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Source: (consider it) Thread: biblical inerrancy
Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Bonzo:
Surely you can't be serious?
When, for example, the Israelites entered the promised land, according to the Bible God told them to ethnically cleanse the land!

No question that this is an error. God would not do such a thing.

But the Bible is also where you discover that God would not do such a thing.

It is no small thing to understand the Bible and how it works. You have to look at it as a whole to understand what is going on in those places where God supposedly directs the Israelites to mass slaughter.

Jesus several times "corrects" or reinterprets Old Testament laws. In one case He says, "Moses gave you this law allowing you to do this thing because of the hardness of your hearts" or words to that effect (Matthew 19). So the place in the Old Testament where Moses gave that law would be wrong as stated, but true as reinterpretted by Jesus.

So I do believe that the Bible is God's Word and therefore inerrant on theological matters - but only when those matters are understood in the light of all biblical teaching. A particular statement taken out of context can be untrue or misleading, but perfectly true when it is properly understood.

But of course who would be so conceited as to think that they had a correct grasp of biblical teaching? It is an area that demands humility and patience, both of which I am often short of...

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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Atticus
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Gauk:
quote:
Gauk posted:One can only identify the Son of Man coming in his kingdom with the brief appearances of Jesus after his resurrection if one is determined to read into the text something that avoids the possibility of Jesus being incorrect. In other words, the approach is: "Here is a difficult text...

WHICH TEXT? I'd love to disagree or agree with you, but that does require some specifics... Jesus clearly alluded to his crucifixion and resurrection, but I think you are talking about some more questionable passages. WHICH ONES? a book and chapter, short quote or vague recollection of the circumstances might be helpful...

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

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Glenn Oldham
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# 47

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quote:
Originally posted by Gauk:
One might also note that Jesus stated quite clearly that the Second Coming would be in the lifetime of the Disciples. So even Jesus was capable of error. Is this alarming? Not at all! He couldn't be fully human without making a few mistakes.

The quote Gauk most likely has in mind is:
Matthew Ch 16 "(27)For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father and then he will repay every man for what he has done. (28) Truly I say to you there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."

I find it too much of a stretch to see this as a reference to the resurrection.

In addition, after describing events that are usually understood as the second coming (and he is not referring to the resurrection) Jesus says in Matthew 24:34 "Truly I say to you this generation will not pass away, till all these things take place." The most straightforward meaning here would be that "this generation" is the generation that Jesus is among now. Those who want to avoid Jesus thus being mistaken argue that "this generation" means the generation around at the time these things happen. Again I find this a stretch (and a bit of an odd, almost tautologous, thing to say if thats what he meant).

I think that the doctrine of the bible being inerrant in all that it affirms whether it be geography or history etc. is mistaken and unnecessary. I am short of time at present but I hope to post some reasons soon.

Glenn

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This entire doctrine is worthless except as a subject of dispute. (G. C. Lichtenberg 1742-1799 Aphorism 60 in notebook J of The Waste Books)


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Atticus
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As you may read from my other posts, I'm not gung-ho on the inerrantly inspired scripture either, but I do believe christ was inerrant. That's a toughy of a passage, possiblyon for Kerygmania. However I will note that Jesus often spoke in such a way as to be misunderstood. Riddles and rhetoric were frequent in his speeches, the disciples frequently misunderstood him, and I'm more inclined to attribute that "error" to -our misunderstanding -poor translation or -faulty gospels than I am willing to sacrifice Jesus' credibility over one word (generation).

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

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Bonzo
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quote:
Originally posted by Freddy

So I do believe that the Bible is God's Word and therefore inerrant on theological matters - but only when those matters are understood in the light of all biblical teaching.


So If the israelites theology was wrong when they invaded the promised land, and is corrected by the 'correct' theology of the New testament. Why is it that you can't believe that the writers of the new testament were wrong on, say, the role of women, why can't God's revelation of true theology be an ongoing thing?

The point is that the theology of the bible is inconsistent, a developing theology. It simply doesn't make sense to say it stopped developing in the first century after Christ.

