Thursday, March 05, 2009

Benjamin doesn't understand this:

"We believe that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God. It contains all that people in any age need to know for their salvation."

from here.

What does this mean? "All" is a big word. Even back when I found a lot of comfort, help, encouragement, and inspiration from the Bible my life, my story, would have been hugely poorer if it had been the only source of these things. It feels like a very limited sort of salvation, all the knowledge needs of which are found in the Bible.

Maybe someone can help me out here? I'm guessing that probably at least a simple majority of people in the Christian Reformed Church are fairly normal, reasonable people who must surely mean something by the above other than what it seems to be saying.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps a majority of the people in the CRC don't ever really think too much about the above statement at all, and never have. Who knows? thoughts?


Mike Edwards said...

Hey my friend

I think they are trying to convey that what we need to understand in order to obtain "salvation" is contained in the Scriptures (Christian Scriptures in this case) and doesn't have an expiration date.

I believe they are making a statement on the Scriptures trans-temporal relevance in regards to the matters of truth it speaks to. Their statement could probably be updated to more accurately reflect that I suppose.

Then again, I'm not part of their organization. Maybe they're saying something different.

Bryan Bremner said...

Any time I have an attack of Christianitis I read a book by Bart D. Ehrman, I learn something and it pretty well cures me. Books by Richard Dawkins serve the same purpose but they are sort of like taking chemo for a cold.

Karin said...

I like that: Dawkins being like taking chemo for a cold.

Dawkins is a fundamentalist himself, as I've heard some fully signed up atheists assert. He's just not a Christian fundamentalist. His argument is with a particular brand of 'Christianity', not the message of Jesus to love our neighbour etc or those who genuinely try to live according to Jesus' teachings.

I find myself agreeing with some of what Dawkins says, yet still consider Jesus worth listening to - or at least reading what his contemporaries, or near contemporaries, have written about him.

Karin said...

As to the post in question, I don't think the Bible is clear on every aspect of modern life, and there does seem to be a substantial amount of evidence that it has been seriously edited over time. Most of it has some kind of spin as it was written as propaganda. Most of the Old Testament was put together during the exile in Babylon, it seems, and so was written to encourage the Jews and make them think they were literally God's gift to humanity. They collected material from different sources, most of it probably oral, and some of it probably from their hosts, such as the story of Noah and the Flood.

The writers of the gospels were writing for the early church, yet Jesus probably had no intention of starting a break away religion, so the gospels are unlikely to contain only the Gospel Truth. It's the truth as the writers understood it, and maybe wanted it to be. Again the New Testament was probably written to encourage the early Christians and make them think the rejection and persecution was worth it in the long run.

Yet, this does not mean these people did not have encounters with God or any insight into his Ways. It just means the Bible needs to be read humbly, carefully and intelligently and without undue certainty.