed, although I didn’t interact with them directly. In that case, I actually do believe that believer’s have authority through Christ.

I would say that my post is talking about using the Bible as a weapon against people, not against spiritual forces and principalities. Even Paul warns in Ephesians that our battle isn’t against flesh and blood.

17   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 1:03 pm

Phil – just from reading your posts here and there, as well as your comments on posts, you always seem to reference your personal experience growing up in a church and, now that you’re grown, being somewhat disillusioned with the ‘poor, well-meaning folk’ who were off the mark.

I would argue that in present Christianity, the majority of Christians are woefully “under-armed” to do any battle whatsoever. It is not that everyone is so diligent in their bible reading and memorization that they just can’t agree – hence the warfare. Rather, complacency and the “as long as you believe in Jesus” mindframe prevails.

“You want to live a homosexual lifestyle while still claiming Christ? No problem.”

“You want to continue in the same manner of life as you always did? No problem – Jesus paid it all. Hallelujah!”

This is what many people are taught.

In the blogosphere, you may find people “better armed” than average (or at least they think so) but that doesn’t represent the masses who simply believe tradition and hearsay more often than not, and build their life accordingly.

We are to stand on scripture, and if someone is off-base, use scripture – not as a bludgeon – but as a guide and as the ultimate authority. Of course, people don’t like to be corrected which I gather is the undertone here.

We tend to argue from positions already firmly dug in and from the standpoint of sentiment (”I just can’t believe that because [ insert sentiment here].”

I agree that scripture is to guide me FIRST, but as someone rightly said, “Salvation is one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread.”

18   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 1:07 pm

BTW: So your brain makes decisions in a a vacuum?

Mmhmm, a Hoover.

19   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 1:11 pm

I have a question any of you have ever encounter a posessed ( by demons ) human?
What would you use to cast out a demon?

Like the governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal, when he decided to participate in an exorcism on a girl who had CANCER?

I’d probably call 911.

So I am going to listen to ___________ (fill in blank), instead of Scriptures when dealing with life, morality, Spiritual issues? I don’t think so.

Or there’s the reasonable middle ground, where one can use all the tools as one’s disposal, including their brains, their perceptions, their life experiences, and yes, scripture, when making decisions.

This post is about when idiots think they win arguments by saying “but look, it sez raht here, see?”

Nobody’s denying the validity of using scripture as a guide.

20   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 1:54 pm

Phil,

The problem has never been the Bible. The problem is our fallible, arrogant, foolish, sectarian interpretations of the Bible.

I am with you……..I cringe when someone wants to get in a Bible quoting contest with me. Dueling verses. Reminds me of sixth grade boys in the restroom standing away from the urinal and seeing who can hit it. All you end up with is a wet floor and a ticked off Janitor.

I really don’t care what people believe any more. I want to see how they live…….end of story.

21   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Did we forget it is a war. That we are called to put on the armor. And what part of the armor is a sword??

Scripture Alone. It is the only weapon to decide matters of faith and pratice.

What else should trump the bible. Good exegitical reading. Letting the bible speak. A giant and active sword. Peirecing our souls. What else can peirce the soul of man like the bible??

So what should be the final trump card in a theologival debate?

22   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:17 pm

That sounds so World of Warcraft.

23   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Kyle,

I think you’ve missed Phil’s point – He’s not suggesting anything should ‘trump’ the Bible.

Rather, he is simply suggesting that ’sword’ isn’t the only metaphor (or the dominant one) for Scripture -

So it seems that Paul is not just telling Timothy to continue to learn Scripture to win theological arguments and to convince pagans how wrong they were. No, Paul is telling Timothy that he needs to lean on Scripture to train him, to equip him for service. It’s not that Paul is reminding Timothy to memorize Scripture to fight back the heathen philosophies of Rome, as much as he is reminding that Scripture is his source of life. It’s the thing that keeps him going. Just as God breathed in Adam, He breathed into the Scriptures. When we read them and let them mold us, we are partaking in the life that God has for us.

Using the sword metaphor, as many use it, suggests that you need to attack someone else with scripture. Paul’s metaphor of the sword, though, is quite different:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

If you will notice, it is used in defense – against schemes of the evil one, against principalities and powers and spiritual forces. What this often gets construed as, as Phil points out, is as an offensive weapon against individuals. Scripture often gets pulled into a discussion as some sort of ‘trump card’ – often completely ripped from any semblance of context and with a high degree of opinionated interpretation.

Should we be changed by Scripture and should we use it in our discussions about faith? Certainly. As with anything, though, it takes a great deal of humility to bring it to bear in such a way that is in context and allows for legitimate interpretations apart from your own.

24   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Kyle, You forget that Phil already was waiting for your “Sword” and “Armor” defense in his second paragraph!

Phil, I am sure that Billy Graham has been in his fare share of theo debates and I have also heard people debate what he has preached even in his younger years. The only thing you cannot debate him on is the gospel which he truly preaches from scripture, but there are facets of scripture where he has been debated with.

I am a pastors kid and I have heard my share of “the bible says”, but in my age now I love to hear it! It tells me that the person, whether clear or unclear, is trying to state his case biblically! Remember, without the Bible we have no point of reference outside of our own definition of reality…which is existentialism.

25   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:29 pm

“Using the sword metaphor, as many use it, suggests that you need to attack someone else with scripture.”

We don’t have to attack with it, because it attacks all on its own. The bible says that the gospel will offend. If you quote scripture, which I agree should be done in a loving manner, it will offend and attack!

26   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Chris L.

I agree with most of that.

So what are the schemes of the devil?

What does the devil confort the most? The bible and God’s word. Has God said?

So while the I agree I see one of the most important parts of fighting the devil is standing for God’s truth. Not in order to win debates that is prideful and sinful. Wrong motives are always wrong. You use the sword to rebuke, reproof, correct and train. So you use it aginst both heathen and christian so that they might be reconciled to God through Christ.

Decitful are kisses of an enemy but faithful are wounds from friends. Even though sometimes the precived way people use scpirute may seems painful but hopeful it will bring about the fruit of repentance and righteaousness.

Every always agrees that there are certain central doctrinces you can not comprimse on. But then there are the seconday issues where grace and lovingkindness need to be displayed even more so with inter christian debates.

27   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:37 pm

I am a pastors kid and I have heard my share of “the bible says”, but in my age now I love to hear it! It tells me that the person, whether clear or unclear, is trying to state his case biblically! Remember, without the Bible we have no point of reference outside of our own definition of reality…which is existentialism.

Part of the issue, Jon, is that quite often “the Bible says” is used in discussions with whom that holds as much credibility as the “Q’ran says”, “the Book of Mormon says”, “the National Enquirer says” – (and in a number of the same venues has interpretative/contextual issues, to boot…). Paul often references Scripture (though more often paraphrased than quoted) in his writings, though he frames it in the conversation with people he already knows. When we see him on Mars Hill and in other public forums, we don’t see the same methods as when he’s dealing with people who accept the Bible as Truth.

Certainly it is authoritative and the ultimate source of truth, but if you’re trying to use it as such with someone who doesn’t accept it as authoritative, then you’re not so much trying to show someone the truth as you are demonstrating your superiority…

28   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:39 pm

So you use it aginst both heathen and christian so that they might be reconciled to God through Christ.

But Paul’s primary advice to Timothy is not on using it against someone else, but rather in being yourself transformed by it. If you see it primarily as an offensive weapon, then you’re setting yourself up to be sanctimonious, in the process…

29   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Kyle said:

You use the sword to rebuke, reproof, correct and train.

Bruce says:

Swords are used to kill.

30   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Chris

If you hold to truth and someone else doesn’t and you tell them this is the truth, than you show superiority?

Did Galileo show superiority or truth?

31   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Decitful are kisses of an enemy but faithful are wounds from friends. Even though sometimes the precived way people use scpirute may seems painful but hopeful it will bring about the fruit of repentance and righteaousness.

So, let me get this straight – it is more important that I use Scripture to convict and convert someone else than it is if they are convicted or converted?

32   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Well it does lay everything to bear and peirce us and kill the old man. But it brings about new life also. Metaphors are not literal.

33   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:42 pm

yes

34   Jose    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:43 pm

So this all boils down to the intent of the person.

35   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Isn’t everything in the bible about the heart?

36   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Phil – just from reading your posts here and there, as well as your comments on posts, you always seem to reference your personal experience growing up in a church and, now that you’re grown, being somewhat disillusioned with the ‘poor, well-meaning folk’ who were off the mark.

Well we are all bound by our experience to a large degree, but I do not I am disillusioned with my past, really. I have seen some people do some horrible things in Christ’s name, but I have also seen some people who have lived awesome, consistent Christian lives. To me it seems the ones that I admire most, though, have been people who have gone against the grain of the mainstream a lot of times, though.

Where I’m at now is just standing back and looking at the things that have helped me grow and the things that have been a waste of time. I don’t think Christ allows us to continue down a road unquestioning things. I think He demands the exact opposite, really.

You are correct, though, people do not like to be corrected, especially by those with whom they have no real relationship. I think that is what I see a lot of online. I see a lot of shots across the bow, but I don’t see a lot tears for our supposed enemies. It is always easier to write a post about so-and-so’s problems, but it’s a lot harder to own up to our shortcomings.

I believe Scripture can be viewed as a sword or knife in some sense, but I believe the Holy Spirit wields it. He is cutting away stuff from our lives and messing with us. I think we like to turn it towards others, but a lot of times that’s a diversion from He wants to do in us.

37   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:47 pm

“Certainly it is authoritative and the ultimate source of truth, but if you’re trying to use it as such with someone who doesn’t accept it as authoritative, then you’re not so much trying to show someone the truth as you are demonstrating your superiority…”

Chris L, I see where you coming from, but I have to ask you this….Then what do you use? Certainly not words of men’s wisdom as Paul shot that down.

I agree that you must show you equality as a sinner, but you must also not show your superiority because we must present the word with humility. But we must always quote the word as a point of reference. That point of reference doesn’t return void. If we don’t have that point of reference we are like nutcrackers that give of sound.
Chris L, I agree we shouldn’t use it for our own spiritual pride or battering ram!

38   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:50 pm

If you hold to truth and someone else doesn’t and you tell them this is the truth, than you show superiority?

If your purpose is just to tell them the truth, then your purpose is superiority. If your purpose is to convince them of the truth, then you’re on the right track.

When you use methods that will convey the truth, but you ignore or downplay methods which might demonstrate or convince, then you’re motives are likely a bit out of whack.

Did Galileo show superiority or truth?

Galileo was interested in the truth, not his own ego – he even acquiesced to the church in not ‘holding to’ heliocentricity for many years, only discussing it as a hypothetical, partially in order to convince church figures that it was about the truth and not about his own fame. He wanted the truth to be known, not to be known as the one who told it.

39   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Chris L, I see where you coming from, but I have to ask you this….Then what do you use? Certainly not words of men’s wisdom as Paul shot that down.

I know you asked Chris, but it’s my post, so I’m butting in, LOL…

I would say that as a whole the fact that we feel the need to “use” anything kind of speaks to a certain lack of trust in the Holy Spirit to do his job. There is a time and a place for apologetics, but I think the heavy lifting, as it were, is always done by the Holy Spirit. He softens hearts and draws people to God.

If we try changing other’s behavior through arguments based on logic or even on Scripture, we will end up frustrated a lot of the time.

40   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Kyle – is your “yes” an answer to:

So, let me get this straight – it is more important that I use Scripture to convict and convert someone else than it is if they are convicted or converted?

If so, I think both the Apostle Paul, by his example, and I would have to disagree…

41   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:53 pm

If you hold to truth and someone else doesn’t and you tell them this is the truth, than you show superiority?

Did Galileo show superiority or truth?

False comparison.

Galileo proved his case.

Faith, by definition, cannot be “proven” as truth.

42   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:57 pm

False comparison.

Galileo proved his case.

Evan,

I don’t think it was a false comparison – it actually was a good one – Galileo held to a scientific position that was not at odds with the Bible, but rather one that was at odds with the church’s popular interpretation of a part of the Bible. His approach was two-fold – it demonstrated that a) he was not at odds with Scripture; and b) that scientific evidence proved heliocentricity. In fact, he was so interested in the truth being known that he wanted to convince people, not just say “this is the truth and y’all are stupid…”

43   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Yes it is to that question.

How will poeple belive if no one is sent? What are people sent to do? Preach Christ and Him cruficied. That is all Paul wanted to preach to both christian and heathen.

If you do not convicited people by the bible and convert them with the bible, remember the sword is the Spirit of God, which is the word of God, what exactly are you convicting them of and conerting them to?

Now you can use whatever words you want to convey this message(contextaulizing) but it must be this message from the bible. Christ and His death.

Agree or disagree?

44   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:00 pm

How will poeple belive if no one is sent? What are people sent to do? Preach Christ and Him cruficied.

And does it require quoting directly from Scripture to ‘preach Christ and Him crucified’, or does it require communicating this message in a way it is likely to be heard (perhaps even using art, music, film, etc. – or our own lives – in demonstrating that truth)?

I agree that it requires contextualization – but that’s a dirty word in a whole lot of Christian circles these days (which I suspect is where Phil’s coming from)…

45   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:00 pm

Phil said:

I see a lot of shots across the bow, but I don’t see a lot tears for our supposed enemies.

I have to agree with you wholeheartedly here. The web makes it so easy to do this, sadly so.

My view is that the primary responsibility of any Christian is to weigh himself according to the word of God – that includes motives. But it’s not a zero-sum, either/or game. It is also to shape our thinking (renewing our mind) so that we see more clearly.

When we see someone stumbling headlong in error, we should correct them – in meekness, considering ourselves also capable of falling.

In an age of religious deception, which ours is, where the devil actually preaches (a distorted) Christ and gospel, we cannot be naive but, as the apostles warned (especially Peter) we are remain steadfast in the faith – knowing what we believe and standing firmly on it.

46   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:03 pm

BTT

Faith is not blind, God is not irrational. I belive what has happend and can prove what has happened.

Erveryone has the same evidence. Some look at it and become Christian because the evidence is overwhelming like Lee Strobul. Others look at the same evdence and become apostate and leave the faith the Bart Erman.

So the evidence for faith is really. What would be the only difference? Faith imparted by the Spirit. It is not that one argument trumps another. I always wonder how anyone can listen to Dawkins or the like, they are just plain stupid. Then my pride puffs up and says”OOO looked me I am so smart and have so much knowledge” The the Spirit cuts me with His sword and reminds me that no carnal man can understand the things of the spirit. So the only reason I follow the evidence to Christ and God is because the Spirit opened my mind and heart. Then comes the repantance because it is all by Grace and nothing that I have done.

47   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Chris

I know it is dirty that is why I used it. I would say some methods would not convey the message of Christ and I would also say that there needs to be references to the bible. Like in Athens Paul doesn’t quote, the had no OT backgroud, rather he give’s the overall flow. God created, and will judge, but Christ! Christ and Him killed must be the central message other wise it is no gospel at all. If you want to use the “Good Guy” cartoon tracks from Ray Comfort, a movie, a CD, ect…It does not matter as long as it is the goespel.

How would you use art?? I would think there would have to be some sort of words because there is no art that in modern times that is viewed however the looker wants to. But anything, alomst anything, can be used as long as it proclaims the gospel.

48   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Chris L, The word of God as superior, then, yes. Us as born again humans, no.

49   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Yeah, but Chris, this is the important part:

b) that scientific evidence proved heliocentricity.

If he didn’t have the science, he would be just some guy running around with his interpretation of Scripture, which, as I said, is mostly unprovable by definition.

And I would also suggest that this has bearing for how Christians should use the “sword” (screwed up metaphor if there ever was one) of scripture with the general public.

This is why “it’s in the bible” is not only NOT an argument winner, but is utterly laughable to nonbelievers.

The audience said “prove it.”

