I’ve had a major struggle with writer’s block over the last few days, though I knew exactly what I wanted to write on. I’m continuing the dialogue from my last post: Bedazzled and Confused regarding misconceptions and false teaching on the Bible and more specifically the life and teachings of Jesus. Its seems that there is a lot of differing and conflicting views on some of the most foundational teachings of the Bible, being blogged about and spread through churches; teachings that make or break our faith!
I think that part of the reason we have so much conflicting and often aggressive philosophy floating around in Christian circles today is because there is massive misunderstanding and illiteracy of basic Biblical truths! Another reason that so many competing philosophies are getting a voice in modern Christianity is because we as a western-culture have idolized education and intellectuality over absolutes. It seems that if you have studied under a famous theologian or carry an advanced degree you have the right to be heard in churches.
I want to touch on several Bible topics that have come up for debate… Was Jesus aware of His divine nature and God’s plan for Him, Did Jesus rise bodily or just in spirit from the grave? And the debate over the concepts of Heaven and Hell, and the rapture and second coming of Jesus. What do we do with these topics?
We must first tackle the debate over the Bible. Did God mean for us to read the Bible as literal or symbolic? Often there are several interpretations of the same scripture that we can take into account: for example, the cultural relevance of the writer’s analogies and metaphors which we would not get by just skimming the Bible two to five thousand years after it was written. Biblical symbolism and analogies can be very helpful, yet we need good commentaries and translation books to help us understand the cultural and time significance the writers are presenting us.
The Bible is divided into several different types of writing such as: historic, poetic, philosophic and it is up to us to understand what is before us as we read the Bible. The Bible was inspired and written by God through the hands of chosen men. We can not take everything said in the Bible literally like we cannot take everything spoken by everyone we talk to, literally! (I’M NOT LITERALLY BUILDING JESUS, I’M MERELY MOCKING THOSE THAT TRY) A good commentary and references are needed when we dive into the deep topics of the Bible, but above all else, we need God’s Holy Spirit to direct us through the scriptures!
Recently, I was listening to a friend at Starbucks with whom I often discuss Biblical topics, (often he does the talking and I do the listening…), he said in so many words: that in matters of science when the Bible and science disagree, go with science, because the Bible is not intended to be a text book. What did my friend mean by this? Is the Bible a guideline, or is it absolute? What did he mean by this? I know what I think he meant by this, but if he meant it how I took it; he does not believe the Bible to be definitive.
In the end it does not matter what I say or what he or she or they say, but what does the Bible say? I leave you with this:
18(A) Let no one deceive himself.(B) If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19For(C) the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written,(D) “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20and again,(E) “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” I Cor. 3:18-20