Re: What is your faith based on?

From: George Murphy (
Date: Fri Oct 11 2002 - 12:19:12 EDT

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    Hassell, Ian C. wrote:
    > Wow. In my few short months on this list I've learned that much of the
    > supernatural record of the OT couldn't have happened (nor does it matter),
    > Jesus didn't distinguish between truth and fantasy in His teachings, Jesus
    > lied when describing the after-life, some (but certainly not all) of the
    > gospels may be true, Paul supported and taught positions that we have now
    > determined to be lies (homosexuality is a sin, etc.), the writers of the
    > gospels lied about Jesus' miracles (Peter walking on water), etc., etc. I
    > know that may sound like strong language, but either these passages in the
    > scripture were true or they were lies. Whether they were written out of
    > altruistic motives or not, truth is either truth or it is not. Ask any 3
    > year old.
    > I can't disagree that it would be infinitely convenient to my "faith" if I
    > were able to dismiss any parts of scripture that I think didn't agree with
    > our current culture (homosexuality, sanctity of life) or our current
    > interpretation of scientific evidence. But then is my faith really in an
    > all-powerful, all-knowing God or is my faith in my ability to rationalize
    > what I know about him with the current tides of popular culture and science?
    > Isn't this really Deistic Humanism? Or Humanistic Deism?
    > My first-ever post to this group asked the question - "if the Bible isn't
    > true, then what is your faith based upon?" I never received an answer,
    > rather I got a lot of long-winded explanations about the changing nature of
    > language, the difficulty of translation, the inability of us to know
    > author's intent, etc. If God intended us to have His word (as He references
    > several times within the Bible), if Christ re-affirmed the inspiration of
    > the OT (and taught from it) then wouldn't He have taken care to maintain it
    > throughout a couple thousand years so that our understanding of Him in 2002
    > could be as real as it was in 0002?

            You lie. I know that this may sound like strong language and
    normally I would
    say "you are mistaken" but I assume from your usage of the word "lie"
    that you'll
    consider it acceptable.
            The first dictionary definition of "lie" is "to utter
    falsehood with intention
    to deceive" and that is, I think, the way it's commonly understood.
    It's true that it
    can be used in a milder sense but nobody in civil discourse would say
    "You're lying"
    when she means "You're wrong." A lie is a deliberate attempt to give false
            Nobody that I know of on this list has has said that any of
    the biblical
    passages to which you refer are "lies" in this sense. Nor has the
    argument in most
    cases been that the biblical writers were simply mistaken. To take a
    recent case in
    which I was involved, my argument was not that the writer of the 1st
    gospel was simply
    mistaken in thinking that Peter walked on water, much less that he
    was deliberately
    lying. I said that it seems likely that the evangelist composed this
    story as a
    commentary on the significance of Jesus walking on the sea. As such
    a commentary it is
            Your initial question, "If the Bible isn't true, then what is
    your faith based
    upon?" is inept because neither I nor (I think) any others on the
    list have said that
    "the Bible isn't true." Others will have to speak for themselves but
    my faith is in the
    crucified and risen God Incarnate to whom scripture - with all its varieties of
    literature and, yes, with some errors of fact (e.g., Mt.27:9)-
    faithfully bears witness.


    George L. Murphy

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