1. Joined
    15 Oct '06
    Moves
    10115
    24 Jan '17 00:58
    Found the following text imbedded in an article and found it to be well thought out, lucid and, well, a reasonable approach to the Bible.

    Thoughts?

    That being said: I do not believe that scripture is holy. I don't believe that it is perfect. I do not believe that it is free from errors. I believe, in the words of the founder of my particular sect of Christianity, John Wesley, that scripture is "Sufficient."
    The bible is sufficient.
    According to scripture, even GOD HIMSELF points out that "You can't take this stuff literally."
    Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
    -Matt. 13:13
    Add that to the quotes from Job about how it's really difficult to understand all this stuff. The bible repeatedly implies in the old and new testaments that it is a metaphorical and esoteric work, and then the voice of God outright says so in the new testament.
    As far as scripture's go, the bible suffices. It's pretty okay. It has some pretty major problems if you take it literally, because it describes a code of laws designed to hold a society together in absolutely barbaric conditions, but if we're being honest here, my proto-celtic ancestors probably weren't any better 5000 years ago. As far as the rest of the stuff in the book, it's got some problems here in there with internal errors and inconsistencies, where it disagrees with itself, especially about women, but overall, it suffices.
    It's very, very important to note that the bible is not meant to be the center of the Christian faith. Jesus, and his teachings, are meant to be the center of the Christian faith. So if you run into one of these fundamentalists who talk about how the bible is the foundation for their faith (rather than Christ) you're dealing with someone that ancient Christians would have considered an idolatrous heretic (read: dangerous moron.)
    The bible is a very difficult book to understand and to use because it is not internally consistent, it does not claim to be perfect, and it is mistranslated. So we Methodists have a Method (that's how we got our name) for understanding the world:
    1. Scripture
    2. Tradition
    3. Reason
    4. Experience
    So lets use that, what we call the Weslyan Quadrilateral, to think about, oh, the Age of Planet Earth, shall we?
    Reason and Experience (through TESTABLE BLEEPING MEASUREMENTS) tell us that the world was not made in seven days, and is in fact, billions of years old.
    Tradition tells me that for hundreds of years, human society has been developing wonderful and terrible new technologies using the same methods we use to examine the age of the earth. Tradition tells me that those methods work. The tradition of my denomination of Christianity has been to build schools, to value knowledge, and to support science, to the degree that a Methodist named George Washington Rappalyea was so incensed by a law against the teaching of evolution, that he encouraged his friend John Scopes to challenge the law in that whole monkey trial.
    And finally, on the age of the earth, scripture tells me, simply, "I TEACH IN METAPHOR, DUMMY. I'm USEFUL, not PERFECT OR LITERAL."
    So on the question of the Age of the Earth, the Weslyan Quadrilateral lays out pretty clearly and pretty easily that A) Science is real and does not teach in esoteric metaphor, and B) the Age of the Earth is whatever science tells us it is, because there can be no logical conflict between a book of esoteric metaphor, and a treatise of testable fact. I mean that. It is mathematically impossible for esoteric metaphor to conflict with testable fact. It's like adding matter and antimatter together. You'll just make a great big damn mess.
    A literal reading of the bible is logically inconsistent, both because God says "I teach in metaphor," and because the strongest claim that scripture makes about itself is that it is A) God Breathed, and B) Useful.
    And the thing is, if you were paying attention to the first verse we quoted, ADAM was also god-breathed. And look at what happened to him.
    Anyone who thinks that the bible is anything more than "useful" needs to go reexamine their life, their beliefs, and the very scriptures they read (which by the way do not even claim to be inerrant, much less perfect.)
    To teach creationism in schools therefor is not only a debasement of science, but a violation of MY faith. But fundies find modern mainline Christians to be extremely inconvenient for precisely this reason (we read.)
    And we can follow that logical quadrilateral method for theological understanding of nearly any issue. It tells us that women should be treated equally as men in law, in church teachings and hierarchy, and in society. It tells us that LGBT folks should have exactly the same rights as the rest of humanity. It tells us that nuclear weapons are abhorrent, even though there is no mention of nuclear weapons in the bible. It tells us that torture is wrong, even though the bible documents great evils being done to civilians captured in warfare. It tells us that human sexuality is not sinful unless it violates consent. And it tells us that scripture is neither perfect, nor literal.

    - Will McLeod
  2. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    24 Jan '17 01:07
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Found the following text imbedded in an article and found it to be well thought out, lucid and, well, a reasonable approach to the Bible.

    Thoughts?

