Re: What is your faith based on?

From: Walter Hicks (wallyshoes@mindspring.com)
Date: Sat Oct 12 2002 - 11:12:01 EDT

  • Next message: Jay Willingham: "Re: What is your faith based on?"

    Hello Ian,

    I can have a lot of sympathy with your post. I think that it takes much more
    than a few short months to understand what people are saying here. Note that I
    said "understand", not "agree with".

    But let me answer you primarily for myself.

    First of all you seem to take it for granted that faith must be based upon some
    notion of infallibility of the Bible. That is an interesting concept
    that floats
    around on this list as well as in much of Protestant Christianity. I would
    maintain that bible never makes any such claim about itself and it is
    because of
    the insistence of supporting this notion that we wind up with the extreme
    notions than float around. Some take it as literal scientific and historical
    truth, despite any physical evidence to the contrary. Others take the things
    that appear to be "obviously" wrong (to them) and say that is it a parable of
    some sorts and therefore still "true".

    My view is that the scriptures are indeed writings inspired by God and valuable
    for matter of spiritual faith and morals. However they were written by human
    beings, not the literal hand of God, and are subject to the normal human
    frailties. People do make mistakes and it was people who both wrote and
    selected to include in the Bible these writings. The 4 Gospels do not exactly
    tell the same story any more than 4 independent accounts of Pearl Harbor do.
    Also much of Paul's writings were based upon the social culture of the day and
    may or may not apply today. (For example his ready acceptance of slavery).

    My faith., and I believe that of others is based upon Jesus Christ. In that
    respect, there is no doubt that the Bible points consistently to this one story
    about his death and resurrection and the significance of that. That is adequate
    and there need not be any more.

    Like you, I find it difficult to believe that writers would "make up" stories
    like Job, Jonah, Peter walking on water (the sea), and not believe in their own
    mind that that they were telling the truth. For others to say that they were
    fabricating the story to make a theological point is like having the ability to
    travel to the past and read the author's mind. If one must assume something, is
    not most logical to assume that the author really believed the historicity of
    what he says? To me that matters, to others it does not.

    But, the bottom line is commitment to Jesus Christ. That is what defines a
    Christian.

    That, I believe is the correct answer to your question.

    If your bottom line is the Bible, then you should be called a Bibliologist.
    (IMO)

    Walt

    "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?

    --
    ===================================
    Walt Hicks <wallyshoes@mindspring.com>
    

    In any consistent theory, there must exist true but not provable statements. (Godel's Theorem)

    You can only find the truth with logic If you have already found the truth without it. (G.K. Chesterton) ===================================



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