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Thank God for a fallible Bible

July 11, 2008

Huh, wouldn’t you know it. I just posted about how I wish God would have made the message of the Bible a lot more obvious, and wouldn’t you know it, James F. McGrath puts up a post thanking God for a fallible Bible.

It’s the perfect answer to my cry for simplicity:

Perhaps, rather than assuming that the difficulties are in the Bible to test our willingness to switch off the minds God gave us, and take a leap of faith (or of gullibility), it could be assumed instead that the difficulties are there to be taken seriously, to teach us.

The Bible isn’t simple. Some people get around the difficulties by assuming that they’re a test from God. If we’re really faithful, the thinking goes, we’ll believe the Bible regardless of what common sense and wisdom tell us. We’ll believe the Bible over science (the universe only looks like it’s 15 billion years old) and we’ll do all sorts of intellectual gymnastics so we can believe the Bible when it contradicts itself.

I agree with James. I suspect God organised the Bible the way he did to teach us faith—not a fingers in your ears, ‘I’m not listening to you kind of faith,’ but a grown up faith that can cope with ambiguity and tension.

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