    That being said: I do not believe that scripture is holy. I don't believe that it is perfect. I do not believe that it is free from errors. I believe, in the words of the founder of my particular ...[text shortened]... sent. And it tells us that scripture is neither perfect, nor literal.

    - Will McLeod
    Well, whatever happened to the "words of Jesus" ToO?

    If you take the words of Will McLeod seriously then you can't trust your bible, and if you don't trust your bible then you don't trust the Word of God.

    God's Word has something to say about those that add to or take away from His Word.

    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
  3. Joined
    15 Oct '06
    Moves
    10115
    24 Jan '17 01:192 edits
    Originally posted by josephw
    Well, whatever happened to the "words of Jesus" ToO?

    If you take the words of Will McLeod seriously then you can't trust your bible, and if you don't trust your bible then you don't trust the Word of God.

    God's Word has something to say about those that add to or take away from His Word.

    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    Well, whatever happened to the "words of Jesus" ToO?

    Nothing. Check your Bible. They're still there.

    BTW, I'm not necessarily saying that I agree with everything there - just that it's reasonable - especially compared to literal fundamentalism.

    God's Word has something to say about those that add to or take away from His Word.

    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.


    Thanks for providing an example of an unreasonable approach to the Bible. In order to try to "prove" a point, you've taken the verse, not only out of context of the passage in question, but out of context of the words spoken by Jesus while He walked the Earth. It doesn't say, what you seem to be trying to make it say.

    It is this type of approach that seems to lead so many to unreasonable conclusions.
  4. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    24 Jan '17 02:001 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    [b]Well, whatever happened to the "words of Jesus" ToO?

    Nothing. Check your Bible. They're still there.

    God's Word has something to say about those that add to or take away from His Word.

    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    ...[text shortened]... it say.

    It is this type of approach that seems to lead so many to unreasonable conclusions.[/b]
    What's your point? That God's Word can't be trusted? Seems that's the intent of your post.

    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    You're much too arrogant for your own good. I understand what it means from the context. Nevertheless I take it literally to mean that God's Word can be trusted to mean what it says, and no amount of tampering with it will make it less trustworthy.

    The bozo's article you posted only serves to throw doubt on the reliability of God's Word, and you're just fool enough to suck it up.
  5. Cape Town
    Joined
    14 Apr '05
    Moves
    52945
    24 Jan '17 06:30
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Thoughts?
    As far as scripture's go, the bible suffices. It's pretty okay. It has some pretty major problems if you take it literally, because it describes a code of laws designed to hold a society together in absolutely barbaric conditions, but if we're being honest here, my proto-celtic ancestors probably weren't any better 5000 years ago. As far as the rest of the stuff in the book, it's got some problems here in there with internal errors and inconsistencies, where it disagrees with itself, especially about women, but overall, it suffices.
    Sounds like an apologist excuse to me.
    Laws are designed for various reasons, 'holding a society together' may be one of them, but not necessarily the only one or the primary one. Normally a significant proportion of laws are there to maintain a particular power structure. But there are far worse problems in the OT than laws.

    It's very, very important to note that the bible is not meant to be the center of the Christian faith. Jesus, and his teachings, are meant to be the center of the Christian faith.
    And here he dictates what 'is meant to be the centre of the Christian faith'. How does he know this?
  6. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Infidel
    Dunedin
    Joined
    09 Jun '07
    Moves
    45641
    24 Jan '17 06:54
    Omnipotent Being: Here are some laws (they are not all to be obeyed) ....
    Man: OK
  7. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35519
    24 Jan '17 07:311 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Found the following text imbedded in an article and found it to be well thought out, lucid and, well, a reasonable approach to the Bible.

    Thoughts?

    That being said: I do not believe that scripture is holy. I don't believe that it is perfect. I do not believe that it is free from errors. I believe, in the words of the founder of my particular ...[text shortened]... sent. And it tells us that scripture is neither perfect, nor literal.

    - Will McLeod
    Yes, as opposed to Calvinist bunkum.

    I agree with a lot of this. I don't know where or when this article appeared, I'm not sure of the context, so I'll have to withhold any further endorsement of this.

    But, yeah, I'm a Wesleyan, not a Calvinist.
  8. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35519
    24 Jan '17 07:33
    Originally posted by josephw
    The bozo's article you posted only serves to throw doubt on the reliability of God's Word, and you're just fool enough to suck it up.
    Are you a Calvinist too now?
  9. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35519
    24 Jan '17 07:381 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It's very, very important to note that the bible is not meant to be the center of the Christian faith. Jesus, and his teachings, are meant to be the center of the Christian faith.
    And here he dictates what 'is meant to be the centre of the Christian faith'. How does he know this?
    He's right, though. This is a Wesleyan belief.