50   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Break:Or there’s the reasonable middle ground, where one can use all the tools as one’s disposal, including their brains, their perceptions, their life experiences, and yes, scripture, when making decisions.

Hmmmmm.

Brains (intellect) – Self centered, self loving.
Perceptions – subjective, foolable, trickable.
Experiences – subjective.
Scripture – Objective, True, eternal, unchanging, God breathed.

Yep, still goin’ with Scripture for anything pertaining to life and godliness.

51   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:20 pm

BREAK – This post is about when idiots think they win arguments by saying “but look, it sez raht here, see

?

Break, how loving and tolerant of you.

52   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:21 pm

BREAK: “Mmhmm, a Hoover.”

I thought you would at least say a Dyson since you are so intellectual and all! :-)

53   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Faith is not blind, God is not irrational. I belive what has happend and can prove what has happened.

I never said that, but no, you can’t “prove it.”

That said, I don’t agree with all of Richard Dawkins’ conclusions, but science is not stupid, and it’s not your enemy.

Richard Dawkins is merely one of the extreme right’s boogeymen du jour.

54   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:22 pm

BRUCE: I really don’t care what people believe any more. I want to see how they live…….end of story.

How people live is an indication of what they truly believe.

55   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I thought you would at least say a Dyson since you are so intellectual and all!

Please, I don’t vacuum.

:)

56   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Yes you can prove it. Pretty easy. But then the choice is belief of that proof.

Science is not our emeny but Dawkins certainly is. Science only points towards God and His glory.

The bible is the most accurate document ever in human history. The bible and outside source say Jesus died and rose again. Now seriously the evidence for the bible is overwhelimg but it is disgarded. Why? Is it because someone is smart or has difference evidence. Again it is only Grace.

57   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:30 pm

Brains (intellect) – Self centered, self loving.
Perceptions – subjective, foolable, trickable.
Experiences – subjective.
Scripture – Objective, True, eternal, unchanging, God breathed.

Ouch, see, I think that’s a really low view of humanity, and by extension of God.

God gave us our brains; He wants us to think. Intellect isn’t self-loving. Knowing how to analyze information isn’t a fault.

God gave us our perceptions; He wouldn’t have made us so different if we didn’t each have something unique to share and, thus, teach.

Our experiences are also “teachable moments,” so they’re at least helpful in discerning reality.

But your description of Scripture — “Objective, True, eternal, unchanging, God breathed” –

None of this is provable.

None of it.

Therefore, back to the original topic, considering the fact that all of us will approach scripture differently — no human has ever or will ever get it all right — using the Bible as something to hide behind or as some sort of weapon is never effective in dealing with real live human beings.

58   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:31 pm

It has work for the churhc for the last 2000 years.

59   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Yes you can prove it. Pretty easy. But then the choice is belief of that proof.

No, you can’t, Kyle.

Not by any scientific standards. Oh, certain historical things, sure…but I’m being generous in guessing you could prove maybe 25% of the Bible’s events. Beyond that, you make a GIANT leap of faith. Undertand, I’m not knocking the leap of faith.

But I am asking Christians to get a little perspective here.

60   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:34 pm

Science is not our emeny but Dawkins certainly is.

See? Boogeyman.

It’s always a boogeyman with the Religious Right.

The bible is the most accurate document ever in human history. The bible and outside source say Jesus died and rose again.

Oh, they do not! Outside sources don’t confirm the resurrection.

The bible is the most accurate document ever in human history.

According to whom?

It has work for the churhc for the last 2000 years.

Yes, well, brainwashing and mind control are powerful things.

61   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:43 pm

BREAK: That said, I don’t agree with all of Richard Dawkins’ conclusions, but science is not stupid, and it’s not your enemy.

It certainly can be. (lebotomies to let out specious vapors anyone? the “cure” for homosexuality?) Science and science theories are not value neutral and any one who thinks so has not taken an honest look at the politics of “science” in academia. It is far from objective and rife with agendas, egos and outright falsifications. Also scientific “facts” in many genres take on a complete rewrite every few years or so. I don’t know how many times I’ve read “the science books will have to be re-written” because of this or that discovery. I literally kept a newspaper clipping file everytime I ran across that phrase for a while but it became so frequent over the years it wasn’t even novel.

I would say that mathematics is about the only completely reliable, unchanging science genre out there. The rest (astronmy, biology, psychology, etc.) is certainly useful and interesting, but hardly absolute and unchanging. We laugh at what was held to be scientific “fact” just a few decades ago and this shifting sand is to be given any predominance over Scripture in things pertaining to the human condition? No sir.

62   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:44 pm

BTT

The evidence. Over 5000 NT documents dating back to about 150 ad it’s accuracy is proved 99.95% the same. The second in line in Illiad was written around 900 bc first copy around 400 bc accuracy is only 95%.

So the facts support the bible. Dawkin’s is a self proclaimed emeny of the faith and it would be stupid to think otherwise.

Yes I am the religious right. Even though I hate Bush, MCCain. I am a crazy Paulite!

Yes they do. The early church fathers, and then of cousrse the unrealiable portion of Josephus.

So you compare the Bible and preaching to brain washing.

One question and please do not take offense. Do you consider yourself to be a good person??

63   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Islam is a religion of love. See it says right here in the Q’uran.

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask; and for the freeing of captives; to be steadfast in prayers, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-conscious.

64   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Break: God gave us our brains; He wants us to think. Intellect isn’t self-loving. Knowing how to analyze information isn’t a fault.

Sorry, too many false dichotomies to process as once.

65   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:48 pm

Chris. Islam is a religion of love. George Bush said so. :-)

66   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:50 pm

It also tells us to kill anyone that say God is three??? And it tells you where you can hit and how hard you can hit your wife. Man I have that loving felling, ooo thtt loving feeling. I really think that it is not a religion of peace. They are to take over the world and enforce Sirah law and the rest of us would live under dimitude.

67   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:51 pm

BREAK: Knowing how to analyze information isn’t a fault.

Let’s no forget garbage in garbage out. No information is pure, all information has limits.

I am not anti-intellectual, Christian’s should not check their brains at the door, but man’s wisdom is not God’s wisdom and there is a way that seems right to a man but which in the end leads to death. (I read that somewhere).

68   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 4:59 pm

John,

Brain (mind)=heart in the Bible. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.

John you said “How people live is an indication of what they truly believe.”

Gandhi lived better than any Christian of recent history yet he denied the central tenets of the Christian faith. His non-Christian Christianity was far superior to our professed Christianity.

Kyle said “The bible is the most accurate document ever in human history. The bible and outside source say Jesus died and rose again. Now seriously the evidence for the bible is overwhelimg but it is disgarded. Why? Is it because someone is smart or has difference evidence. Again it is only Grace.”

5000 plus manuscripts and they all differ at some point. That’s pretty inaccurate. 2000 years of Church history and we still fight about what the Bible says or doesn’t say. That’s pretty inaccurate.

The Bible is a faith book. That’s good enough for me.

You try and apply scientific accuracy to the Bible and you lose every time. It was never meant to be used in that way.

The original manuscripts no longer exist. All we have are copies or copies of copies. We have translations of copies of copies of copies. Perfect? No. Without error? No. Does it accomplish what God wishes it to? Yes.

Bruce

69   Kyle in WI    
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Check out the upcoming debate between Erhman and James White on this very issue. Should be good. We know for certain what the original said. But anywho good day go check out aomin.org for textual variant stuff. Very intresting. Know what you believe and why.

70   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Kyle and John,

Come on guys. At least be honest. Instead of bashing the Muslim faith, reckon with your religion. Christianity has spilt enough blood over its history, yes? SO if blood spilling determines whether or not a religion is peaceful……..the Muslims have nothing over on us.

Any and all killing in the name of a god is evil.

71   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Oh great, we’re bashing religions we don’t understand now.

Color me completely unsurprised.

Go Amurka.

72   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:05 pm

Kyle said We know for certain what the original said.

We can’t because they don’t exist. If they do please let me know where. Or better yet ask your all-knowing guru James White where they are.

Any argument from the originals is specious because they do not exist. That is why the Bible is a faith book.

73   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:08 pm

It also tells us to kill anyone that say God is three??? And it tells you where you can hit and how hard you can hit your wife. Man I have that loving felling, ooo thtt loving feeling. I really think that it is not a religion of peace. They are to take over the world and enforce Sirah law and the rest of us would live under dimitude.

And there in lies my point Kyle.

David Koresh believed the bible said _______

Jim Jones believed the bible said _________

Fred Phelps believes the bible says ________

Jerry Falwell believed the bible said _______

I could go on all day.

Each and every one of those people used the bible to defend an untenable position.

Many, many people read the bible and see God as wrathful. Many others read the bible and see God as loving. But everyone of them uses it to defend a position.

Thus the importance of showing/living the truth of the bible as opposed to using it’s verses as a hammer.

74   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:14 pm

I don’t know how many times I’ve read “the science books will have to be re-written” because of this or that discovery.

Yes, but the point is that they keep searching, keep learning.

We laugh at what was held to be scientific “fact” just a few decades ago and this shifting sand is to be given any predominance over Scripture in things pertaining to the human condition? No sir.

This, to me, is just a fundamental misunderstanding of science. Science acknowledges when it’s found to be wrong.

Fundamentalists cling to something that can’t be proven, and use that unprovable foundation to assert that they have the “truth.”

The evidence. Over 5000 NT documents dating back to about 150 ad it’s accuracy is proved 99.95% the same.

Kyle, that’s NOT evidence that the spiritual things in the Bible are true. I don’t know how you possibly think it is.

Yes I am the religious right. Even though I hate Bush, MCCain. I am a crazy Paulite!

You have just explained everything.

One question and please do not take offense. Do you consider yourself to be a good person??

Are you going to give me some kind of BS Kirk Cameron test? The only reason you always end up in hell on those tests is that they start taking away plausible multiple choices about three questions in.

*chuckle*

but man’s wisdom is not God’s wisdom and there is a way that seems right to a man but which in the end leads to death. (I read that somewhere).

In the Bible, which, again, is unprovable, at least in its spiritual aspects. This is why it’s not an argument winner!

Gandhi lived better than any Christian of recent history yet he denied the central tenets of the Christian faith. His non-Christian Christianity was far superior to our professed Christianity.

Amen to that. Heaven is most likely full of non Christians who were more Christian than the Christians of their day.

75   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:41 pm

BREAK: Oh great, we’re bashing religions we don’t understand now.

Excuse me, Where did I bash Islam is this thread? But I would like to see you live out your chosen lifestyle in an Islamic majority country BTT.

I’ve read the Koran (all of it) and have made a decent inquiry into its tenants. I understand there are nominals (like my good and friendly Islamic neighbor), moderates, and fanatics just like in most religions. What don’t I understand?

Oh BTW, newsflash ** Muslim = False Religion. Koran = False Gospel. Well I guess I did bash it just now, didn’t mean to offend anyone.

76   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:44 pm

BTT: Yes, but the point is that they keep searching, keep learning.

You’ve entirely missed the point. You are basing your world view on something that is in large part in constant flux.

77   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:45 pm

I would like to see you live out your chosen lifestyle in an Islamic majority country BTT.

I would like to see Fundamentalist Christians grow up and accept the reality that the only place the “chosen lifestyle” exists is in so-called “Christian” propaganda, but that would require them to stop viewing “Christian” propaganda as trustworthy. It would require an acceptance of fact-based reality.

But we all don’t get what we want, do we?

However, the fact that Islam has issues doesn’t give Christians the right to throw stones. A fundie is a fundie is a fundie.

Muslim = False Religion. Koran = False Gospel.

According to you.

Something else you have no empirical proof of.

78   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:48 pm

You’ve entirely missed the point. You are basing your world view on something that is in large part in constant flux.

So, because science changes and *boogeyman word coming* EVOLVES, then we shouldn’t rely on it?

Riiiiight. Let’s take the ancient magic book because people told us to, instead!

You’re forcing me to argue more as a full-on devil’s advocate than I usually have to, considering the fact that I’m a believer. But I’m a reality-based believer…so I will argue for reality.

79   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:49 pm

BTT: Amen to that. Heaven is most likely full of non Christians who were more Christian than the Christians of their day.

This whole argument is based on work’s righteousness which is the antithesis of the gospel message but which obviouisly fits your world view.

80   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:49 pm

“Heaven is most likely full of non Christians who were more Christian than the Christians of their day.”

That is works and if true it renders Jesus and His cross as irrelevant. It is not true but it is rapidly becoming seen as true for many reasons. If there is no source to extrapolate spiritual truth than each person’s opinion becomes his own truth.

So if the Scriptures are not authoritative, than conversations like this about religion are just glorified versions of the View.

81   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:51 pm

This whole argument is based on work’s righteousness which is the antithesis of the gospel message but which obviouisly fits your world view.

According to your interpretation, which is fallible.

Some of us would argue that your interpretation of Christianity doesn’t jive with Jesus’s entire life up to Calvary.

82   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:52 pm

So if the Scriptures are not authoritative, than conversations like this about religion are just glorified versions of the View.

Haha, I’m about to cast the Elizabeth Hasselbeck role…

Duck.

Duck.

Duck…

83   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 5:57 pm

BBT: According to you.

Well, I think Jesus had something to say about it, something about being the only way to the Father and all, but as that is recorded in unprovable Scriptures we will just have to agree to disagree.

You said you are a believer but if you don’t believe what your own self-professed God says what kind of belief is that?

And why not believe those particular scriptures but believe others? What gives you the moral right or even logical right to pick and choose which scriptures to believe and which not to believe? Jesus left no personal writings. EVERYTHING, you know about Him is third party hearsay. Why believe any of it much less some it and not all of it? Where’s the Jesus Seminar when you need them?

84   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:01 pm

BTT: Some of us would argue that your interpretation of Christianity doesn’t jive with Jesus’s entire life up to Calvary.

And what interpretation would that be? If Scripture we have is reliable/trustworthy you have three choices BTT: Lord, Lier or Lunatic.

If our Scriptures are not trustworthy then what’s the point we are to be pitied above all men?

85   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:01 pm

I believe the Dali Lama is God. Prove me wrong without using Scripture of any kind.

86   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Rick,

Easy.

Some day the Dali Lama will die. gods don’t die.

That was easy.

87   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:15 pm

“Some day the Dali Lama will die.”

Prove it. And the man called Jesus died as well.

88   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Don’t need to prove it. All men die. My subjective experience tells me it is so.

You need a faith book to get Jesus out of the grave.

89   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 6:42 pm

“My subjective experience tells me it is so.”

Bingo. I guess you’ve never heard of Enoch or Elijah? Your subjectivism is untrustworthy.

90   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Ah Rick you violated your own rule. You went to the Bible. Can’t do that. So my statement All men die stands. In the non Bible world there is no Elijah or Enoch.

My subjectivism is absolute……on this issue. Cemeteries and obituaries pages prove me right every day.

I don’t need the Bible to know the Dali Lama is not god. You DO need the Bible to know that Jesus is.

There is NO proof of Jesus’ as god apart from the Bible.

I accept what the Bible says about Jesus and I accept what my subjective experience tells me about he Dali Lama.

91   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 23rd, 2008 at 7:54 pm

“There is NO proof of Jesus’ as god apart from the Bible. ”

My point.

92   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 8:37 pm

If Scripture we have is reliable/trustworthy you have three choices BTT: Lord, Lier or Lunatic.

Unless scriptures aren’t trustworthy.

But what you just said is an OLD Sunday School line, and it’s tired. Just so you know.

You said you are a believer but if you don’t believe what your own self-professed God says what kind of belief is that?

Um, actually you totally put words in my mouth. I said I was a believer. I didn’t say I believe the canonized Christian scriptures were breathed by God. That’s yet another unprovable. I lean toward “probably not.” Doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. I just happen to think that part is dogma.

Well, I think Jesus had something to say about it, something about being the only way to the Father and all,

EXCEPT that your interpretation of that passage isn’t the only one out there. I read that a bit differently.

