Sunday, October 9, 2016
Christians Need To Be Honest About Bible's Contradictions - Chuck Queen in Patheos
Christian leaders and churches need to admit that we have done a poor job in teaching parishioners how to read biblical texts critically. Perhaps Christians wouldn’t believe and do such silly things if they had been taught to read the Bible critically before trying to appropriate it spiritually.
The only constructive way forward is to be honest with the text and admit that the Bible gives different portrayals and images of God that cannot simply be ignored or rationalized away. When you get right down to it, no Christian, even the most conservative Christian, believes the Bible equally. Some parts of the Bible are focused on, and other parts of the Bible are ignored or dismissed in some way.
However, we must always give preference to the Gospels – to the stories about Jesus and the stories Jesus told. We must always give first priority and more authority to those texts that teach us about Jesus and what Jesus taught, believed, and did, than other scriptures.
Of course we also have to read the Gospel texts critically as well. That means acknowledging that the Gospel writers sometimes embellished and altered the stories that were passed down to them. And undoubtedly the oral stories were altered and changed as they were passed along decades before they were ever written down, collected, and utilized as a source for the composition of our canonical Gospels.
Reading the Bible honestly and critically helps us to realize that the Bible didn’t float down from heaven on the wings of angels. The Bible came to us through a very human and fallible process. It also provides some boundaries and parameters for making spiritual application of these texts to our lives and faith communities.
The full article is available here