According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Friday, August 23, 2013

Inerrantism is more Muslim than Christian


And speaking of inerrancy….
If the Bible is treated as a compendium of factually inerrant propositions about everything in heaven and earth, then it is impossible to explain both the contradictions between parts of the Bible and things we certainly know as the results of the work of science, and also the obvious inconsistencies within the Bible itself on factual matters. Even the most convinced fundamentalist who lives in the modern world has to rely at innumerable points on knowledge provided by science and not by the Bible. In fact this way of looking at the Bible is nearer to the Muslim way of looking at the Qur’an and prompts the question: “Why, then, did Jesus not write a book as the Prophet did?”
 
- Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, p. 97,
 

The Qur’an-like Bible of inerrantists is an apt observation, and it is not hard to see this mentality at work at some of it most staunch defenders–a book that comes to us whole cloth from the vaults of heaven, always transcending the confines of shadowlands, it’s true home in the Platonic ideal world.
 
If what Newbigin describes above is a, let’s call it, “sub-Christian” view of Scripture, we can gather that:

A Properly Christian View is one that:
  • does not treat Scripture as a compendium of  inerrant positions about everything in heaven and earth
  • does not ignore advances in science and other fields of knowledge when articulating the nature of Scripture
  • is aware, as a simple matter of observation, that the Bible contains contradictions and inconsistencies on factual matters
  • understands that there is ultimately no neutrality in knowledge ](that is, we each have our own epistemological socio-economic-political beliefs)], but that does not mean one can take refuge behind “we all have presuppositions” to reject sure knowledge or factual matters derived from science

One can only hold the view of Scripture than Newbigin holds by taking seriously the incarnation and its implications for all of Christian theology. That holds for Newbigin’s view of missions and his view Scripture.
 
The half-serious joke I heard while in seminary (as a student and a professor) was, “Heresy begins in missions.” That’s where you have to deal with actual people. When you do, you may find that you will actually be changed in the encounter at least as much as they, and that your theological system, as airtight and divinely endorsed and immutable as you might think, often does not work when you wander away from home.
 
And so, you need to learn to think differently about yourself, your world, the Bible, even God. The question is whether such shifts are evidence of a move away from pure truth toward heresy, or of growth and humility on the Christian journey.


 

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