Don’t need to prove it. All men die. My subjective experience tells me it is so.

You need a faith book to get Jesus out of the grave.

THANK YOU. Somebody is making sense here.

93   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 8:54 pm

BTT, if you say you are a believer while on a Christian web site then pardon me for infering you were a self proclaimed believer in Christ.

94   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 8:58 pm

God’s don’t die?

Hello many religions have Gods who die. Egpyt, Greece, Christianity. Even one’s who resurrect. That’s a very inaccurate statement.

95   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:02 pm

But the Dali Lama’s soul does not die. It is reborn in an endless cycle. I was an Egyptian slave in a past life and Shirley Temple in my most recent life. “Animal Crackers in my Soup” still brings a tear.

96   John Hughes    
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:07 pm

(Lord, Lier or Lunatic) But what you just said is an OLD Sunday School line, and it’s tired. Just so you know.

Hey, that was one of the better catch phrases I came up with in my prior life as C.S. Lewis. But thanks for sharing. Prove it otherwise.

97   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:12 pm

BTT, if you say you are a believer while on a Christian web site then pardon me for infering you were a self proclaimed believer in Christ.

Yes, well, my religious views are complex and ever-changing. Sometimes it just depends on what time of the day it is…and I’m a believer in Christ…I’m just not sure I believe all the things about him you do.

As to the Lord, Liar, Lunatic thing, that’s only true (sort of) if you A. accept the Gospels as inerrant (which they aren’t), B. accept a certain interpretation of Jesus’s teachings.

But there really are other ways to look at it. Really.

98   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:15 pm

I was an Egyptian slave in a past life and Shirley Temple in my most recent life. “Animal Crackers in my Soup” still brings a tear.

Yay, making fun of people’s religious beliefs again. Do Jews next!

99   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Just for the sake of comparison…and I’m not arguing against Christian belief, but it’s so offensive when over-privileged Christians in this country make fun of other peoples’ belief systems, yet fail to see that they have their own strange beliefs that other people can and do make fun of just as easily…

But for the sake of comparison, this has been going around the internet for awhile, and I think it should discourage Christians from throwing stones at other peoples’ belief systems:

“Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree…yeah, makes perfect sense.”

100   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:25 pm

“Scripture – Objective, True, eternal, unchanging, God breathed.”
I believe all this except objective. TRUTH is neither objective nor subjective, rather it is fact.

“Um, actually you totally put words in my mouth. I said I was a believer. I didn’t say I believe the canonized Christian scriptures were breathed by God. That’s yet another unprovable. I lean toward “probably not.” Doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. I just happen to think that part is dogma.”
If you don’t believe the canonized scriptures were breathed by God, lets say, and you say you are a believer, then where is your point of reference(truth) that you point to. Let me make clear what I’m trying to say…So, if scripture is wrong or has that possibility then you are just playing a game of “I’m in, I’m out?” Can I assume that you are a universalist?

And one more question…Where does faith come in to play? And if the scriptures aren’t perfect, which wouldn’t allow them to be true, then saved by grace through FAITH could be false. Then your point would be subjective….Then, actually, every word that anybody says here has no weight outside of their own reality!

101   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Truth does not require perfection. If it does we are in big trouble,

Truth, as far as Scripture is concerned, only requires that it accomplishes that which God wishes it to.

God allowed the Scripture to be in the form it is, errors, warts and all, yet it is sufficient for all things pertaining to life and godliness. An infallible God using fallible means, wow!

It is all about faith. I don’t need a perfect book to have faith in a perfect God.

The problem here is that some of you can’t comprehend that some of us don’t need a perfect, dial a verse book to believe in God. All the words in the world aren’t going to convince you otherwise. Your religion seems to go out the window as soon as a thought of fallibility creeps in.

That leaves you in a real pickle. No original manuscripts. No perfect book. (unless you believe God magically preserved the exact words in the translations we have and if so please tell me WHICH translation) Where do I find this perfect book? Where can I see it, read it?

102   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:26 pm

“Truth does not require perfection”

Concerning God, it does; Especially if you are talking about the payment for sin!

“That leaves you in a real pickle. No original manuscripts. No perfect book. (unless you believe God magically preserved the exact words in the translations we have and if so please tell me WHICH translation) Where do I find this perfect book? Where can I see it, read it?”

You obviously haven’t studied the dead sea scrolls! They observed these scrolls and compared them with the NIV of today and determined the accuracy to be 99.99999999…..%

Bruce are you a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? No pun intended!

103   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:28 pm

“Your religion seems to go out the window as soon as a thought of fallibility creeps in”

There cannot be fallibility concerning the sacrifice for sin!

104   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:30 pm

I guess it comes down to the simple belief of whether God can communicate effectively, truthfully, reliably, and with a consistent message to humanity…or we’re on our own and we’d better hope He’s not counting our idiocy against us.

That’s it…yup. Convo over.

105   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Of course I am Rick. I just don’t believe much in your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You need a perfect book to believe. I don’t. You need absolutes in all things spiritual. I don’t.

I can live with the uncertainty. Evidently you can’t.

You can’t imagine Jesus followers who don’t buy your dogma. I can.

106   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I just don’t believe much in your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As if you two were believing in two different Gods?

Come on. I said convo over. Not that I expected it to be…but…I thought it might work lol :-)
We should be wondering why we’re going to continue this downward spiral in to insults, anger, and paining each other…over what?

107   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 10:58 pm

Joe C,

No I don’t think we are believing in two different Gods. But………I am not at all certain that Rick thinks the same. I have lots of room in my God house. Others do not have much room, for those who “think” or “believe” differently than them. Can one believe that Bible is errant and be a Christian? I mean, with full, complete knowledge believe it to be errant?

I don’t believe I have resorted to anger or insult, yet. :) I am trying to defend those of us who seem to get steamrolled every time we “think” or “speak” outside the accepted box.

The accepted box just doesn’t fit real well any more. I don’t believe I ever asked anyone the proverbial “are you a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” I’ll leave it to God to do the question asking.

Bruce

108   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:07 pm

You haven’t resorted to anger or insult Bruce… But inevitably we know that is where this is going to go.

Personally, I am in agreement with you on where you’re coming from. I believe that there are many unessential dogmas in the current incarnation of the Christian faith. That being said, we have to be careful where we go in this conversation.

That’s why I said “convo over” in hopes that we could leave it just at my marginal summation of the conversation. Either God can and has communicated with humanity in a way that pleases Him and brings us to Him, or we’re flopping our arms and mouths around in this lonely universe hoping the God we can’t possibly ever know doesn’t hold our sins against us.

And I mean…really..that’s it. Both require some form of faith…

109   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:23 pm

If you don’t believe the canonized scriptures were breathed by God, lets say, and you say you are a believer, then where is your point of reference(truth) that you point to.

You’re assuming that humans have to have a point of reference for truth. I don’t believe humans will EVER have absolute truth on this spiritual plane, and it assumes the idea that a scripture can’t be holy unless it’s inspired by God.

Can I assume that you are a universalist?

That’s an artificial Christian construct. I don’t need to classify myself into a little jar with a label.

You obviously haven’t studied the dead sea scrolls! They observed these scrolls and compared them with the NIV of today and determined the accuracy to be 99.99999999…..%

That doesn’t speak to whether or not God authored them.

And one more question…Where does faith come in to play?

That’s the entire point I’ve been making. It’s ALL faith. Therefore no human factual arguments may be made/won based on claims verified ONLY by faith. I’m not denigrating faith, but I’m trying to delineate the difference.

110   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:23 pm

“I can live with the uncertainty”

I don’t have to by faith in Jesus Christ of the scriptures. I just don’t understand where your point of reference is if the scriptures to you aren’t of God in total.(because anything of the perfect is perfect) The stance you are taking in Jesus is unfounded if it doesn’t incorporate the word.(John 1:1)

“You can’t imagine Jesus followers who don’t buy your dogma”

Not my dogma, but the dogma set by the perfect.

By the way, this isn’t Rick…I am his son Jonathan.

111   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:27 pm

The stance you are taking in Jesus is unfounded if it doesn’t incorporate the word.(John 1:1)

To assume that the “word” means “the Bible as we know it” is a huge stretch.

112   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:28 pm

k…I’m out.

Ev, check your blog comments, i’ll talk to you later

113   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:35 pm

“You’re assuming that humans have to have a point of reference for truth. I don’t believe humans will EVER have absolute truth on this spiritual plane, and it assumes the idea that a scripture can’t be holy unless it’s inspired by God”

If you don’t have a point of reference then it is made by your own reality. If I have Jesus then I have absolute truth.(I am the way, the truth, the life) If scripture isn’t from God then it isn’t Holy. How can perfection come from imperfection…it can’t.

“That’s the entire point I’ve been making. It’s ALL faith. Therefore no human factual arguments may be made/won based on claims verified ONLY by faith”

I agree in this that we do not win arguments by our measure of faith, but the answer, which we have, comes from the Truth which superceedes our faith measure. By the way, you make a great adjective in this statement. You say, “No HUMAN Factual arguments.” I couldn’t agree more. The argument is validated, not by humans, but by the word of Truth given to us by God himself.

114   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Jonathan,

The Scriptures were written by men. Unless one believes in the dictation theory then we must allow for the humanity and dare I say imperfection of the writer.

You arrogantly (not meaning this angrily) assume your dogma is perfect. How can you know that? Who told you it is? At best, your dogma is just your interpretation of a 2000 yr old book.

I never said the Scriptures weren’t of God. I did say they don’t need to be perfect to accomplish what God wants them to.

You can’t, because they don’t exist, take me to the perfect book. So, we have an imperfect book written by imperfect writers, which God uses to teach us all we need to know.

What an awesome God who does that. Perhaps he knew people would become idolaters with a perfect book. That they would worship the creation more than the creator.

Of course, until 500 years ago this debate could not have occurred. Before the printing press people relied on ORAL transmission of the Scripture. I can imagine how imperfect that was.

But now we have 3000 translations, all with leather covers, and we can argue over it rather than live it.

115   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:38 pm

“To assume that the “word” means “the Bible as we know it” is a huge stretch”

Again, you question your own point of reference. Can you answer my question. Where is your point of reference that can be relayed on a even plain to all, outside of your own faith? Is the bible your point of reference?

116   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:46 pm

“You arrogantly (not meaning this angrily) assume your dogma is perfect. How can you know that? Who told you it is? At best, your dogma is just your interpretation of a 2000 yr old book.”

Not my dogma, but God himself…especially if I believe the bible to be God’s perfect manuscript to us. We just have different spectrums regarding the perfection of scripture. My belief is in the WORD himself which came in the flesh and through him the written Word is perfect.

I believe, through my studying of scripture, that God has given us total truth(himself through scripture) as the perfect point of reference.

Bruce, I also don’t speak with anger at all. I enjoy these conversations. I listen to Ravi Zacharias, so I get to play iin my very beginning Philosophy class. LOL

117   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:47 pm

If you don’t have a point of reference then it is made by your own reality. If I have Jesus then I have absolute truth.(I am the way, the truth, the life)

You’re missing all of my points.

You’re assuming that humans HAVE to have a point of reference for “absolute spiritual truth,” which I just said I believe to be unattainable in this life. You BELIEVE that you have absolute truth, but that’s not verifiable by any rational metric. And that’s fine. That’s faith. But to claim it “is” truth to someone who disagrees isn’t just rude, it’s foolish.

The argument is validated, not by humans, but by the word of Truth given to us by God himself.

But you couldn’t prove that “truth” was “given to us by God” if you had a gun to your head.

What an awesome God who does that. Perhaps he knew people would become idolaters with a perfect book. That they would worship the creation more than the creator.

Bruce, they already do this with an imperfect book. This thread is but one of millions of examples.

Again, you question your own point of reference. Can you answer my question. Where is your point of reference that can be relayed on a even plain to all, outside of your own faith? Is the bible your point of reference?

For the last time, I don’t have a “point of reference” for unverifiable spiritual truth. For all I know, it’s true. For all I know, it’s a complete fairy tale cobbled together and added to by men over the course of this blip of human history called Christendom.

I don’t know.

That’s the point.

118   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:52 pm

Terror, I am taking what you say and pondering. I can also say that you are missing my points. LOL

“But to claim it “is” truth to someone who disagrees isn’t just rude, it’s foolish.”

Is it rude that Jesus claimed to BE absolute truth? Was he foolish? I am not claiming any truth of myself, yet I point to Jesus as truth and the people who would label me as foolish must take their label to him who pronounced himself as truth.

119   Jonathan Frueh    
June 23rd, 2008 at 11:54 pm

” For all I know, it’s a complete fairy tale cobbled together and added to by men over the course of this blip of human history called Christendom”

Is this what your measure of faith, given to you by God, tells you? I am not asking this question for argument sake, I really like to hear your views…honestly.

120   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:16 am

Is it rude that Jesus claimed to BE absolute truth? Was he foolish? I am not claiming any truth of myself, yet I point to Jesus as truth and the people who would label me as foolish must take their label to him who pronounced himself as truth.

Here’s my problem with this. I see two totally different conversations here: One is Jesus proclaiming himself as truth. That’s fine. We acknowledge that, according to later writers, he said those things.

But that has nothing to do with the totality of scripture. It’s an expected assumption of the Christian faith that Jesus = Scripture = Truth. I simply don’t buy that.

So we can have a whole conversation about what Jesus meant when he proclaimed himself to be truth (not that I really want to…), and that’s fine. But it doesn’t change any of my earlier points. Remember, I’m not arguing against faith, I’m just trying to point out where fact ends and faith begins.

Is this what your measure of faith, given to you by God, tells you?

My honest answer is that I don’t know.

I think it’s important to understand that I used to believe very much as you and some of the other posters around here do. I used to take all of these things for granted. But what I’ve learned about myself is that my mind simply will not accept these things at face value. Faith, to me, is meaningless, unless it’s constantly questioning, constantly doubting, constantly refining, throwing out the old, etc…much like science, actually. In actuality, I separate faith and religion almost entirely. I have faith that there is a God that I can talk to, that I can ask for guidance. Whether this is a particular opiate of our anthropological moment, I don’t know, but I find meaning, personally, in that. But religion and doctrine? Eh, I dunno. My opinions/thoughts/questions on those subjects change all the time. I really don’t believe, personally, that the Bible was inspired by God any more than any other religious text, which is not to say that none of them are…I just don’t necessarily believe that the Bible is special, at least in that regard. I, rather, believe that God’s voice comes through all of us, if we let it, and that revelation is a continuing process. So, do I put my trust in some humans a couple thousand years ago to communicate truth? Absolutely not. But do I believe they got it all wrong? Of course not. I believe they were humans trying to explain their existence and their God (especially as regards the Old Testament), and that wisdom comes through.

But as an accurate accounting of God’s word? No, unless we’re willing to accept the idea that God is factually inaccurate. I mean, systems of trade had already been developed when the serpent was supposedly pushing Eve to eat the naughty fruit…

121   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:23 am

“But do I believe they got it all wrong? Of course not. I believe they were humans trying to explain their existence and their God (especially as regards the Old Testament), and that wisdom comes through”

Are you saying they didn’t get it totally right? When Paul said his revelation was from Jesus Christ only, can we not take that as totally right? So if they didn’t get anything totally right, then can we assume their preaching of the gospel had holes in it…including Paul’s gospel.!?

122   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:24 am

By the way Terror, I enjoy the conversation…

123   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 12:25 am

Jonathan,

Does “truth” exist outside of the Bible?

The Bible is truth but it is not all the truth there is.

I accept the Bible as truth in the imperfect form it is in. I simply can not rationally accept the notion that spiritual truth requires perfection. It requires a perfect One but that is far different than requiring a perfect (without error in every word) book.

