My attempt to encourage communication between theists and atheists reflects my broader interest in bridging the gap between different theologies and philosophies of life. And one of the key issues dividing us is the question of Biblical inspiration. Is the Bible divinely inspired?
Here are six possible answers to that question:
1. The entire Bible is divinely inspired, and every verse is literally true.
2. Except for minor problems such as errors in translation, everything in this book was inspired by God.
3. The Bible may contain incorrect statements due to human error, but God ensures that no harm will result from these mistakes.
4. Some passages of the Bible reflect human opinions rather than divine wisdom, but the Bible as a whole is divinely inspired.
5. Much of the Bible is God’s Word and much of it is not.
6. None of this book was inspired by God. It is entirely a human creation.
My new blog is primarily intended for those who accept statements 1, 2, or 3, and are open to considering the possibility that these options may be incorrect.
Although millions of people believe that virtually every verse of the Bible was divinely inspired, some are troubled by passages that seem morally repugnant. Others are concerned about seeming contradictions between the Bible and modern science. Still others accepted the complete literal truth of the Bible when they were young, and feel that it’s time to revisit this decision.
Most readers of Theists & Atheists: Communication & Common Ground are either humanists or liberal theists. But even if you reject Biblical literalism, do you have friends who say the Bible is entirely God’s word, but who might be open to reconsidering this belief?
In a series of at-least-weekly postings I will attempt to show beyond any reasonable doubt that options 1, 2, and 3, above, are incorrect and lead to dangerous and destructive consequences. I will take no position about items 4 – 6.
Some will wonder why I am bothering to address Biblical literalism when there are already web sites purporting to show that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, and hazardous ideas. But many of these web sites sneer at Christianity and Christian beliefs. They will persuade no one. I wish to explore this issue in a way that respects the three “Abrahamic” religions — Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, which all say that at least part of the Bible is Holy Scripture.
I have friends who are Biblical literalists, and I have no interest in denigrating anyone’s faith. I hope the conversation I am beginning will bring us all closer together, not push us farther apart.
I will publish most entries from “Did God Really Say THAT!?” on this blog. If you’re not interested in this topic, just skip these items. I will continue to post entries that specifically deal with theism and atheism, about once a week as usual.
For the new blog’s first entry go to: http://didgodreallysaythat.wordpress.com/. Or click “A blog about the Bible” on my blogroll. I’m looking forward to feedback about “Did God Really Say THAT!? A Blog about the Bible.”
Roger Christan Schriner
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