A case for Biblianity

If you start with the premise that The Bible is “God’s inerrant instructions to mankind” then when you go to read that bible nothing else matters. All questions of biblical inconsistancies, scientific errors, cultural differences, and even out right contradictions are quickly dismissed. IF the bible was “written by God” then it must be “without error” and therefore nothing else matters.

However, if you were to read that same book but instead start with the premise that it is a historical document would anyone ever come to the conclusion that it was “inspired by God”?

This is why I say that people who hold to the “inerrant” view of the Bible are not followers of Christ but rather followers of their own interpretive belief system, followers of Paul (at best), and (at the very least) have made the Bible an idol.

Most “literal Bible reading” Christians I meet seem to hold to a belief, not in the Trinity but rather in a Quadrality… that is to say there’s The Father God, The Son Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and The Bible. All playing equal parts of God. And then when we dig deeper we find that The Bible plays the biggest role of God…rather than an equal part.

Heres what I mean: If someone says “the Holy Spirit told me to get a divorce” many would say “well He couldn’t tell you that because the Bible says you shouldn’t”. Or perhaps someone might say “Jesus didn’t address the questions of Abortion or Homosexuality so they must not be major issues” others would say “He did address those issues through Paul…in the Bible”.

At the end of the day, I see the Bible as being “God” and all other aspects of that God are filled in by our own culture and limited understanding of history.

What saith thou?



18 thoughts on “A case for Biblianity

  1. Agreed. The typical pastor in a typical evangelical church preaches from the bible as if it were God’s Law. There is often no mention of the holy spirit, as I suppose it isn’t necessary since the Pastor has already interpreted and determined the meaning of the scripture being preached.

    It saddens me when I see people say that “1 Corinthians says xyz”, and that’s the end of the discussion.

  2. After reading this post it seems if I believe God communicated accurately and persevered it then I am treating His words as another part of Him. I’m afraid that if I believe you actually wrote this blog post and are communicating the truth about what you are thinking, I would be believing this post is you. Since I don’t like what you write, I will just claim it has been changed so I can ignore it.

    • “Since I don’t like what you write, I will just claim it has been changed so I can ignore it.”

      Funny. You should have your own site, so you can experience that phenomenon first hand. (G/D/R) :D

  3. Craig, it is an extreme fallacy to assume that if someone rejects the Bible as God’s word then it must be because they don’t like what it says (which is what I’m assuming your above comment is meant to do).

    In fact your comment disproves your very own theory. You’ve read my writings and decided that I must “not like” what the Bible says…which is an incorrect interpretation. So although you have my original writings you don’t know how to read them properly…thereby making my writings worthless to you. And I wrote this 2 days ago.

    Imagine what you do when trying to read a book written by someone unknown, 2000 years ago, about someone else (that the author never met), that has gone through multiple translations, in a culture that is completely different than the one it was written for.

    Yes, all writing is a small part of the author but even more so a large part of the reader due to their ability to interpret the intentions of what has been written.

    • Yes, I put in an extreme fallacy to make a point. You say I must be worshiping the bible because I believe it is accurate. Why must I be worshiping it if I Iook at the manuscript, historical, and internal evidence and believe it to be accurate portrayal of what the Holy Spirit wanted to communicate to the believers throughout time. I believe God has preserved His instructions to the believers of our day, if you want to argue that point fine. To say I am worshiping His instructions is an extreme fallacy and equally offensive as my fallacy to you. You see, we have two different views of the reliability of the scriptures, that’s all. If I believed God handed them down to us accurately, why would I do anything BUT trust them? That is not the same as worshiping them.

      • It’s worshiping them because God never claimed they were His words. Man did. When you take words of man and elevate them saying “These are the words of God” it’s worship. It’s playing God. Much the same as building a statue and worshiping it. The Bible has become the Christians golden calf.

        If God wrote the Bible why doesn’t he claim it?

        • No, I don’t worhsip them…you can say it as much as you want, but it doesn’t make it so. I belive they accurately represent the heart of God and men wrote them down when moved by the Holy Spirit. That isn’t worship. What is your motivation for saying that it is? What possible gain do you have, I am genuinely baffled by the persistance and certitude you have for this point (not to mention that you know my intentions when reading the bible). Should I not trust the bible? Is that what you are trying to get across?

          • Worship: extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

            I don’t understand what you have to gain by denying that you do worship it. I’m only brining it up because, it appears to me, that many Christians tend to live in a naive world of double standards and circular logic. This is one of those examples:

            The books of the Bible were written by Man.
            The Bible was then put together by Man.
            The Bible was then claimed to be the Word of God…by Man.

            If I claimed that God inspired me to build a golden statue to be worshiped you would think I was crazy. Whats the difference?

            I’m not saying the Bible shouldn’t be trusted…but if you do base your life decisions on what it says…and your eternal decisions on it….why won’t you just admit that is called “worship”?