I do not believe inerrancy can be sustained by logical argument. To defend inerrancy requires, at some point, a claim of mystical or magical preservation by God or it requires faith. A former friend (of KJVO belief) of mine told me years ago that even if I DID show him an error in the Bible he wouldn’t believe it. By Faith he was going to believe the KJV was the perfect word of God.

So Jonathan let me ask you:

1.Where is the perfect book you speak of?

2. If you appeal to the original manuscripts then I would ask where are they?

3. If you appeal to the testimony of the manuscripts as a whole, how do you reckon the many thousands of variations in the manuscripts? Since your truth requires perfection how can you find perfection when all you have are thousands of variations?

4. If you appeal to the testimony of the Church, then who is the Church? Do you accept consensus on all issues? Why accept consensus on the Scriptures and reject it on issues like communion and baptism?

5. Can one be a follower of Jesus and not believe in your doctrine of inerrancy? If not, does this mean that salvation is by doctrinal correctness?

6. When Paul clearly states he is writing his own opinion should we accept that on the same level as the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?

That’ll do for starters. :)

Bruce

124   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:40 am

Are you saying they didn’t get it totally right? When Paul said his revelation was from Jesus Christ only, can we not take that as totally right?

Yes, I would agree with that. I don’t believe Paul got it all right, personally.

I mistrust Paul a little bit, on a personal level, just because of his supposed conversion story. I find it suspect. Those who pendulum swing from one kind of radicalism to another don’t make the best teachers. That said, there is wisdom in his writings.

125   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:48 am

One more before I hit the hay…

“Can one be a follower of Jesus and not believe in your doctrine of inerrancy?” Yes, that’s like saying can someone be saved and not understand the trinity…cause I can’t comprehend the fullness of the trinity and if that be the prerequisit then I’m in trouble!LOL But, I take it by faith as we discussed earlier.

I would ask you this question though, if the scriptures are not inerrant, then can the gospel that was preached(kerygma) by the apostles be pondered as faulty. Then do you believe in something that could be totally wrong and also committ your life to faulty poetry by men trying to express their rubbing of shoulders with their own point of reference. Where then is your point of reference whether you believe in the inerrancy of scriputure or not?

126   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:52 am

Terror, then your point of reference lay only within your own reality…that’s how I view your last comment.

Then you can mistrust the gospel accounts or atleast on some levels?

127   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:04 am

^

Yes, especially since the Gospels contradict each other so often.

I think the difference here is that you view Paul has a conduit of God. I view Paul as a fallible human being.

128   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 1:07 am

Jonathan,

I would say this, and then I need to go to bed and pretend to sleep. (one of those nights)

The key in all of this is the Spirit of God. I don’t need an inerrant book to know the truth. The Spirit of God teaches us the truth. That truth resonates in my inner man.

For many years I tore the Bible apart verse by verse. Thousands of sermons. Studies that took several years to finish. I exegeted the exegesis :) In the process I lost God.

I now read the Bible devotionally. My only concern is what is God saying to me. No need to harmonize the gospels. No need to flesh out the apparent contradictions. No need to parse the Greek and pretend I know Hebrew. No need to line my study shelves with dozens of commentaries. I just read it. Ponder it. Believe it.

I no longer need to “prove” anything.

Thanks for the discussion.

Bruce

129   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:11 am

As to the Gospels specifically…I’d say that I don’t look at them as necessarily inspired, but I don’t implicitly “mistrust” them either. I just look at them as the stories of Jesus, written by humans, just like any other book. I’m also a fan of the Gospels that weren’t included in the Bible for whatever reason.

(ahem, message control)

130   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:16 am

“I’m also a fan of the Gospels that weren’t included in the Bible for whatever reason.” Like? Thomas?

131   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:20 am

The reason why these weren’t included were for major reasons. One, is there lack of the gospel necessities…ie death, burial, ressurection, judgment, diety etc

132   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:21 am

It is these non canotical Gospels which were one of the main basis for gnosticism.

133   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:40 am

The reason why these weren’t included were for major reasons. One, is there lack of the gospel necessities…

Gospel necessities as determined by…who?

No one less fallible than I. Also, there were a good few agendas on the table when it came to canonization.

And Gnosticism existed before those Gospels as well…I like the Gnostics.

134   jonbean    
June 24th, 2008 at 2:56 am

These debates are interesting to follow. Don Miller had an interesting perspective.

“My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who is smarter, and honestly I don’t care.”

What is proof to me, depends on how much faith I have in the source of my proof. It sounds simplistic but we site the Bible as proof for things, yet we expect those that don’t value the Bible in the same way, to buy into our proof.

135   jonbean    
June 24th, 2008 at 3:10 am

I do also want to say, that while I’m enjoying the debate, I can relate with Phil and his memories and experiences with church. I remember Sword drills and the like. I value that experience for the familiarity that it gave me with the Bible, but I also had plenty of experiences with the “How to Hit Someone Over the Head in Christian Love” classes that were offered. In my recovery I guess I just struggle with figuring out how to live like Jesus. I don’t do well with formulas or ten steps to success plans. I just try to interpret Christ’s life and actions and words and immerse myself in those things, although I fail far too often.

136   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 6:52 am

jonbean!

I wanted to quote Don Miller but didn’t have the book at hand, now you stole my thunder! You :twisted: man!!!

137   jonbean    
June 24th, 2008 at 7:35 am

Eugene, you know what they say about great minds right? :-)

138   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 7:52 am

137 in and I’m no more convinced that I need Jesus than when we started nor any less convinced.

Jesus is Lord. Everything past that is subjective in my eyes.

I would quote a line from the movie Dogma right now but I’ll resist.

139   Zan    
June 24th, 2008 at 9:44 am

BTT,

It is interesting to me that you can accept scientific rationale with topics like global warming and evolution while rejecting the possibility that their personal politics or beliefs might play a part in their conclusions, but the idea that Athenasius must have had terrible ulterior motives that make him incapable of being used by God…well, that is more a reflection on your motives than on his, I believe. Only by rejecting inerrancy of the scriptures are you able to cater your beliefs to allow you to live the way you want and allow you to continue in your lifestyle. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but that is what will happen if we do not maintain some standard of Biblical truth in our lives that isn’t changeable or malleable to our own personal desires or whims. You said yourself that it changes depending on the time of day. Truth, by its very definition, does not change based on our desires or feelings or the weather.

Johnathan has a valid point that really goes to the heart of one aspect of post-modern culture…the refusal to accept the ideas of absolute truths or the inability to recognize the need for truth in the formation of their beliefs. The FACT that Christ used scripture CONSTANTLY in his speech and in fighting temptations, and that He and many of His contemporaries had the entire scriptures memorized (OT, of course) should be an example and emphasis on the importance of the text in all aspects of our lives. If we do not cling to the truth laid out in the text, than we will allow God’s truth to become whatever the current flavor is, and we allow culture and society to influence it, rather than the other way around.

“Truth does not require perfection”????????????????????????
Wow, I can’t even begin to understand the stupidity of that comment! Truth is, by its nature, perfect. If our God IS truth, then He is perfection, because if it isn’t true then it isn’t perfect. If my God isn’t powerful or perfect enough to preserve truth in the scriptures, than he isn’t that powerful of a God. But mine is, so He is almighty, as the Bible says.

Also, How can you truly learn about who God is, if you can’t even trust the Word that He has given us? Wow, my mind is spinning at the implications of what some here have suggested…

140   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 9:56 am

Only by rejecting inerrancy of the scriptures are you able to cater your beliefs to allow you to live the way you want and allow you to continue in your lifestyle. I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but that is what will happen if we do not maintain some standard of Biblical truth in our lives that isn’t changeable or malleable to our own personal desires or whims.

Sounds like you’re trying to boil this down to something…

I understand that it’s offensive to some Christians that other people don’t see considering an old faith book to be “inerrant,” but the book IS errant. The Gospels disagree with each other, the creation accounts have been refuted…

Here’s my thing, though — that doesn’t bother me or my faith. I don’t require the Bible to be perfect. I don’t expect humans to be able to understand spiritual and supernatural things that we can’t.

The standards for science are, admittedly, higher. And no, I don’t worry about politics in science because the scientific method and peer review don’t really allow for that much. On the other hand, religion, by its very nature, is about keeping the population in line, in many ways, and has always been full of politics and ulterior motivations.

That said, you missed a lot of my points. I never said I was arguing against faith. I said I’m no so bold as to claim that I know absolute truth, when I know, as anyone else does, if they’ll admit it, that “knowing absolute truth” is a pipe dream.

Oh, and one more ignorant “lifestyle” comment from a reality-denying Christian, and I’m done with this forum.

Third grade ended years ago.

141   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:03 am

“Truth does not require perfection”????????????????????????
Wow, I can’t even begin to understand the stupidity of that comment!

I find this revelatory.

I believe Bruce was the one who said that “truth does not require perfection,” a sentiment with which I agree.

I find it revelatory when a young Christian mocks the beliefs of people who used to agree with them, yet grew past those beliefs.

From everything I can tell, Bruce’s beliefs are reasoned, concerned, and come from a place of love and experience.

Yet McChristian calls them “stupid.”

142   chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:10 am

Dogma quote #1

Serendipity: When are you people going to learn? It’s not about who’s right or wrong. No denomination’s nailed it yet, and they never will because they’re all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn’t matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith. Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up.

143   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:12 am

I think the questions of innerrancy and infallibilty are sort out of the scope of my original article, although I do see how they are somewhat related. I think in many case it gets back to the way we try to “apply” Scripture to other’s lives before we submit to it fully ourselves. I’ve thought that the endeavors to convince pure skeptics of the accuracy of the Bible are a bit off-base.

I don’t believe in God because of what the Bible says, I believe what the Bible says because I believe in God through what Christ has done in my life. Now certainly an atheist can come through some sort of belief in God through reading Scripture, but I think it’s because of the Spirit’s working, not the logical superiority of Scripture.

I think that a lot of the battles concerning inerrancy are approached from such a Modernist perspective, that they don’t really make sense. Sure there are some minor discrepancies in timelines and such in the Gospel narratives, but nothing that affects the core of the message, nothing that would make the original Jewish or Greek readers say “this is completely made up”.

144   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:20 am
Science is not our emeny but Dawkins certainly is.

See? Boogeyman.

It’s always a boogeyman with the Religious Right.

God is bigger than the Boogeyman
He’s bigger than Godzilla
Or the monsters on TV
Oh, God is bigger than the Boogeyman
And He’s watching over you and me

Watching, watching watchiiiiing
Over you and meeeeeee.

-Veggie Tales -

The Religious Right should watch more Veggie Tales. :lol:

145   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:21 am

Oh, Chris I love that movie.

146   Zan    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:41 am

Phil,

The problem is when pomo’s reject anything that is remotely modern, and vice versa.

Understand that I believed in Jesus before I could read and know what the Bible says. When I became an adult, I needed to find out what the Bible really did say about truth, life, and everything else, so then I went to the text and learned what it said. This changed/is changing some of what I believe and the way I live my life. What Christ did in my life already confirmed/strengthened what I already believed. Sounds like the opposite of you. I agree with John Hughes in #1 when he says it is a balance.

Chris, and dogma quote #1: Can I please take that as an absurd quote?

BTT: Here is what you said:

You’re assuming that humans have to have a point of reference for truth. I don’t believe humans will EVER have absolute truth on this spiritual plane, and it assumes the idea that a scripture can’t be holy unless it’s inspired by God.

When scripture was inspired by God, it became holy. Nothing is Holy that is not of God. And if you have no point of reference for truth, then how do you know it is truth? It ceases to be truth and becomes “strongly held opinion”. But Christ says he is truth, therefore he is our point of reference, He and all things He said and did. And how do we know what he said and did? Through the scriptures and the men he personally taught. That is what I have faith in, that He is capable of maintaining the spirit of truth in the scriptures. As for the “reality-denying”, third-grade, McChristian…at what point does it cease to be love and become enabling? Sorry, I refuse to enable. If you are convicted or angered by what I write, well, that is your choice. You have the truth in your hands. But you refuse to accept. I am sorry for you. You stand in rabid hatred of where I stand politically, environmentally, spiritually, and apparently, generationally. So be it. I will leave conversing with you up to others.

147   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 10:41 am

Zan said “Truth does not require perfection”????????????????????????
Wow, I can’t even begin to understand the stupidity of that comment! Truth is, by its nature, perfect. If our God IS truth, then He is perfection, because if it isn’t true then it isn’t perfect. If my God isn’t powerful or perfect enough to preserve truth in the scriptures, than he isn’t that powerful of a God. But mine is, so He is almighty, as the Bible says.

Also, How can you truly learn about who God is, if you can’t even trust the Word that He has given us? Wow, my mind is spinning at the implications of what some here have suggested…”

Thank you for insulting me. I am sure it was done in love, and in the wonderful name of Jesus.

Truth by nature is not perfect and if that is the standard then there is NO TRUTH.

Truth is processed through a fallen, fallible culture and through a fallen, fallible mind. This process renders truth less than perfect.

God is perfect. God is truth. Where have I argued otherwise? We are not, at least I am not, perfect.

You seem to have a puny God who can’t seem to exist unless he exists in a perfect, Western, systematic theology shaped construct. We need TD Jakes to say “God thou art LOOSED” from the box we have put you in. God is far bigger than your narrow , defined doctrine of inerrancy.

God is powerful enough to do a lot of things he doesn’t do. Like stop war. Stop hunger. Stop _________.

I don’t require a perfect book to believe in God. In fact, I don’t need the book at all………conscience and creation speak to the fact that there is a God. Most of the people who have lived and died in the history of the world died without ever seeing, let alone reading an inerrant Bible. What kind of God is it, that supposedly gives an inerrant book and then keeps it (by his passivity) from most of His creation?

I am looking around my office right now and I see all kind of things that operate on truth, as understood by some engineer, scientist,programmer. etc. Having lived a bit in this world I know that their truth is not perfect. After all, I am using Windows. :)

Perfection, apart from God does not exist but I don’t need perfection to believe in God and to trust what the Scripture reveals.

When you stop making the Bible into a grand, systematic theology oriented, answer book, things become a lot easier. I am not out to “prove” my doctrines. I am not out to “prove” that my little sectarian corner of the world is the “truth corner.” I read the Bible for myself. I am more concerned that the Bible speak to me rather than tell me what I need to speak to others or correct in others.

This makes reading the Bible more enjoyable. I don’t have to worry about seeming contradictions, errors, tenses, original meaning, the analogy of faith, systematic correctness, etc.

If that makes me stupid I appreciate the label.

Bruce

148   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:45 am

“Truth does not require perfection”????????????????????????
Wow, I can’t even begin to understand the stupidity of that comment!

Up to now this was an adult conversation without calling the other’s argument stupid. Please don’t spoil it Zan.

I don’t believe in God because of what the Bible says, I believe what the Bible says because I believe in God through what Christ has done in my life. Now certainly an atheist can come through some sort of belief in God through reading Scripture, but I think it’s because of the Spirit’s working, not the logical superiority of Scripture.

Now that is truth spoken by Dr. Phil (Miller)!

149   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:49 am

dogma quote #1: Can I please take that as an absurd quote?

The Dogma quote is brilliant. The entire film is brilliant.

When scripture was inspired by God, it became holy. Nothing is Holy that is not of God. And if you have no point of reference for truth, then how do you know it is truth? It ceases to be truth and becomes “strongly held opinion”.

You’re inadvertently arguing my side, Zan. Since there is no proof of divine inspiration of scripture, it can’t be presented as definitive “truth” for the sake of argument. It truly is “Strongly Held Opinion,” which is why it doesn’t fly in the public sector.

As for the “reality-denying”, third-grade, McChristian…at what point does it cease to be love and become enabling?

I said reality-denying. Get past that and we’ll talk about other things. You’re obviously uneducated about that of which you’re attempting to speak, and I simply won’t dignify your comments about “enabling.”

You stand in rabid hatred of where I stand politically, environmentally, spiritually, and apparently, generationally.

Haha, what?

Rabid hatred?

