Friday, January 15, 2010
Errors in the Bible?!?
This particular post's theme was pointing out alleged contradictions. For example, "freewill, or not?" The author argues that Scripture teaches both, but only one can be correct, so the Scripture contradicts itself. My immediate though was, Why not both? Isn't a cone both a circle and a triangle? Doesn't light act as both wave and particle? Verses have been used to argue for either side, maybe because there seems to be an aspect of both going on. Reality often has the inconvenient quality of appearing contradictory in its complexities. That doesn't make it any less real.
Forrest Gump put it thus: "I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time." It's a silly example, but can't skeptics at least consider the possibility that some things in this world are complex, and not easily categorized as "a or b." The same concept can apply to "faith versus works", and a variety of other realities; theological, scientific, or otherwise. Even my statement about light is probably an over-simplification of its properties! That doesn't mean we should reject such assertions, but rather explore them!*
As far as atheistic arguments, how can I address the line of reasoning that comes from an unregenerate mind claiming to be insightful, yet not willing to embrace (or even acknowledge) the mysteries of reality? If God Almighty is sending a message to the world, wouldn't it be wonderful enough to communicate His truth to potentially every mind it encountered, from the most simple to the most intelligent? Wouldn't it have the capacity to convey that truth to every racial, socio-economic, intellectual and cultural group? In order for a document to be that far-reaching wouldn't it need to contain some complexities?
The Bible has an excellent track record as a far-reaching document. People coming from backgrounds superstitious, skeptical, and everything in between have ultimately followed Jesus. Christianity has an incredible adaptability to the various people groups throughout the world. While being the Good News to the Jews first, it has no problem including Gentiles, in all their assorted flavors!
And yet, for all it's ability to become "all things to all people," the Word of God remains uncompromisingly, and often uncomfortably true! While allowing for cultural differences, the Gospel offers a morality and spirituality that not only transcends this worldly pattern, but transforms it as well! Errors in the Bible? No!
[Photo by Mezmerize, Flickr's Creative Commons]
*footnote: I don't want to turn both Calvinists and Armenians against me, because then who would read the blog? But any honest Calvinist has to admit (and I'm sure they've worked it all out already) that there are some passages which at least make it seem that a bit of free will is part of the process. And any Armenian has to admit (and I'm sure they've worked it all out as well) that there are some passages which at least seem to allow for predestination as part of the process.