Re: Seely's Views 2

From: Don Winterstein <>
Date: Wed Sep 01 2004 - 03:12:55 EDT

Bob Barnett wrote:

"If we allow for imperfection in God's revelation in Scripture, then we open
a door that I don't think we want to enter...."

I Cor. 13:8-10: "...Where there are prophecies, they will cease....For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." (NIV)

"Perfect" means complete. The Bible itself witnesses that it is imperfect. Those who read the Bible from beginning to end with understanding will note that revelation evolved considerably through the centuries. Example: How accurately are universal truths of God conveyed by all the laws of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers that require multitudes of animal sacrifices day after day? How important to God were all those "pleasing aromas"? The prophets already downgrade their importance: "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." Early Christians on their own initiative decided those laws along with many other rules and regulations had become dispensable or obsolete. Revelation improved, took a big step forward.

What is so hard to swallow about the idea that God may have incrementally altered the myths and preconceptions of the patriarchs in order to fit himself into their culture? Despite God's early revelations of himself, those people had a very poor understanding of who he was. I believe that partly because of deeply held erroneous preconceptions they were psychologically incapable of receiving revelation of any higher quality than what they got. Our understanding is better but not perfect. We are probably also psychologically incapable of receiving anything better than what we have.

Genesis 1-11 unfortunately come first in the Bible, but in no way are those chapters first in importance!

"If we claim that the Bible, or any part of it, is an imperfect revelation
and contains myth, how will we sort out the error from the truth?"

Sorting is one of our ongoing tasks in daily life as well as in Bible reading. But "truth" in the Bible is of no value if it does not bring us to God. Personally I've never found that any part of the Bible separates me from God, even though I think some writings contain narratives that are inaccurate or untrue by scientific standards. On the contrary, Bible reading almost invariably brings God close. I guess that's why I believe the whole thing is inspired.


Received on Wed Sep 1 04:12:26 2004

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