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christianity culture religion

The Bible

One the things I enjoy when I come back to Gloucester is talking with one of my friends. G. is a super good guy and is the one that turned me onto the advantages of considering oneself a Christian. He’s a very genuine guy and we can stay up to all hours talking religious stuff. I feel a little bad in thinking this, but I also like the fact that he goes a little further into the deep end with the stuff than I do. I don’t feel quite as crazy…

Anyway, he does make me think quite a bit, and that’s a good thing. The only trouble I have is that he’s one of those people that believes that the Bible really is the “Word of God.” I have some issues with that (read about them here if you’re interested) perspective. The Bible was constructed folks, it was put together by men. Men wrote it, men put it together, and it was men that said that it is word of God. The Bible never says that it is the definitive anything, let alone the word. How could it? The Bible didn’t exist until well after all of those books were written. I’m not saying that the Bible isn’t worth reading or that you can’t learn a great deal from it, but I am saying that we don’t know who wrote those books or how “accurate” they are. I’m not even going to get into the various issues with translations…

If you’re really interested in what the Bible means, you should go and talk to the organizations that put it together. The church that put that together already had its beliefs hammered out for the most part, and the Bible they constructed reflects those beliefs. The Orthodox and Catholic churches now argue over which one is more authentic, but either of them will give you a much more fleshed out, more nuanced view of what the Bible means than any protestant church or Bible study ever will.

The difficulty is that the people that believe in sola scriptura (like my friend) are constitutionally unable to go to the churches that could help them the most. There is a totally unreasonable hatred of anything Catholic in protestant circles. The Orthodox is mostly unknown here, especially in the south, but a casual protestant observer would be forgiven for mistaking them for Catholics.

I can understand not liking the Catholic church, but why deny the history? Why try and reinvent the wheel? If you believe the Orthodox churches, they’ve been at this for 2000 years. What are the odds that someone in a mega church is really going to add a lot to what has already been gone over before? Or for that matter, why do people think that they can take on a book like the Bible on their own and understand it better than a church that had a hand in making it?

Isaac

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