*chuckle*

Environmentally? Did I off on you about forgetting to recycle? I do that sometimes…

Why do so many Christians assume they’re being persecuted when people disagree with them and point out flaws in their arguments?

150   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 10:50 am

Zan said “You have the truth in your hands. But you refuse to accept. I am sorry for you. You stand in rabid hatred of where I stand politically, environmentally, spiritually, and apparently, generationally. So be it. I will leave conversing with you up to others.

So……..what you mean is you are right. This pretty well proves the intent of this whole discussion.

As you are leaving let me pose a few questions (which I have done a fair bit of in this discussion by not many answers are coming)

1. Is it the exact words that are inerrant and preserved?

2. If so, where can I read those exact words? If God has preserved them they must exist somewhere, right?

3. You can’t appeal to the originals or even the extant manuscripts because the former does not exist and the latter differs in thousands of places. Remember you set perfection as the standard, so where is this perfect Bible?

4. Are any of the translations inerrant? If so, which one?

That’ll do for now

Bruce

PS. I do not stand in rabid hatred of anything you believe. I think you are wrong and that your views ca not be sustained rationally. In no way do I doubt your commitment to Christ. You stand or fall to your own master not me.

151   amy    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:51 am

I am more concerned that the Bible speak to me rather than tell me what I need to speak to others or correct in others.

You are oft full of opinions and corrections. If your opinions and corrections have nothing to do with scripture, what do they have to do with? And is that source of you opinions and corrections greater than God’s Word?

152   amy    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:51 am

“you opinions” should be “your opinions”

153   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:54 am

You seem to have a puny God who can’t seem to exist unless he exists in a perfect, Western, systematic theology shaped construct. We need TD Jakes to say “God thou art LOOSED” from the box we have put you in. God is far bigger than your narrow , defined doctrine of inerrancy.

Amen.

That’s always been my problem with organized doctrine…it makes God so small!

I don’t require a perfect book to believe in God. In fact, I don’t need the book at all………conscience and creation speak to the fact that there is a God. Most of the people who have lived and died in the history of the world died without ever seeing, let alone reading an inerrant Bible. What kind of God is it, that supposedly gives an inerrant book and then keeps it (by his passivity) from most of His creation?

A tiny God, that’s who. And I absolutely agree that we require no book to connect with God. That’s why i endeavour to separate faith and dogma. My faith is constant. It’s the labels and the dogma that fluctuate.

154   Zan    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:59 am

Bruce,

Firstly, I apologize if I offended you. Truly. I was just truly stunned by that comment. BTT seemed to back it up, and my comments were really pointed toward him, so again, my apologies.

Secondly, if you knew me at all, you would NEVER NEVER NEVER throw the words “systematic theology” and me in the same sentence.

Thirdly, I don’t agree with the purpose of the Bible in your life, but that is not my problem. I am just stating that. I do not necessarily read the Bible for enjoyment, although the constantly seeking God through His word does bring me joy. I don’t worry about seeming contradiction, because I allow for the fact that I can’t see the whole picture, only God can. I do look for original meaning and tenses, because that helps me to better apply the heart of the scriptures to my daily life. I don’t look for others’ truth. I look for God’s truth, and it is revealed in many ways, one of which is His word – the Bible. It is the most objective way we have to hear from Him. All other ways are purely subjective.

I guess the bottom line is that I believe Truth by nature IS perfect, otherwise it can’t be truly truth.

155   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 11:06 am

BTT seemed to back it up, and my comments were really pointed toward him, so again, my apologies.

Haha, she accidentally insulted Bruce when she meant to insult me.

156   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 24th, 2008 at 11:13 am

Without the New Testament the gospel cannot be known. If people can be saved by acknowledging a Creator via nature, then the Jesus story is irrelevant.

Don’t you worry, though, the necessity of Scripture continues to be jettisoned and much of the church operates by their own imaginations. Go read imonk’s evaluation of George Carlin as a better truth teller than preachers for a real glimpse into the bitterness and worthlessness of post modernism.

157   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 11:21 am

Hey Bruce, we stirred up a hornets nest didn’t we last night. How aGod is perfect.

“God is truth. Where have I argued otherwisere you?”

Here is my head scratcher with this comment. Where is your point of reference with what you are saying; a point of reference that can be relayed to others so they may see it. God is truth…how do you know this and where is the foundation for that belief outside your own reality as it exists inside you? God is truth…how do you know this and to what God are you referring to?

You say we limit God or make him small…I say any condescention of God was done by himself so that we may have the Jesus point of reference. He is so great and his word is so great, we couldn’t cover all the facets of scripture in 100 life times. “Who made Him a little lower than the angels” Sorry for using scripture!LOL

158   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 11:48 am

Jonathan,

My conscience tells me there is a God, somebody BIGGER than me.

Nature tells me there is a God, somebody BIGGER than me.

These truths are self-evident.

All truth begins with self. We may then venture beyond self to validate what we believe truth to be but it begins in our mind.

Thus when I read the Bible it resonates with who and what I am. It makes sense. It is truthful. (in the context that it is meant to be used.

I have never doubted the Bible. I have doubted, and will continue to doubt my interpretation of the Bible. I am frail, fallible, sinful, judgmental, contrary, prone to error, prone to be lead astray. That’s why the Spirit of God is essential to our understanding of the Bible. He teaches and guides us.

The Bible is a faith book. We accept what it teaches by faith. It can be no other way.

Deep down some Evangelicals are having a crisis of faith. Modernity, technology, science, etc are all pushing at them and so they think the answer is to push back and turn the Bible into a book that can be verified and proved by the same rules that moderns and their followers use. This method will fail every time.

Now to old Man Frueh :)

Unless we believe that God created MOST of humanity for the purpose of dying in their sins without ever hearing the gospel, then we must allow for God reckoning with humanity based on what light he gave them. Man is not to faulted for what he does not, or can not know. (unless you are a Calvinist) :)

I agree with Michael Spencer (shocked, I know) You might want to get out a bit and listen to the drivel that is being preached these days. In THREE years, I have not heard one sermon that was focused on the gospel from start to finish. We who are postmoderns rejects this _______ (think manure) preaching that modernity has given us. Absolutely worthless preaching.

It should then come as no surprise that more truth comes out of the lips of George Carlin, Steven Colbert, or Jon Stewart than many preachers.

I love the gospel and I love hearing it preached. I despise how to sermons, 3 points and a poem sermons, Why I am a Baptist sermons, Why I am not a Baptist Sermons, End Time Sermons, etc, etc. etc. Just preach to me Jesus (but he is hard to be found these days)

So go ahead and blame postmoderns for the slide, but the real blame lies at the feet of modernity.

159   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Deep down some Evangelicals are having a crisis of faith. Modernity, technology, science, etc are all pushing at them and so they think the answer is to push back and turn the Bible into a book that can be verified and proved by the same rules that moderns and their followers use. This method will fail every time.

My brother and I were discussing this last night, actually. It seems that with advances, especially in science, many Christians feel extremely threatened, as if one more scientific discovery will be the final nail in the coffin of their faith.

However, when one drops the preconceived notions of what “True Faith” must entail, and just focuses on seeking after God, the next archaeological or scientific discovery that contradicts a literally interpreted doctrine in the Bible isn’t so threatening.

160   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

Hi Amy.

You said “You are oft full of opinions and corrections. If your opinions and corrections have nothing to do with scripture, what do they have to do with? And is that source of you opinions and corrections greater than God’s Word?”

Yes I am oft full of opinions and corrections and I am oft full of______.

Since I believe in God, I believe ALL truth is God’s truth. Truth, for me, is not relegated to a single book, or specific books of that book. The Bible is truth but it is not all the truth there is. I suspect there is truth in the Koran or National Geographic.

I have a life outside of the Bible. I don’t need to have the Bible validate everything I do on a given day.

There are things that God is indifferent about. i.e. The Cincinnati Reds winning tonight. I want them to win and I wish God would really get into the game but He has better things to do.

That is how I live. God gave me a mind and reason. As I go through life I try and act responsibly and live as a good citizen of earth. I don’t run every decision I make through the Bible answer book. Granted, my mind is informed by a lifelong reading of the Bible so I don’t make decisions in a void. But, I do some things, just cuz I want to. That’s all part of using the free will God gave me.

I am definitely not bigger than God but I am bigger than some of the gods people create in their own image. Perhaps we all, at times, shape God after the fashion of “us”.

Hope I answered your question.

Bruce

161   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

“My conscience tells me there is a God, somebody BIGGER than me”
Wait a minute…a God…why singular and not plural? Where do you get ingredients for the make up of God or Gods and how do you know that God created creation?

“All truth begins with self. We may then venture beyond self to validate what we believe truth to be but it begins in our mind.”

This quote is super existential! It is the basic belief of Buddhism. With this point of view you have opened up Pandora’s box. All truth begins with self….then Charles Manson is locked away for nothing and he was wrongly accused! Hitler amd Stalin are innocent and if someone is killing your kid…let it ride for that truth may be what is their self!

162   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

Without the New Testament the gospel cannot be known. If people can be saved by acknowledging a Creator via nature, then the Jesus story is irrelevant.

I understand what you’re getting at, but there were certainly a lot of people who followed Christ before the writing of the New Testemant. It’s not the written word itself that’s important, it’s the message contained therein.

I wholeheartedly agree Scripture was given to the Church from God, and that the Holy Spirit has guided its foundation. I just think the foundation of our faith is Christ, and the we can trust Scripture because it testifies to this.

163   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Jonathan,

Truth can not begin anywhere else but with self. I have a brain (mind) I use it.

On what basis do we start with the Bible? A Self tells another self that it is “truth” The Bible is nothing without someone intellectually choosing to investigate its truth claims. It starts with self. One could argue that it starts with the Holy Spirit but once again that is a FAITH proposition.

Saying something is Buddhist doesn’t scare me away. :) The American Church is far too Westernized for its own good. It would do us well to bow a bit to the east. (as the writings of Thomas Merton show)

I am sure you see by now you can’t trap me. :) But go ahead and try. I enjoy the discussion.

164   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

You didn’t comment on Mansons truth or Hitler’s, Stalin’s etc? Your view is scary in itself…I don’t have to scare you…
And as I said, If someone is killing your kid…let it ride for it could be that killers truth which started with himself

165   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:26 pm

Wait a minute…a God…why singular and not plural? Where do you get ingredients for the make up of God or Gods and how do you know that God created creation?

I’ll answer this: I don’t know if there’s just one God…I suspect there’s a lot more out there than we’ll ever know. That said, my faith instinct tells me that God was behind our existence, but I don’t have any proof of that, and neither do you, so I won’t try to pass that off as absolute truth. It’s just my belief.

All truth begins with self….then Charles Manson is locked away for nothing and he was wrongly accused! Hitler amd Stalin are innocent and if someone is killing your kid…let it ride for that truth may be what is their self!

That’s an ENORMOUS and intellectually dishonest jump. People killing people has absolutely nothing to do with spiritual truth. Let’s not forget that much of the unnecessary killing across the history of humanity has been committed by extremely religious people, many of them Christians.

So let’s not even pretend Christians have a corner on understanding why killing people is immoral.

In fact, I’d suggest that’s part of an even larger myth, which is perpetuated by, mostly, Christians: that, without religion, we have no moral compass. It sounds good, but it’s simply untrue.

166   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

By the way, I guess your view of life has no absolute moral law? I mean, since truth is subjective from one person to another…

167   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:32 pm

” unnecessary killing across the history of humanity has been committed by extremely religious people, many of them Christians.”

What makes the killing unnecessary? Your view, what validity, especially when it comes to truth, does that hold…nothing. Maybe it is necessary, maybe not…but don’t put your own strangle hold it since you don’t know absolute truth and with that your view is just 1 that differs with those who killed.

It is a circle that regards any factual adjectives you throw out as weightless!

168   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:36 pm

since you don’t know absolute truth and with that your view is just 1 that differs with those who killed.

No, because you don’t know absolute truth either. You believe you do, as that’s your faith.

Oh, and the killing perpetuated by Christians and other religious people was unnecessary because regular old human conscience says it is.

Moral law is pretty simple, actually. Love your neighbor. If your actions fall within those parameters, then you’re following moral law.

But yet again, let’s not pretend one needs Christianity in order to make moral choices.

I mean, surely we wouldn’t want to get into a pissing contest over which worldviews have produced the most moral people?

169   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

What? Love your neighbor? Thats your moral law not everybody elses! What if I say there is no moral law and morality doesn’t exist especially in my reality!
There are people who do not believe in a moral law…are they wrong…not in your view since there isn’t absolute truth and no one can know that!

Regular old human conscience…That premise is so faulty! What about people who don’t feel guilty for killing someone….holes, holes, holes.

I am not even defending my beliefs at this moment. I am just questioning your arguments.

170   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Jonathan,

I am going to leave off this because you are going to get sick from going in circles. (and so am I as I follow you)

I have never said I didn’t believe in absolute truth. I have repeatedly said I believe the Bible to be truth. It is you who has the problem because you continue to attach your view of inerrancy to the Scriptures, thus if one denies your view of inerrancy they can’t believe in truth.

You see two positions…….yours and error.

I asked Zan these questions:

1. Is it the exact words that are inerrant and preserved?

2. If so, where can I read those exact words? If God has preserved them they must exist somewhere, right?

3. You can’t appeal to the originals or even the extant manuscripts because the former does not exist and the latter differs in thousands of places. Remember you set perfection as the standard, so where is this perfect Bible?

4. Are any of the translations inerrant? If so, which one?

I asked you:

1.Where is the perfect book you speak of?

2. If you appeal to the original manuscripts then I would ask where are they?

3. If you appeal to the testimony of the manuscripts as a whole, how do you reckon the many thousands of variations in the manuscripts? Since your truth requires perfection how can you find perfection when all you have are thousands of variations?

4. If you appeal to the testimony of the Church, then who is the Church? Do you accept consensus on all issues? Why accept consensus on the Scriptures and reject it on issues like communion and baptism?

5. Can one be a follower of Jesus and not believe in your doctrine of inerrancy? If not, does this mean that salvation is by doctrinal correctness?

6. When Paul clearly states he is writing his own opinion should we accept that on the same level as the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?

No answer from either of you. If you are going to believe in your version of inerrancy then you need to be able to answer these questions.

Until then……….you really haven’t thought your position out well enough to be judging those with a differing view. Let’s wrestle with the hard stuff. It is easy to spout Apologetics 101 but some of us see those arguments as shallow.

I in no way say these things out of anger. I am quite secure in my beliefs concerning God and His word. My hope is that by interacting with an apostate liberal like me you might gain some nuance and be forced to question some of your “settled” beliefs.

So……..maybe if you answer my questions we can go further with this. If not, from my vantage point we have finally reached the point Joe C was talking about 100 posts ago :)

171   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

NONONO, Jonathan, you’re not reading my words!

I didn’t say there IS no absolute truth.

I said humans can’t know it for sure.

And actually “Love your neighbor” is the summation of the entire law, according to Jesus and Paul.

And actually, most people believe in morals. Seriously. They don’t need religion to do so. They may not believe in a God-given moral law, but they believe in morals. There’s a difference.

And honestly, in a civilized and educated society, people are mostly in agreement on basic things like killing people.

Yes, there are exceptions…people who don’t feel guilty about killing people, like Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush. We don’t need the Bible to tell us that they’re wrong. We already have a system of laws in this country that acknowledges that we’re in general agreement that mass-killing is bad. Remember, the Constitution was written by Deists, not Christians…

172   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:01 pm

Yes, there are exceptions…people who don’t feel guilty about killing people, like Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush.

Oh, snap!

Seriously, I don’t feel like getting into an argument about moral absolutes and stuff right now, but your ability to bring politics into every discussion never ceases to amaze me…

I mean that in a good way.

