I used to be one of those people. Frowning down upon God’s Holy Word as being incoherent and naive, contradicting itself and containing many errors. I believed I had a theology which was superior to that of all the theologians I was reading.
I even wrote a book, Ultimate Truth: God Beyond Religion, criticising what I saw as all the errors in Christian doctrine and theology. It was satisfying, it gave my ego a boost, and it made me feel proud and wise.
At various times along my spiritual journey the Lord has brought me low and humbled me, and I have really needed those times in order to avoid being puffed up in my own eyes. In order to receive the truth we need to be humble and we need to revere God’s Word as being superior to our own ideas.
Why should we do this? Because God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). The Bible is God’s message for mankind in our age; His way of speaking into our lives about everything we need to know in order to live a godly life.
Do you take pleasure in criticising the Bible? Then take heed of these verses:
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)
2 responses to “How Wise Are You?”
I think it’s being dogmatic about a belief or disbelief that constitutes false wisdom.
Whenever I have pointed out contradictions within “Biblical Scriptures” I’ve done so with a heavy heart and not to show off. There would be nothing better for me than a Bible that is harmonious throughout but this is not what I feel. What is the point of blind faith? If Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil then this was not a sin. It is better to know the difference than to sin without knowing you’ve done so.
Apologetics are not apologising for God’s supposed badness but for the faults in Biblical texts. I’ve read so many different rationalisations for the killing of people who did not comply with the commandments or laws outlined in Leviticus 20, I can’t be convinced that it was God’s wish that the sixth of the Ten Commandments should be broken to make His people comply with these laws!
I think that the Ten Commandments pre-dates the formation of the laws in Leviticus 20 and you can see the contradiction when you read:
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Then you find in Leviticus 20:10
10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
If we are to believe in the Great Flood, God chose Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives and wiped out the rest of humanity. Where then did evil return after God chose to save eight God-fearing people? I’m not trying to score points here as these inconsistencies troubled me from my childhood. It’s not wisdom I seek but truth. I think you need to be painfully honest with yourself if you sincerely seek the truth.
My current thinking is that some of the passages within the Bible are divinely inspired; others fall into different categories such as male philosophy and pragmatism (killing people as a deterrent for breaking the laws in Leviticus 20).
God, please give us all peace, love and understanding, in Jesus Christ’s name.
“God’s Word” might be Truth but it does not follow that therefore the Bible is God’s Word.
John 17:17 cannot be talking about the Bible. At the time it was written (late first century) there were no canonised Scriptures, either Jewish or Christian.
And it is pure circular reasoning to say that John 17:17 is telling the truth because it’s in the Bible.
How would anyone know which Bible? There are so many variants in both texts and also in which writings are acceptable. From the earliest listing by Marcion to today, there is no unanimously agreed Canon. The earliest list of the 27 NT books was suggested in the 4th century, and disagreements continued.
There is no agreed text, whether the various Septuagints, the Masoretic, Textus Receptus, Westcott-Hort, etc., etc.
Given that the material they were writing on decayed, the texts were constantly copied and recopied. In the process, there have been so many deliberate and accidental corruptions that Textual scholars bemoan the fact that it is impossible to know what the original inscripturated texts contained.
I suggest that if people wished to worship God, they do this personally and stop worshiping any book.