          • Exactly. He could:

            Hold a press conference.
            Have his signature appear on every book he wrote.
            Write out “This is my book” in big letters in the sky.
            He could have had Jesus say: “We will be writing a book for you to follow starting in about 30 years from now. It’s Gods words. Trust me.”
            He could do anything he wanted to “claim it”… He’s God.

            But he didn’t. Why?

          • He could start by burning Zondervan to the ground for copyright infringement.

            As in “who the hell are you to copyright MY WORD and make millions in sales of what belongs to Me alone?”

  4. I had to think about your post, and see if I “worship” the Bible, since I do have great respect for it. But no, I respect it because it is a powerful tool. But like most good tools, it works best when wielded by a skilled user. In the case of the Bible, it is most useful when the Holy Spirit helps my understanding (he is the skilled user). Two examples:

    (From the Bible) There are two guys walking along and talking about the recent events in Jerusalem (the Crucifixion). A third person joins them and explains the Scriptures regarding these events. These guys knew the Scriptures, but they didn’t get it until life was breathed into it by God.

    (From history) There is a monk who loves God and knows the Bible, but is living in a weird religious time of penances and indulgences for living a good Christian life. One day the words of Paul light up in his spirit: “The just shall live by faith.” The rest is Reformation history.

    There are a lot of people who know the Bible, but are not Christians. Why not? Because the Bible has a message, and just knowing the message is not enough. Believing the message is what brings me to faith in Christ. I can hear the message from someone else, and still believe. But the ultimate source of that person’s words will still be the Bible.

    And once I find faith in Christ, the Bible becomes a useful tool for discernment. How many times do we hear a sermon or somebody talking about Jesus and think “that’s not what the Bible says.” The Scripture becomes a guideline for doctrine.

    Or how many times have you read something in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit highlights words of correction in your spirit? Ouch! But it’s useful for knowing God and becoming a better Christian.

  5. Weighing in here. I still think of myself as a bible literalist and/or that God Himself inspired every word in the Bible (didn’t leave us guessing), and the miracle being that there are a multitude of translations and authors who penned it from different centuries and that it has been preserved through history, yet every word is still true. I try to rely on and trust in its promises, believing they are from God Himself, and find comfort and hope through them, and seek to obey it as best I can based on how I interpret the meaning and whether or not I’m going thru a lazy phase.

    In spite of all that, I don’t think I worship it, just want to live by it. I’m sure word- worship happens evidenced by fights that have broken out over the meaning, aka “the letter kills, but the spirit gives life”. And because of that, especially in more of my twilight years, I don’t like to see the Word used as a weapon. It’s sharper than any sword that man has ever been able to make, which is pretty darn sharp. (think about that for awhile) So in the wrong hands or used the wrong way it’s bound to have adverse effects.

    At the same time, I think the Word and the Spirit can’t be separated. Some verses intimate that: Mk. 16:20, Jn. 6:63, Acts 4:31, I Cor. 2:13, Eph. 6:17 Heb. 4:12 In other words, the Spirit has more to work with when someone is feeding on the Word. And the Word can accomplish much more when someone is being filled with the Spirit. On a positive note, I’ve known some really fruitful Christians who never spoke in tongues or did the high praise thing or necessarily sought the Spirit’s power for miracles of any kind, but because they sincerely followed the Lord through His Word, their lives reflected His light. In my 20’s or 30’s I probably never would’ve admitted that could happen, but it just goes to show that God won’t let Himself get completely boxed in.

    Oh yeah, and Jesus is the Word, so it’s not a quad; it’s still just a good ol’ trinity, all united and in agreement.

  6. It’s worth mincing words here, I think. One might say that the bible is true, but it is not inerrant. When we say a novel is nonfiction (or to a lesser extent based on a true story), we are saying the overal story arc is factual, but specific details may not be reliable.

    Reading the bible as a true story, where the main arc is a savior arising from a chosen people is prudent. Reading it as inerrant is a fools errand. If it’s inerrant then you get a culture where a single verse ends all debate. That’s a crutch for lazy thought.

    Worse, if God is infinite, and the Bible inerrant, then surely every word in it is both perfect and timeless. If you think every word is inerrant, you must live by such decrees as stoning rebellious children, burning down homes with mold (instead of treating them), and not eating cheeseburgers (meat with its mothers milk).

    If you don’t feel compelled to at least try to live every word, then either you don’t really think the bible is inerrant. Or, you think it is but God was too incompetent to write it in such a way that all it’s inerrant statements are still true. Don’t believe me? Even the bible attests to this. Laws on clean food get revised explicitly by Peter. There’s no exegesis about how times have changed, they just recognize those laws were nonsense – man is made clean by what exits his mouth not by what enters it – and they move on. That’s, ironically, your biblical model for interpreting the bible.

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