Reality Check: What Must Be the Case if Christianity is True?

25) That although God's supposed revelation in the canonical Bible is indistinguishable from the musings of an ancient, barbaric, superstitious people, the Bible is the word of God.

As SilverBullet recently said:
...the lord doesn't work in mysterious ways, but in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence. It seems to me that there is nothing in the Christian scriptures, no sentence, paragraph, or idea, that couldn't be anything more than the product of the humans alive at the time that the apparently divinely inspired scriptures and ideas were "revealed". Sure, its possible for a god to reveal himself in an inspired book, and throughout history, in ways that are indistinguishable from the work of human minds and human minds alone. But how probable does that seem to you?

4 comments:

Chuck O'Connor said...

I have to admit that one of the many things that dissolved my faith was moving from a liberal emergent church setting to the more conservative bible fellowship church my wife frequented. The church engages in expository preaching so there was no proof-texting to provide a feel-good message to jump-start the week but it was deep down divine command and human depravity god glorifying theology. I found the ideas psychologically unsustainable yet completely consistent with the text. When our bible study started discussing god's goodness relative to the blood of martyrs I paused and said that it seemed if that is god's plan then he is s dumb-ass. I think that is when I began to think the bible was nothing more than the product of the limited intelligence of those who wrote and compiled it. I feel so much more confident, mature and emotionally stable now that I don't allow my confusion with the bible's crazed morality to be evidence of my depravity and sin. It is evidence instead of my intelligence and evolved ethics.

The only thing more annyoing than the bible's barbarism is apologist arguments that engage in intellectual gymnastics to convince themselves and others such abuse is "good".

Vera Keil said...

For any interested, Alice Miller, the Swiss psychologist and child advocate, addresses religion in several of her books. She agrees with some other thinkers that religion is explicable as a reaction of the ego to the unbearable humiliations, deprivations and abuses of childhood (and she means a 'normal' childhood). We formulate the "divine nature" (all powerful, all knowing, loving, protecting, fearsome, awesome, jealous, demanding of absolute love and obediance)of our parents as embedded in our psyches and turn these projections into supernatural beings that have the same nature. Once you read the 10 commandments in the light of her interpretation, it is a very persuasive view. I'm not sure I've explained it well here, but I urge you to check it out for yourself.

Breckmin said...

"25) That although God's supposed revelation in the canonical Bible is indistinguishable from the musings of an ancient, barbaric, superstitious people,"

Clearly untrue and more strawman.
These fragments of manuscripts we discover are quite distinguishable and are corroborated with early Christian writings (N.T. apocrypha). Even the Aleppo Codex is quite distinguishable from any old Babylonian clay tablet or Sumerian poem. It is a general statement which needs to be clarified as to claim they are indistinguishable from the writings of the ancient Hebrew prophets.


"the the Bible is the word of God."

Which bible? Which manuscripts? Which canon(s)? Which translation?

Even the evangelical conservative will admit that the English translation has a half of dozen or dozen minor errors...so they claim that only the Autographs are the Word of God. But this is not the historical position of the church to claim that Hebrew and Greek are exactly equal to the Perfect and Holy Logic/Reason/Word of God. It is rather a medium to communicate this Perfect Holy Word of God and God was sovereignly in control to allow the imperfections that we now have (that have nothing to do with major theology, btw, only meaningless details).

The whole problem with such a statement is that Christianity existed BEFORE we had what we now refer to as the bible..so to claim that Christianity can not be true unless you believe something specific about the bible is evasive to all of the spread of the gospel before there was a printing press and common people actually had access to the bible.

The canons of scripture are very human works because they are written by humans - BUT they contain prophecies which could only have been included in the book by divine revelation.

25)God used prophets and apostles to speak and write the Holy Word of God to the nation of Israel and to the Church in an imperfect medium of Hebrew and koine Greek languages and sovereignly together acted with and inspired them by His Holy Spirit to do this. The canons of scripture *contain* to Perfect and Holy Word of God..and when you fill your mind up with these writings (like the evangelical does), the Holy Spirit of God will work through such Word.

Question everything.

Bloviator said...

Chuck, that is exactly what happened in my case, inevitably leading me (unwillingly) to an atheist stance.

I also moved from a more liberal to more conservative church in an effort to appease my better half -- something that worked for her, but not for me.

Our bible studies were a tortured explication of god's reasons to treat humanity -- supposedly the crown of his creation -- in such an abominable manner. And every time I raised an objection, I was met with disdainful looks and disparaging remarks.

Indeed, the text of the bible is more consistent (but not completely) with a 'total depravity' reading of humanity, and certainly the idea of divine command is front and center.

Having never been raised in a culture that held to a 'high view' of scripture, perhaps it was easier for me to see the contradictions that existed in the texts.

The upshot was I got busy looking for information on the GOI (good old internet) to sustain my PRIOR beliefs about a more openly loving god, but found only more examples of contradiction.

Within less than one month, I considered that god was no christian (nor muslim, nor jew), and another two years to come to a conclusion about our existence that suggested there are/were no gods at all. Not now, not ever.

Certainly for me, life makes much more sense than it did before, and a recent illness in my family that would have had me pulling out my hair to divine "god's will" can now be seen for what it really is -- the intersection between genetics and environment that, sadly, leave some in a state of suffering. Not good, not bad, not deserved -- just life as it comes to us.

I don't know about the rest of you, but that helps me sleep much better at night.