Friday, October 09, 2015

A non-Christian named Christian teaches us about the Bible

Myth: The Bible is the Word of God by Christian Chiakulas is a typical Huff Post hatchet job.

The first section is "This idea [Biblical Inerrancy] is the source of all misuse and misunderstanding of biblical passages." In it he argues that, at best, all portions of the Bible are temporal -- "intended only for a specific time period" -- or, at worst, a hodge-podge of contradictory nonsense. Yet in his four "proof-texts" he does exactly what he chides Christians for doing: not "reading in proper historical and theological context."

His second section is "The truth is that the bible is a human product, each book written in a time and place for a specific audience, by authors who were shaped by their experiences of God." In it he provides two examples to show that Christians are not reading the Bible in its proper context and don't understand their own book. Here he rises to a little higher level of understanding, especially when noticing that Paul's instructions that if any would not work they should not eat" is written in a Christian communal context and is not directly applicable to the government's role in the matter.* 

Of course, one could wonder why he even bothers. What does it matter. He doesn't think 2 Thessalonians was written by Paul, must less God! If you don't believe it, just chunk it Chiakulas. Don't waste your time. I'm amazed at the time spent by those who don't believe the Bible to convince those who do believe it to believe something else. Before signing off, he takes one last parting shot at Christians, telling them "that the Bible requires devoted and critical study to fully understand, and this is a lifelong pursuit." I'm sure no Christians have ever thought about doing that!?

Moral: Know your Bible. People who don't believe the Bible still use the Bible to promote their own ends.

* But his lack of awareness of the broader context of the Bible means he misses the fact that Paul is not just talking about the spiritual works of the Christian community, but the physical labor that earns one's bread. (e.g., 1 Cor. 4:12 "And labour, working with our own hands..." Cf. Eph. 4:28; 1 Thess. 2:9, 4:11; Acts 18:3)

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