173   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

It’s funny Bruce, I can defend all these questions with answers, yet it is a waste of my time…you won’t change your mind and, by the way, it is my reality so it is moot in your reality. And I ask you a question and I get no answer…Where is your point of reference that others can see! You haven’t answered me in this. The great commission or telling others about any truth can’t be done. I really don’t understand why you would even be on this blog and discuss things that you say aren’t truth and can’t be proven. What a waste of time…

174   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

It’s funny Bruce, I can defend all these questions with answers, yet it is a waste of my time…you won’t change your mind and, by the way, it is my reality so it is moot in your reality.
And I ask you a question and I get no answer…Where is your point of reference that others can see! You haven’t answered me in this. The great commission or telling others about any truth can’t be done. I really don’t understand why you would even be on this blog and discuss things that you say aren’t truth and can’t be proven. What a waste of time…

175   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:07 pm

Oh, snap!

Seriously, I don’t feel like getting into an argument about moral absolutes and stuff right now, but your ability to bring politics into every discussion never ceases to amaze me…

I mean that in a good way.

Hee Hee. :)

176   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

“And actually “Love your neighbor” is the summation of the entire law, according to Jesus and Paul.”
What? You say that the bible is or atleast in some ways faulty…You can’t use the law according to Jesus or Paul since we get them from scripture! That would be subjective on your part, especially since you can’t hold that as truth…the is no understanding absolute morality…so one can’t abide by your premise!

177   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

You still don’t understand, Jonathan.

That’s not my argument.

My argument isn’t that scripture is worthless, and neither is Bruce’s, for the 50 gazillionth time.

It’s that, for me, personally, scripture is 90% faith, and 10% verifiable.

And that’s fine.

But it’s a non-argument to say that because the Bible is errant, written by humans as it was, that the wisdom of God can’t come out of it.

I see wisdom in that teaching because it correlates most closely with other major religions and common sense. That’s, to me, a pretty good litmus test of whether a religious teaching is worth considering or not.

178   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

It’s funny Bruce, I can defend all these questions with answers, yet it is a waste of my time…you won’t change your mind and, by the way, it is my reality so it is moot in your reality.
And I ask you a question and I get no answer…Where is your point of reference that others can see! You haven’t answered me in this. The great commission or telling others about any truth can’t be done. I really don’t understand why you would even be on this blog and discuss things that you say aren’t truth and can’t be proven. What a waste of time…

This is very close to the point I was trying to get at in my article. We can talk about our opinions until we our blue in the face. We can appeal to Scripture or some other external authority, but most of the time are arguments when they are in the form of an attack don’t do any good. I actually believe that sometimes they do more harm than good.

My point is that it’s much more fruitful for us to submit ourselves to Scripture’s molding rather than try to force others into whatever shape we think they should look like. For others it seems that we can share our opinions in love, but beyond that, there comes a point where we have to trust the Holy Spirit to guide them and convict them.

179   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:14 pm

This is to say that I believe there is great value in the Bible, as well as other scripture.

This is to also say that I believe that we, as humans, have to engage our noodles to figure out what spirituality means in this human experience.

This is to also say that I believe that absolute truth exists, but one book and/or one narrow-minded interpretation of that book will never provide that absolute truth.

180   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

BTT, I see where you are coming from…I promise. My argument is in regards to truth. If you have no truth then there is no point of reference and all arguments are subjective and therefore you have no absolute wrong or right.

If the bible isn’t total truth then we have no point of reference in truth. Therefore there is no true moral law, therefore evil is subjective, therefore all is subjective to one’s own reality and that reality should never be infringed upon by gov. laws, parental supervision etc. since those guidelines are subjective by definition.

181   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Phil, your right. We can either hold to the bible as truth or not. And if I hold that it is and someone holds that it isn’t truth then there is nothing else to talk about since our point of truth references do not line up! Phil, I agree.

182   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Jonathan,
Do you think that one has to take the position that everything in the Bible is 100% correct to believe anything in the Bible? I’m not sure, so I don’t want to put words in your mouth. If so, I would say that is the traditional stance on inerrancy. For example, if it were proven that the sun didn’t literally stand still in Joshua, then does the whole thing fall apart? (I’m not saying I don’t believe this, I’m just using it as an example).

What I would say is that there is a core truth in Scripture that one must believe to be a Christian – that is who Christ was/is and His death and resurrection. That is the center. Everything else falls somewhere on the edges of that. I think if we tell people, “you must believe the whole Bible before becoming a Christian” it is putting a requirement on them that even Paul didn’t seem to observe. Obviously, there were people like the Roman jailer who became Christians who probably had little or no Biblical knowledge.

183   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

If the bible isn’t total truth then we have no point of reference in truth. Therefore there is no true moral law, therefore evil is subjective, therefore all is subjective to one’s own reality and that reality should never be infringed upon by gov. laws, parental supervision etc. since those guidelines are subjective by definition.

But that’s really a false construct. It’s just one of those things Christians say that isn’t really true, but they’ve been taught it so many times…human beings have shown ourselves to, as knowledge grows, be able to evolve to higher understandings of right and wrong, etc…Scripture simply isn’t necessary to discern those things, and to suggest otherwise implies that humans are so totally retarded that we can’t figure out anything for ourselves and need the “Daddy” figure of Scripture to obey without thought in order to live. I think part of the problem is when the word “evil” is injected into the discussion, with its supernatural implications. One need not run around labeling things as “evil” in order to understand right and wrong.

What’s funny is that Christians NEVER consider the possibility that they have the “wrong” book, and maybe another religion has the “right” one. So you say things like “If the Bible isn’t absolute truth, then nothing is!” That’s a mangled version of “Well, if I have to share my toys, then I’m going home and nobody can play with them!”

I’d suggest that absolute truth, again, is something that exists, but humans are incapable of understanding it. But we all can find pieces. The Bible has pieces. The Q’uran has pieces. Gnostic Gospels and Jewish mysticism have pieces. Sufism has pieces. Learning about my neighbor who comes from a different culture…pieces. Science journals have pieces. Reflecting on nature…pieces. God is to be found everywhere…not just in one book. That’s my belief.

184   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

““you must believe the whole Bible before becoming a Christian” refer to comment 125.

My question is in regards to absolute truth and if the bible isn’t total truth or without blemish then the gospel itself, the one for which you say we must believe to be saved which is quoted in the bible, might be flawed as other parts might be.

185   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Jonathan,

So you aren’t going to answer my questions? Because I am not worthy of an answer. A Ok. Forgive me if I don’t just a bit think the problem is that you can’t answer them (and I say that kindly) Neither could I when I held views like yours.

My point of reference is the Bible. have I said otherwise? Have I not said the Bible is true? What I have refused to support is your unsupportable view of inerrancy, thus you think I deny truth.

I have tried and tried to explain my understanding of truth to you but you either reject it or can’t see it.

The Bible is nothing more than a book lying on the table until someone picks it up and reads it. The Bible doesn’t supernaturally jump out there and say “read me” By an act of the will I choose to read it. My reasons for reading it may be many. As it read it may click with me at some deeper level …….hmm that sounds right. Or that’s interesting. Hmm, I need to think more about that.

I wonder if Jesus would of considered me a waste of time? Surely that inerrant book of yours addresses that (unless you think I am some modern pharisee or Sadducee then I guess I can understand your response to me. )

So once again. I believe in God. I believe in truth. I believe the Bible is truth. I do not believe it is all the truth there is. The Bible is an important part of my life. I read it and love it. It speaks to me. But, I do not sue the Bible as a divine answer book for every question in life. It is foremost and above all a faith book and by faith I accept it as truth. I do not accept as truth any false inerrancy construct forced upon the Bible by moderns who fear losing God if they find out there is an error in the text. God is bigger than the Scripture.

With this……..I bow out. I think I have said repeatedly all I can say on this issue. (unless you answer my questions)I am probably wearing out my welcome with some so I will quietly fade into the darkness of self and go back to painting my house.

Bruce

186   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:37 pm

BTT, then you are a universalist?

187   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Bruce, send me email at jonfrueh@msn.com and I will answeer them.

188   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

With this……..I bow out. I think I have said repeatedly all I can say on this issue. (unless you answer my questions)I am probably wearing out my welcome with some so I will quietly fade into the darkness of self and go back to painting my house.

Bruce,
Well, you’re always welcome here as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure the other writers would agree as well.

Blessings and Godspeed while painting!

189   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

I’d suggest that absolute truth, again, is something that exists, but humans are incapable of understanding it. But we all can find pieces. The Bible has pieces. The Q’uran has pieces. Gnostic Gospels and Jewish mysticism have pieces. Sufism has pieces. Learning about my neighbor who comes from a different culture…pieces. Science journals have pieces. Reflecting on nature…pieces. God is to be found everywhere…not just in one book. That’s my belief.

While I would say it is possible that different religious texts contain elements of the truth, you can’t disregard the fact that there are ways in which they are contradictory. The gnostic gospels paint a very different picture of Jesus than the canon. Different to the point that they call into question His very nature.

It seems that to be Christian by definition means you are affirming Christ is Lord and God incarnate. Any text that posits something that attempts to negate that fact needs to be rejected.

190   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:48 pm

BTT, then you are a universalist?

That’s a Christian construct, and so I view it as such.

I think I’ve already answered that question once in this thread.

But I’ll put it out there that I’m slowly growing out of the traditional Christian ideas of “salvation” and “redemption,” because I think it devalues the gift of life, as well as the teachings of Jesus.

191   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

you can’t disregard the fact that there are ways in which they are contradictory. The gnostic gospels paint a very different picture of Jesus than the canon. Different to the point that they call into question His very nature.

Oh, I know!

But again, I also see a lot of contradiction within the Bible, and I see the Bible contradicted by reality…so it’s a matter of perspective. When I say I see wisdom and truth in all of these texts, I’m not saying I accept them all at face value. I’m saying I suspect the truth is the part that breaks through all the specifics of the various texts.

It seems that to be Christian by definition means you are affirming Christ is Lord and God incarnate.

I don’t think so. Only one gospel really pushes a divine Jesus, and Jesus’s own words on the subject can be interpreted various ways. Plus, we really don’t know with 100% accuracy the words of the historical Jesus. We know what lots of different writers say he said. We have nothing directly from the source.

Soooo…

I think there are a lot of ways to be Christian.

192   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Thanks Phil. If you were a REAL Christian you’d come help paint this house :) We are having to deal with lead paint so the going is slow. ANd since I am getting slower, slow has gotten a lot slower.

Jonathan. Send email to questions@worldofbruce.net I’ll get

Bruce

193   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I don’t think so. Only one gospel really pushes a divine Jesus, and Jesus’s own words on the subject can be interpreted various ways. Plus, we really don’t know with 100% accuracy the words of the historical Jesus. We know what lots of different writers say he said. We have nothing directly from the source.

Soooo…

I think there are a lot of ways to be Christian.

Well, I won’t get into a huge argument here, but I think you have remember that the Gospels didn’t exist in some sort of historical vacuum. The concept of Christ’s divinity was something that the early church re-affirmed again and again – so much so that Jewish Christians were eventually run out of synagogues and Greek/Roman Christians were regularly being martyred for this belief. To accept Christ was to say “no” to the pantheon of other Roman gods.

Roman culture was generally pretty tolerant of different religious beliefs – what they weren’t tolerant of was people rejecting the Empire for another king. To follow Jesus was a wholehearted rejection of Rome and its gods.

Like I said, I probably won’t argue more than that because this thread has already gone in a lot of directions, but I think there is a lot of information on the history of the early church for us to look at.

194   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

Bruce, send me email at jonfrueh@msn.com and I will answeer them.

Noooooo! I want to see your answers as well. Pleeaase!

Bruce,
Well, you’re always welcome here as far as I’m concerned. I’m pretty sure the other writers would agree as well.

Me want to see more of Bruce here. And Jonathan. And Break The Terror. And Rick. And …

This is a really good thread so far. I enjoy reading every comment.

195   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

Oh, I agree about that, but my thing is that the divinity of Christ wasn’t something pushed much by Christ, wasn’t prophecied really in the Jewish texts, and was really more taken up by those who came after, especially Paul with his conversion, which, as I’ve said, I’m a bit suspicious of.

So, am I saying I don’t believe Jesus was/is God? No, I’m just saying that I don’t know. Doesn’t mean I can’t follow Christ.

196   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 2:08 pm

Me want to see more of Bruce here. And Jonathan. And Break The Terror. And Rick. And …

Haha, hi, Eugene.

We’re talking about subjects Christians don’t usually dive into, aren’t we?

197   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 2:21 pm

We’re talking about subjects Christians don’t usually dive into, aren’t we?

I just love it. We are talking about potentially very contentious subjects here and nobody has reverted to calling anybody a heretic/godless idiot/antichrist/…
This is how it should be done in a loving, respectful Christian way.

198   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

I just posted a great quote on my blog that sort of ties into the problem I and many others have with the idea of “inerrancy” in the face of scientific knowledge, etc. It’s from a biologist, Michael Lenski, arguing with Lil’ Andy Schlafly about things that Lil’ Schlafly doesn’t understand, but it shows that the biologist seems to have a better grasp of God than Schlafly, a defender of inerrancy and a self-proclaimed enemy of science. Here’s the quote:

I find it baffling, however, that someone can worship God as the all-mighty Creator while, at the same time, denying even the possibility (not to mention the overwhelming evidence) that God’s Creation involved evolution. It is as though a person thinks that God must have the same limitations when it comes to creation as a person who is unable to understand, or even attempt to understand, the world in which we live. Isn’t that view insulting to God?

http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com/2008/06/24/stunning-quote-re-the-science-of-evolution-vs-faith-in-creation/

199   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 9:08 pm

“Oh, I agree about that, but my thing is that the divinity of Christ wasn’t something pushed much by Christ, wasn’t prophecied really in the Jewish texts, and was really more taken up by those who came after, especially Paul with his conversion, which, as I’ve said, I’m a bit suspicious of. ”

Wow…the whole Old Testament was a Jewish text and Isaiah 53 is one out of many prophesies that are clear…also the passover and pretty much every Jewish feast…Those are for starters on that. I am in bible school and I am amazed at how much I am seeing in the Old Testament about the coming of Christ. So much more than over 20 years of being a pastors son.

Christ said many times that he was not of this world and that He and the Father are one. I am the resurrection and the life…I am the way the truth the life…John 3:16…let us not forget the Trinity mentioned in Genisis for divinity reference…Those are for starters…

But of course, if you question the innarency of the scriptures you willtry to twist these verses your own way…Mkaing your own reality innarent…By the way, Helloo BTT…I was out for a while.

200   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Hey BTT, if someone came up to me and said they are saved by the blood of Christ and they said they thought, even after reading Genisis, that God used evolution as the tool for creation I would haven’t have a hissy fit over it. I would like to go through scripture with him and if he still was bent to his belief I would say…Ok, I love you brother…

Now if he said he believed in this theistic evolution theory based on his inarrency belief we would have to dig deeper than just creation. We would have to address his view of inarrency about the gospel. If he believed that the gospel was faulty then I know he doesn’t believe in the same Jesus I have faith in and I would talk to him and take him out to lunch and give him my beliefs as I have done here.

Then, if he still is grounded to his beliefs, I set up another lunch meeting and disuss it again and I pray that the Holy Spirit reveals himself as he is in and out of scripture and if he still is grounded on his beliefs I set up another eating(the Baptist way…LOL) outing and we talk so more…in any arena, I love talking about the Lord and His Word!

201   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I don’t care what background, what sex, what color, what generation, what religion etc…Jesus died for all and he loves us all and it is through this that I feel commanded to show love to all…even though at times we all have a hard time doing this…

202   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 24th, 2008 at 9:25 pm

Wow – Miss a day and you miss a lot…

Some random thoughts…

but the book IS errant. The Gospels disagree with each other, the creation accounts have been refuted…

When you begin with the assumption of Western/literalist/modernist writing and interpretation of the Bible, then of course it may seem to disagree. You give a perfect example of this – The Creation accounts have not been ‘refuted’ – rather, a strict literalist interpretation of the Creation story is at odds with certain scientific evidence. However, Theistic Evolution and other views of the Creation accounts are not at odds with ’science’.