    Far too many "Bible worshippers" in this forum act as if the Bible is their God, instead of the Word of their God. I cannot recall just how many times people have said "That's not in the Bible", as if that makes it unbelievable. And I'm not even talking about just the fundamentalists.

    The important part is not the book, but the man the book is about.
  10. SubscriberSuzianne
    Misfit Queen
    Isle of Misfit Toys
    Joined
    08 Aug '03
    Moves
    35519
    24 Jan '17 07:48
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Omnipotent Being: Here are some laws (they are not all to be obeyed) ....
    Man: OK
    About that:

    A coherent trail of thought for Christians is that Mosaic laws are for Jews, and that they really don't speak to Christians because Christ made a new covenant with us, the Gentiles.

    I understand that you don't believe any of it, and therefore it is all to be made fun of, but there is a coherence at work here.
  11. Standard membervivify
    rain
    Joined
    08 Mar '11
    Moves
    9780
    24 Jan '17 16:33
    Originally posted by josephw
    Well, whatever happened to the "words of Jesus" ToO?

    If you take the words of Will McLeod seriously then you can't trust your bible, and if you don't trust your bible then you don't trust the Word of God.

    God's Word has something to say about those that add to or take away from His Word.

    Matthew 5:18
    For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    When Jesus spoke in parables, it was clear he was doing so. There's no question they were meant to be taken as parables. The bible is clear on when it's using symbolism, like in Revelation. Most of the bible has no such caveat, and is meant to be literal. The bible means to have an all-powerful, eternal, omniscient god be taken literally, along with this God's supernatural acts like creating the earth, and flooding the world.

    It seems that Christians who advocate non-literalism do so in order to justify to themselves believing in a religion that contradicts science or progressive modern-day beliefs.
  12. Joined
    12 Jul '08
    Moves
    12091
    24 Jan '17 17:21
    Quote from John Wesley

    If there be one falsehood in the Bible, there may be a thousand; neither can it proceed from the God of truth.”
  13. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
    Joined
    28 Dec '04
    Moves
    52612
    24 Jan '17 18:06
    Originally posted by josephw
    What's your point? That God's Word can't be trusted? Seems that's the intent of your post.

    Matthew 5:18
    [b]For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.


    You're much too arrogant for your own good. I understand what it means from the context. Nevertheless I t ...[text shortened]... rves to throw doubt on the reliability of God's Word, and you're just fool enough to suck it up.[/b]
    So when your god says a man is worth 50 shekels but a woman only 30, you have no problem with that and you therefore just assume it is ok to put women on a lower platform than men.
  14. Joined
    15 Oct '06
    Moves
    10115
    24 Jan '17 19:12
    Originally posted by josephw
    What's your point? That God's Word can't be trusted? Seems that's the intent of your post.

    Matthew 5:18
    [b]For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.


    You're much too arrogant for your own good. I understand what it means from the context. Nevertheless I t ...[text shortened]... rves to throw doubt on the reliability of God's Word, and you're just fool enough to suck it up.[/b]
    What's your point? That God's Word can't be trusted? Seems that's the intent of your post.

    My point or the point of the author of the OP?

    Matthew 5:18

    What exactly leads you to believe that Jesus necessarily has BOTH the entirety of the OT and NT in mind? Given the context of Matthew 5-7 and the larger context of the words spoken by Jesus while He walked the Earth it doesn't seem to make sense.

    Or that He's saying that it should all be taken literally?
  15. Joined
    15 Oct '06
    Moves
    10115
    24 Jan '17 19:212 edits
    Originally posted by vivify
    When Jesus spoke in parables, it was clear he was doing so. There's no question they were meant to be taken as parables. The bible is clear on when it's using symbolism, like in Revelation. Most of the bible has no such caveat, and is meant to be literal. The bible means to have an all-powerful, eternal, omniscient god be taken literally, along with this ...[text shortened]... o themselves believing in a religion that contradicts science or progressive modern-day beliefs.
    Most of the bible has no such caveat, and is meant to be literal. The bible means to have an all-powerful, eternal, omniscient god be taken literally, along with this God's supernatural acts like creating the earth, and flooding the world.

    What exactly is the basis of your belief that it "is meant to be literal" ?


    It seems that Christians who advocate non-literalism do so in order to justify to themselves believing in a religion that contradicts science or progressive modern-day beliefs.

    Actually from what I gather, non-literalism has been around far longer than literalism. You have things the wrong way around. Read the article I cited in the "The Origin of Biblical Literalism thread". If you investigate Judaism and how they approach the Torah, you'll see that non-literalism goes back way before Jesus.
Back to Top