The standards for science are, admittedly, higher.

Having just finished Technopoly (written by an agnostic Jew, no less), I think it would be much more accurate to say that the standards for science are not ‘higher’, just ‘different’. When you boil it down, the beginning of the universe relies on one of two causes – purpose (God) or chance. Neither can be proven or disproven by science. No matter which one you choose, it is a matter of faith. Faith in (a) God or faith in no god – neither has scientific proof.

Oh, and one more ignorant “lifestyle” comment from a reality-denying Christian, and I’m done with this forum.

Third grade ended years ago.

[...] Yet McChristian calls them “stupid.”

Evan, I’m gonna say this as nicely as I can (not just based on this, but the preponderance of the way you’ve been treating folks who post here) – grow up or get out.

You’ve become no different than Pastorboy, Ken or certain other ODM commenters – same general method of demagoguery, derision and contempt with simply a different worldview. I’m growing weary of your monopolizing entire threads of discussion to bash and belittle folks with your “reality-based” (said with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek), “superior” methodology.

Science is not our enemy but Dawkins certainly is.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Truth does not require perfection”????????????????????????

Zan: Wow, I can’t even begin to understand the stupidity of that comment! Truth is, by its nature, perfect.

Bruce:Truth by nature is not perfect and if that is the standard then there is NO TRUTH.

Two different perspectives of ‘truth’, it looks like – Zan is referring to the actual “Truth” (as known and spoken by God), whereas Bruce is referring to “truth” as experienced by man (which can be imperfect, because it is experienced through the filter of our – often conflicting – interpretations).

You seem to have a puny God who can’t seem to exist unless he exists in a perfect, Western, systematic theology shaped construct.

I hate to tell you, but she’s about as far from holding to a systematic theology as anyone I know… She is arguing that absolute Truth exists, even if we may disagree over its interpretation. I think you’re arguing past each other here…

1. Is it the exact words that are inerrant and preserved?

In the original autographs

2. If so, where can I read those exact words? If God has preserved them they must exist somewhere, right?

As Rob Bell points out, this requires faith – that God gave the men who canonized scripture the inspiration to choose the right writings and letters, etc.

3. You can’t appeal to the originals or even the extant manuscripts because the former does not exist and the latter differs in thousands of places. Remember you set perfection as the standard, so where is this perfect Bible?

Even where the existent documents disagree, the overarching writing does not. So again, you must rely on faith that what we have is what God desired to be preserved. At the same time, you do have to recognize that every person who reads/translates scripture (even from what ‘originals’ we have) makes choices in the translation which may be imperfect.

4. Are any of the translations inerrant? If so, which one?

No – again, it comes to the choice of the translator. I would note that Jesus and most of his contemporaries had the OT scriptures – and their commentaries in Oral Law memorized. You could argue over interpretation (which is not inerrant), but you can’t make up scripture as you go…

PS. I do not stand in rabid hatred of anything you believe. I think you are wrong and that your views ca not be sustained rationally. In no way do I doubt your commitment to Christ.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t directed at you… As an aside, I would also respectfully disagree on rational sustainment of her positions.

All truth begins with self. We may then venture beyond self to validate what we believe truth to be but it begins in our mind.

I would disagree – truth begins with God, but how we experience it begins with self (which is why our ‘truth’ is imperfect). Without Scripture as the authoritative, but not sole, source of truth, you have no common frame of reference and all truth is truly relative.

Deep down some Evangelicals are having a crisis of faith. Modernity, technology, science, etc are all pushing at them and so they think the answer is to push back and turn the Bible into a book that can be verified and proved by the same rules that moderns and their followers use. This method will fail every time.

I don’t disagree – that’s why we and the ODM’s often disagree – the Bible is not a modernist textbook, independent from the context in which is was written.

So go ahead and blame postmoderns for the slide, but the real blame lies at the feet of modernity.

There’s lots of blame to go around – Christians who have bought into modernist methods and decided to die on hills of their own (not God’s) creation are commonplace. The postmodern worldview has its own failings, which will probably become just as self-evident as the modernist ones as time goes on…

I agree that all truth is God’s truth, but there must be something apart from our own experience by which to weigh it.

Saying something is Buddhist doesn’t scare me away.

There’s water in the toilet, and if you’re really thirsty, I’m rather sure it would do in a pinch. That doesn’t mean, though, that it’s the first place I’m gonna go looking for a drink the next time I come in from mowing the lawn…

I think too often we polarize the issue and try to prove there’s truth apart from the Bible. Well duh. Of course there is. Care is required, though, in examining our own interpretations of the Bible and even moreso from sources of truth apart from it.

But yet again, let’s not pretend one needs Christianity in order to make moral choices.

Certainly, history is replete with bad examples from most every worldview. Moralism without purpose is meaningless. Man was created with three basic needs – to be loved, to be right and to have a purpose. Moralism fills only one of the three, and even not that one all that much. Every religion but Christianity is based on being ‘good enough’. Unfortunately, too many Christians forget this and fall into the same trap as the rest…

203   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Ok…I will try to answer Bruce’s questions short and swee so my comment isn’t crazy long, so her we go…

1.Where is the perfect book you speak of?

In my hand, The bible…OK, let me explain this reason in the next questions…

2. If you appeal to the original manuscripts then I would ask where are they?
The bible is the most published book in history so we may see it longevity there, but lets talk about the dead sea scrolls…Could some of them been original maybe, maybe not yet they estimate them to be dated in the area between 200 BC and 100 AD. Ok, They took nthe book of Isaiah and compared it to the NIV now and they found 9 words that varied, yet none of these words put weight into the context(words like and, in, etc). Scholars said that with this comparison that they estimate it to be 99.999999….% accurate! This is amazing considering 2000 yrs had lapsed. By the way have you ever read on the way Jewish writers had to be so precise on the ways of writing and the changed their pen to a new pen every time they wrote the name of God and then threw the Pen aside. There’s more that I will put in an email…It would take forever here.

3. If you appeal to the testimony of the manuscripts as a whole, how do you reckon the many thousands of variations in the manuscripts? Since your truth requires perfection how can you find perfection when all you have are thousands of variations?

This is easy, There aren’t many variations in the Old Testament, but the New Testament has a great thing about it…It was written in Greek! Greek Scholars estimate that each greek phrase can be reworded to mean the same thing about 25-30 times each phrase…

4. If you appeal to the testimony of the Church, then who is the Church? Do you accept consensus on all issues? Why accept consensus on the Scriptures and reject it on issues like communion and baptism?

We are the church; the body of born again believers in Christ. As a whole, the gospel is the main foundation that cannot be varied in consensus. Other views may vary, but these view cannot infringe on the gospel of Jesus Christ, his diety etc. Reject issues like communion and baptism…we only reject them when used as a toolo that effects one’s salvation. We accept them as rlevant observances for one’s spiritual growh, but they must not be adhered to for saving purposes. See Eph. 2:8,9

5. Can one be a follower of Jesus and not believe in your doctrine of inerrancy? If not, does this mean that salvation is by doctrinal correctness?

Yes… no need to answer the other

6. When Paul clearly states he is writing his own opinion should we accept that on the same level as the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?

Paul’s opinion didn’t effect the innarency of scripture, nor did it challenge the authority of the Lords Word…He was the chosen tool for the set up of the church and the tool in which God used to proclaim the gospel to the gentiles. If he was chosen for that reason, even his opinion was inarrent. The difference between Paul and Jesus…one was God in the flesh and one wasn’t…One spoke of himself and one pointed to the other…one was perfect and one was a sinner saved by grace…etc

BTW…we must always remember that a Christian comes to these beliefs in the faith given to them by the Lord and through the works of the Holy Spirit inside that person.

204   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 24th, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Chris L,

As Rob Bell points out, this requires faith – that God gave the men who canonized scripture the inspiration to choose the right writings and letters, etc.

And that is the bottom line for me.

The Bible is a faith book.

Bruce

205   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Bruce, I agree… faith based on and in the TRUTH! I am the way, the truth , the life…

206   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 24th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

And that is the bottom line for me.

The Bible is a faith book.

That’s why I think you and Zan were talking past each other – you were looking at the same thing from two different vantage points. All truth is God’s. He defines what is truth and it DOES exist and it is not based on our own perspective. However, they way we experience ‘truth’ is based on our perspective, and when we use Scripture as the way to ‘ground’/'understand’ our perspective, it is an act of faith (that Scripture is more true than our own experience).

207   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

” Scripture is more true than our own experience”
Imagine if we took this quote literally!

Wow…I like that quote. But, one day the truth of the Scriptures will become full in our eyes when we see Him as He is!

208   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
June 24th, 2008 at 10:23 pm

” Scripture is more true than our own experience”
Imagine if we took this quote literally!

Well, Jon, it’s pretty easy to follow Scripture when it matches our experience and desires…

It’s a whole lot harder when we’re faced with submission to something that contradicts our desires or experience…

209   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:26 pm

The Creation accounts have not been ‘refuted’ – rather, a strict literalist interpretation of the Creation story is at odds with certain scientific evidence. However, Theistic Evolution and other views of the Creation accounts are not at odds with ’science’.

Actually, in my head I was more thinking about the myth of Adam & Eve being the “first people,” when, as they are placed chronologically, there were humans around for thousands of years before.

That’s one of my huge problems with a literal interpretation of any of it, to be honest. WE KNOW that humanity pre-dates Judaism/Christendom. I’m reminded of the line in the XTC song “Dear God,” “…did you make mankind after we made you?”

210   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Hey BTT, if someone came up to me and said they are saved by the blood of Christ and they said they thought, even after reading Genisis, that God used evolution as the tool for creation I would haven’t have a hissy fit over it. I would like to go through scripture with him and if he still was bent to his belief I would say…Ok, I love you brother…

Except that evolution is accepted by all real scientists…

So…you can banter over whether evolution was theistic or not all day, but God definitely didn’t have a One Week Dinosaur party a 6,000 years ago. WE KNOW THAT.

211   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

When you boil it down, the beginning of the universe relies on one of two causes – purpose (God) or chance. Neither can be proven or disproven by science. No matter which one you choose, it is a matter of faith. Faith in (a) God or faith in no god – neither has scientific proof.

I agree with this statement.

:) (See, ’tis possible.)

212   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

“Well, Jon, it’s pretty easy to follow Scripture when it matches our experience and desires…”

How I took that quote was in the area of my experiences led by the Holy Spirit, but I am so finite that I can’t fully comprehend what the Lord has done for me…

Jesus and his work on the Cross is Truth that by faith I have been shown a glimpse into his majesty…My refined version of the quote..LOL Thanks Chris L for making me think!

213   Jonathan Frueh    
June 24th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

“So…you can banter over whether evolution was theistic or not all day, but God definitely didn’t have a One Week Dinosaur party a 6,000 years ago. WE KNOW THAT.”

Uh oh…Limiting God, that is a no, no!

214   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 10:44 pm

It’s not “limiting God” to state that something didn’t happen, because we know, indeed, it didn’t happen.

215   Joe C    http://www.joe4gzus.blogspot.com
June 24th, 2008 at 11:33 pm

Evan: YOU QUOTE XTC!!!!

<3 to them. My dad had me grow up listening to them.

Anyways…100 comments, a USAF mission to the east coast (weeee!), and a giant footlong sub later…you guys are still debating (thankfully in a nice way…)

“I guess it comes down to the simple belief of whether God can communicate effectively, truthfully, reliably, and with a consistent message to humanity…or we’re on our own and we’d better hope He’s not counting our idiocy against us.”

per comment 104…which was me…lol.

I read through every single comment, and I’m impressed at the attitude and generally feel-goodery generated by this discussion. I’ve learned a few things about myself, and others, and have confused other issues for me all at the same time. Couldn’t be happier.

So…as I said in my previous comment…(with minor changes)

So…that’s it? Convo over…?

Joe

216   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 24th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Who knows…

I love that XTC song. I will say, though, that Sarah McLachlan’s cover version is, in my opinion, more powerful than the original.

217   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 7:29 am

So…that’s it? Convo over…?

I hope not. Sometimes the conversation moves so fast that before I get to digest everything and formulate my own thoughts a few new comments with new perspectives are made and I have rethink my not yet made comment again. Thinking in Afrikaans and then translating doesn’t help either… At least being awake before you all gives me the advantage of the first comment of the new day. :lol:

So here is my perspective from the south side:
It has already been said on this thread that the Bible is a book of faith and not of science. If we are going to apply some scientific method to it to prove it or pitch it against some scientific theory it is going to loose every time.

The Bible requires faith to believe it and it is not the same kind of faith needed to believe a scientific theory. The kind of faith needed to believe the Bible as spiritual truth is that kind of faith that resonates deep within you when you know something is true. That kind of faith that the Holy Spirit gives. The Bible speaks of a measure of faith given to us. Faith to believe in science is rational thought faith. Things making sense. A theory or idea corresponding with what is already known to be true or that is observed. If we try to use this kind of faith to prove the truth of the Bible we end up being the ridicule of the world and then we get defensive and start using the Bible as a weapon against people.

So can the Bible and science work together? I think it is a resounding “yes”. The Bible teaches us about God’s nature and His relationship to His creation. Science teaches us how God’s creation works. Both points towards God and should be observed and learned from.

An example of this is the creation account of Genesis. I understand from my theologically trained friends that this account is in the form of a Hebrew poem. So that should tell us that it should not be understood as a literal account. Not being literal does make it less true though. We should just know which truths can be learned from it and which not. Truths we can learn from it are:
– God created
– He created for a purpose
– Humans are created in His image
– God is relational
– Man more…
Truths that cannot be learned from it are:
– By what method God created
– In what time frame God created
– What systems God put in place to sustain and develop His creation
– Probably a lot more that I can’t think about now

Bottom line – God is real, and He stands in relationship with His creation and He redeems fallen creation by the work of Jesus Christ. Can I prove it? No but I believe it without a doubt.

218   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 8:15 am

It seems that I commented on an already dead thread…

219   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
June 25th, 2008 at 8:17 am

It seems that I commented on an already dead thread…

It’s still early…

Don’t worry, these threads never die. We have to kill ‘em.

Actually, comments are turned off in all posts after 10 days.

220   Joe C    
June 25th, 2008 at 8:31 am

Eugene,

I think you have done well in bringing up a solid point concerning the OP

If we try to use this kind of faith to prove the truth of the Bible we end up being the ridicule of the world and then we get defensive and start using the Bible as a weapon against people.

How true is this? As soon as we feel like our faith has been threatened (this should be a red flag to all of us, for, what do we have to fear…?) we attack with the Bible. I think this is what the OP tried to address, and I’m glad you got us back there.

As for a dead thread, sometimes it’s better for the thread to die rather than have it denigrate in to a pile of name-calling and hurt feelings. Though I freely admit this thread has been incredibly mature considering the touchy subject of Bible-bashing and inerrancy. I’m just waiting for the hammer to drop…it always does. Is it sad that we just expect that from the body of Christ naturally? It shouldn’t be that way…

Joe

221   Jonathan Frueh    
June 25th, 2008 at 8:41 am

Joe, your a jerk! LOL No hammer here!

It’s not the tool that we use, but how we use the tool in our hand. When we use the bible for true biblical practices like reprove, rebuke etc. we are doing what God has commanded….but only if we do it with redemption on our tongues. It is when we do it with malice and self-righteousness that it becomes full of human stentch.

By the way, the bible is the most scrutinized book ever written and that is the reason why people will harp on the Word first, way before the person using it without loving regards.!

222   Jonathan Frueh    
June 25th, 2008 at 8:45 am

“So can the Bible and science work together? ”

I agree it can, but we sometimes make the mistake and talk about them as equals. We must never take these two as a pantheist…
The bible is totally inarrent(especially in regards to the gospel), while much of science is subjective.

223   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 9:04 am

…but we sometimes make the mistake and talk about them as equals.

Equals suggests that we are talking about the same type of literature or subjects which it is not. That is the point I am trying to make. The Bible requires spiritual faith to believe and apply. Science requires rationale.

By that I am not saying we should not use our brains when we read the Bible. Our brains are wonderful organs which functions in many wonderful ways. Being able to experience faith is one of them.

224   Joe C    
June 25th, 2008 at 9:06 am

Sorry for being a jerk Jon? I wasn’t trying to be anything close to that, just stating an observation of what usually happens…ie being called a jerk (I’m pretty sure you were joking though…so…)

You say the Bible is totally inerrant but you’ve yet to prove this, outside of saying “I believe this by faith”, which I could agree to.

I understand in your construct of thought the logical necessity for believing in the inerrancy of Scriptures, but you’ve yet to prove it. I believe Bruce’s points are important to look at, like what does inerrant mean exactly, is the Bible you have now inerrant, or the original penned scripts (which no longer exist)….?

How far are we going to stretch? Can the Bible convey the Truth and exactly what God desires it to convey to man, to teach man, without it being inerrant and without human fault? It says “The Word of the Lord endures forever” and Jesus said “My words will never pass away”, but does that mean exact words, or the truth and message of what was being said?

I’m not saying what I personally believe one way or another, I’m just asking questions and would like answers.

r
Joe

225   Joe C    
June 25th, 2008 at 9:08 am

I should say…I would like to hear YOUR answers. :-)

226   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 10:08 am

The bible is totally inarrent(especially in regards to the gospel), while much of science is subjective.

I must agree that much of science is subjective. Many times the interpretation of a theory is coloured by a person’s personal preferences, agendas and believes. But so is interpretation of Scripture.

227   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 25th, 2008 at 10:50 am

Jonathan,

Remember your position was truth required perfection. (no errors) One error, one gloss, brings the house down.

By your own answers that perfection does not exist. Reliable? Yes. Pretty Close? Yes? Almost there? Yes?

Unless we have the actual parchment that the writer wrote on we do not have the originals. No one has seen the originals in probably 1800-1900 years.

Your position is no different than the King James Onlyism I grew up with. The only difference is the focal point. (the original manuscripts)

The ONLY way to sustain the original manuscript theory of inerrancy is to have a doctrine of preservation. i.e. (God has preserved his word perfectly throughout history.) Some who hold tho a majority text or received text position believe God preserved his word ONLY through a specific textual line.

SO, Jonathan do we accept the Church’s authority or not? You accept it for authority on matters concerning the text of Scripture yet you reject it on baptism and the Eucharist. This seems to be pick and choose? In the former you let the Church be the final authority but in the latter you are the final authority.

The reason the above point is vitally important is that we have NO Bible apart from the Historic Church (Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox) and with OT you must adds the Jews to that list.

It is the historical Church that gives witness to the veracity of the Bible. It seems we are Protestants and Non-affiliated People do a lot of picking and choosing when it comes what “authority” we accept.

While I reject your view of inerrancy because it can not be sustained logically nor historically, I do find the historic Church to be a credible witness as to the veracity of the Bible.

I would prefer dialoging on this issue in the forum here (as long as it is allowed)

Bruce

228   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 25th, 2008 at 11:26 am

and let me add to “Unless we have the actual parchment that the writer wrote on we do not have the originals. No one has seen the originals in probably 1800-1900 years.”

We then have to rely on the subjective, though pretty reliable translating ability of fallible humans to put the original in our language which as SOON as they do that it makes the text imperfect (but still reliable)

229   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 11:39 am

We also have to rely on the idea that the Gospel writers got it right when they wrote their recorded histories, etc.

230   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 25th, 2008 at 11:48 am

Evan,

You are correct. Of course, that then takes us into the various theories of inspiration.

I was taught in College that the dictation theory was the only correct theory. Basically, God took over the writer and they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write. Of course this plays well in the inerrancy debate because it keeps the chain of custody in God’s hands.

We certainly can’t let them humans get involved in the process :)

While I reject inerrancy as posited in the discussion here, I find it amazing AND wonderful to see how God has kept and used the Scripture throughout history, and he used humans to do it.

Bruce

231   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 11:51 am

I was taught in College that the dictation theory was the only correct theory. Basically, God took over the writer and they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write. Of course this plays well in the inerrancy debate because it keeps the chain of custody in God’s hands.

Of course, but you’d agree that it’s all conjecture, right?

As in, one must have an inordinate amount of faith in that, too, in order to believe in inerrancy.

Of course, if God had taken over the dictation, how did so many of Paul’s personal opinions end up in his writings?

232   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 25th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Evan,

Yes…….it is a faith issue from start to finish.

Which is fine to me. At age 51, I am going to die sooner than later. My hope lies in Christ whom the Bible gives testimony to…….and I embrace that by faith.

That’s why all the “new” scientific discoveries, etc do not phase me. I find them interesting and sometimes they force me to rethink certain theological and textual issues.

Many people get all worked up over “creation.” (as Eugene pointed out) It is literal 7 days, young earth creation or heresy. No middle ground. No alternatives. Yet, they forget the Scripture tells us that our belief that God created the world rests on FAITH.

Bruce

233   John Hughes    
June 25th, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Chris L: Some random thoughts…

Hey, keep this up and you might replace Rick as my resident hero. :-)

P.S. I REALLY used to be nice and loving then I hit 50.

234   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 25th, 2008 at 1:21 pm

John,

Ah yes………turning 50. When I hit 50 I finally realized “boy you ain’t so young any more.”

I don’t know how it is for you ,but one of the things I battle as an older person is cynicism. You know the “been there, done that” I have to work real hard at seeing new possibilities.

Bruce

235   John Hughes    
June 25th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Bruce: I don’t know how it is for you ,but one of the things I battle as an older person is cynicism. You know the “been there, done that” I have to work real hard at seeing new possibilities.

How true. For example: “I’ve forgotten more than Evan will ever know”.

236   John Hughes    
June 25th, 2008 at 4:45 pm

Opps, forget the smiley :-)

237   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 25th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

Truth can be perfect and still be communicated in an imperfect way. Or at least an incomplete way. Human language is flawed and incomplete, but the Scriptures were as God delivered them. So the Spirit guides into all truth.

Even when we believe, by faith, the Scriptures are the authority for truth we process them differently. However, the redemptive truths are thos that must be handled with sacred care. And yet, believers like Chris Rosebrough believe baptism is a divine mode of forgiving sins and most do not.

So there is even disagreement in that. But we still must take the Scriptures seriously and with sacredness, in fact, they are all we have.

238   John Hughes    
June 25th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Rick: So there is even disagreement in that. But we still must take the Scriptures seriously and with sacredness

Rick. Very true words, but according to some here there is nothing sacred as we define the word or better yet – all is sacred which renders the word meaningless.

239   Break The Terror    http://breaktheterror.wordpress.com
June 25th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

“I’ve forgotten more than Evan will ever know”

Cute.

How young do you think I am?

240   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 25th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Looks like this discussion is over. Holler if it gets going again

Bruce

241   Jonathan Frueh    
June 25th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

“Sorry for being a jerk Jon?”

Joe, I was definitely kidding…I will answer your questions in a bit…Let me eat first..

Bruce, I’ll discuss with you too…

That’s of course I don’t have to tend to my wife! She’s pregnant and hungry! LOL

242   Jonathan Frueh    
June 25th, 2008 at 9:30 pm

I want to address this while I’m taking a break from cooking for tomorrow!

“Unless we have the actual parchment that the writer wrote on we do not have the originals. No one has seen the originals in probably 1800-1900 years.”

This is my thought….I could have the originals, yet how would you know they are the originals, because the y have the date on them? People would still doubt…Then they would say, “I will believe when I see the author standing right next to it!” Then they would say, “I still don’t believe…I need to see Jesus standing with the author and the originals.” Then they would say, “I still don’t believe…Jesus, do a miracle and I will believe!” AND SO ON!

Bruce, do you see what I’m getting at?

243   Jonathan Frueh    
June 25th, 2008 at 9:41 pm

“SO, Jonathan do we accept the Church’s authority or not? You accept it for authority on matters concerning the text of Scripture yet you reject it on baptism and the Eucharist.”

You asked this earlier, “Why accept consensus on the Scriptures and reject it on issues like communion and baptism? ”

What church are you referring to? I’m not following where you are coming from?
I mean, if you went to the gathering place I show up to on Sundays for the gathering of believers, they pastor and elders would check the Eph 2:8,9 scripture box. We don’t reject those practices as observances, but we do reject the practice of them if they are used for atonement value…used as something that is a necessity for salvation!

There are some “churches” who observe them as salvation necessities, but , through scripture, we label these salvation ritual observances as un-orthodox!

244   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 26th, 2008 at 3:05 am

There are some “churches” who observe them as salvation necessities, but , through scripture, we label these salvation ritual observances as un-orthodox!

This type of interpretation is subjective. These “churches you refer to would probably take Acts 2:37-38 and interpret that baptism is redemptive:

When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Act 2:37-38 NIV

What you classify as orthodox is un-orthodox to the next Christian. We should be humble enough to learn from each other without using the Bible to prove to each other we are more right than they.

At a learning community that I am part of, eChurch, we discussed intelligence and learning and the following was very insightful:

3 prerequisites for growth:
- I don’t know
- I had it wrong
- I changed my mind

K. Albrecht – Once you let go of your need to be certain of about everything you liberate yourself…

Complex thought patterns:
- Simplex thought pattern – Only one answer allowed. No questions allowed. Closed worldview. Single sided answers
- Duplex thought pattern – Worldview of opposites. (Right/Wrong; Good/Bad… )
- Multiplex thought pattern – high tolerance for complexity and opposites. More than one answers possible. Respect for other’s views. Sees oneself as a work in progress. Sees own thought processes apart from ego.
- Omniplex thought pattern – flourishes in complexity and contrast. Chaos is no threat. New ideas are new terrain to be explored. Respect all knowledge. Openness. Questions rather than answers.

Let’s look at the OP again. Phil is saying that the Bible should be used to bring change of the inner man of ourselves and not to prove that my doctrine is better than yours/you are a bad person/God will let His wrath loose over you…

Should we form doctrine out of the Bible? Yes. Should we fight about whose is the more orthodox? I don’t think so. History proves that fighting about doctrine brings destruction and in the end apostasy. But forming doctrine should be secondary to the formation of our hearts by the Word of God.

I think we often fall prey to our desire to be right and that causes strife.

1 Peter 1:13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. NIV

I might have this all wrong :lol:

245   Jonathan Frueh    
June 26th, 2008 at 11:48 am

“Should we form doctrine out of the Bible? Yes. Should we fight about whose is the more orthodox? I don’t think so. History proves that fighting about doctrine brings destruction and in the end apostasy. But forming doctrine should be secondary to the formation of our hearts by the Word of God.”

Concerning the last setence of this quote…Some would say the formation of their hearts by the Word of God is the foundation for their doctrine…such is Calvinism!
In fact, if you boil it down, your views can be labeled as your own doctrine, which in a great sense, you lay hold of it and committ eternity to it…Do you see where I am going with this?

“I think we often fall prey to our desire to be right and that causes strife.”

I couldn’t care less about being right in myself, but my whole calling in the name of Jesus is the verse, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself.” My goal is to present the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by way of the Word of God. My whole mindset is the lifting up of Jesus name. I am not perfect, my father can vouch for that, but I know my God is and it is he whom I long to honor(even though I do a poor job sometimes).

“14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. NIV”

This is definitely talking about being conformed to the world after coming to Christ!

246   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 26th, 2008 at 11:50 am

Gene – the account in Acts is a narrative. Peter had several things wrong which is understandable. Paul later confirms that faith in Christ alone is salvation and the complete forgiveness of sins.

Peter actually defers to Paul as the apostle to the Gentile church.

247   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 26th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Jonathan & Rick,

I think my doctrine is very similar to yours (from what I have read so far on Judah’s Lion). Perhaps I am placing much more emphasis on the interaction with the Word because I am so tired of people(sometimes me) bashing each other over the head with the Bible wanting to validate from it their own stance but not bearing the fruit. I realise the importance of sound doctrine but lately I have the desire to rather listen than to tell people how it should be. I also have loosened my grip on my theology/doctrine and strangely found my grip on faith getting tighter (if that makes sense… ). I have found that having a sound doctrine does not change my heart. (Who sang that song about the journey from the head to the heart?) But daily interaction with the Bible, praying and asking God to make what He says in the Bible a reality in me has this huge impact on me. So I have this desire to talk and reason less and live more, not that I succeed in that so well. Sigh! Petra sang a song: “Sometimes God’s people should be seen and not heard.” That’s not who I am but that’s who I want to be.

Sometimes I get so irritated with people claiming that their way is the only right way while I know that I have been where they are now. Guess I have to be more patient with people. God is doing His work in each of us in His own time.

248   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
June 26th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Gene (I hope you don’t mind me calling you that) – Every time I knew who I wanted to be in Christ, when I got there, I saw I had longer to go than whatI just travelled. I have strong feelings about my faith and some particular doctrines, but I hope I can always be clothed with humility and walking in grace.

Things I abhor in the blogasphere:

* Politics
* Moral hubris
* Doctrinal epiphanies
* Ad hominen attacks
* No sense of humor
* Human idolatry
* Attacking the lost
* Name calling
* Posting living believers sins
* Raw hate
* Anytime Chris L. thinks he knows something! (see #3)

249   Eugene Roberts    http://eugeneroberts.wordpress.com
June 26th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

…but I hope I can always be clothed with humility and walking in grace.

That is why I have so much respect for you and realy listen to what you have to say.

I don’t mind you calling me Gene… :)

250   Bruce Gerencser    http://www.worldofbruce.net
June 26th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Jonathan said:This is my thought….I could have the originals, yet how would you know they are the originals, because the y have the date on them? People would still doubt…Then they would say, “I will believe when I see the author standing right next to it!” Then they would say, “I still don’t believe…I need to see Jesus standing with the author and the originals.” Then they would say, “I still don’t believe…Jesus, do a miracle and I will believe!” AND SO ON!

Bruce, do you see what I’m getting at?

Sure. I see it. But………..that is your problem. You are the one arguing for perfection. We don’t have the originals and we wouldn’t know we had them for sure if we did.

Your view of inerrancy requires perfection. So, you have two choices………either produce the goods OR admit your inerrancy view is a faith proposition that can not be proved. (of which I have no problem) Saying the Bible says it is is circular and not a logical argument.

Jonathan then asks “What church are you referring to? I’m not following where you are coming from?”

The historic Church. The ecumenical Church. My point is you/we are very selective in what “authority” we accept. Why do we accept their authority on the canon yet reject it baptism and the Eucharist?

The deeper point is that we as Protestants (all non-catholics) have become an authority unto ourselves. Wesley’s three-legged stool has two of the legs cut off and it is no wonder the stool falls over.

Your inerrancy view is a product of the modern age, particularly the battles between fundamentalism and modernism in the 1920’s. It is not the historic view of the Church.

The Scripture was given to and a product of the Church. It is the Church that gives the Scripture authority. The Church decided what was and was not Scripture. God did not chuck a KJV/NIV/ESV over the portals of heaven and say “this is my word” Instead copies of copies of copies were made, resulting in 3 times as many variants as there are verses in the NT. Yet, on the authority of the historic Church, and lived out by faith, we say this is God’s Word.

I have refrained from quoting outside sources. I want to give one now. I would commend to you “Christian Theologies of Scripture. A Comparative Introduction” I think you might find a bit of enlightenment by reading this book :)

Let me sum up my belief. I believe the Bible to be true. I believe it to be true by faith. I am a follower of Jesus., A Jesus whom I do not know apart from faith.

From start to finish it is all about Jesus.

Bruce