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Love wastefully


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PaulTH*
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# 320

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One of the big problems I have with inerrancy is that there's often more than one interpretation possible to certain Bible stories. Add to this that there are contradictory teachings and what you have is the paradoxical nature of Jesus and His message. For example in Matt 5.48 He says, "Be perfect therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect." Yet in Matt 19.26 he says that man is totaly incapable of saving himself so God has to do it for us. He speaks of eternal punishment, but also speaks of God's unfailing mercy. In John 12 He says He will draw ALL MEN to Himself when lifted up on the cross.

The fact is that it is absurd to talk of the plain meaning of scripture, it is full of paradox and eternal truths hidden behind powerful imagery. I believe in the integrity of its message, which tells us how we can go from slavery to this world and our attachments to it, to freedom in the Promised Land of God's Kingdom, but that doesn't have to mean its all pure history. The apostle John, for example, who survived to old age and was the only gospel writer to be an eye witness to the life of Jesus, wrote his gospel 50-60 years after the events, when he'd had a lifetime to meditate on the significence of Christ's words and deeds, so while I respect the integrity of his narrative, I believe many of the theological discourses given by Jesus are the results of John's meditations rather than Jesus actual words. If we are to believe the synoptic descriptions of the disciples, they wouldn't have understood a word of it during Jesus ministry.

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Yours in Christ
Paul


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ekalb
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Bonzo,

I think that the issue being raised about God commanding the Israelites to 'cleanse' specific people groups is tough, but if an argument is trying to be made in favor of 'errancy' (for lack of a better term), then I suggest that this wouldn't be a strong way to go about it.

Even if we establish that the text really is saying that GOd wanted the Jews to kill a bunch of people it doesn't mean that scripture is flawed or errant. Such an argument is 'non sequitur' (it doesn't follow).

There may be many reasons why God would want a people group killed by the Jews. This isn't really about justifying God's apparantly 'immoral' behaviours in the Bible, but I might suggest that.......
1) He is God. He creates and He is allowed to kill at anytime. We are the clay, and He is the potter
2)We all see through 'glass darklings' this side of heaven.
3)We might be misinterpreting or confusing the text apart from the context of the OT narratives and redemption history as a whole.

So as you can see, there are good explanations out there that keep the integrity of the Bible and its' inerrancy in tact.

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"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


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Bonzo
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quote:

There may be many reasons why God would want a people group killed by the Jews. This isn't really about justifying God's apparantly 'immoral' behaviours in the Bible, but I might suggest that.......
1) He is God. He creates and He is allowed to kill at anytime. We are the clay, and He is the potter
2)We all see through 'glass darklings' this side of heaven.
3)We might be misinterpreting or confusing the text apart from the context of the OT narratives and redemption history as a whole.

So as you can see, there are good explanations out there that keep the integrity of the Bible and its' inerrancy in tact.


That's rubbish isn't it?

1. How does the theology of 'go and slaughter your neighbour' fit with 'Love your enemies'? Your first point makes God out to be a vengeful monster who kills when he pleases and instructs humans to do his dirty work for him.

2. Your second point says that whatever the Bible says about God, we must accept it because if it appears wrong it's because we don't understand it properly! That's trying to prove it's inerrant by starting from the premise that it's inerrant.

3. ditto. except that you mention 'redemption history as a whole'. This might imply that you believe in a gradual revelation of God's nature - which is my point entirely and it's illogical to assume that the revelation should stop at the end of the first century AD.

So as you can see, you have provided no good explanations that keep the integrity of the Bible and its' inerrancy intact.

Who wrote the Bible? - fallible men.
Who decided which books went into the Bible? - fallible men.

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Love wastefully


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Steve G
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If we accept that God's nature and character are fully revealed in the person of Jesus, then it's not illogical to assume that God's self revelation ended when the witnesses Christ appointed had finished their work. Except of course that he continues to reveal himself by his spirit through the living word of their testimony in scripture.

It's a very limited view of God's sovereignty that doesn't allow him to work his will through human beings. It's effectively saying 'God can't do that', which is always a dangerous thing to say. The question isn't 'can he?' but 'has he?'. To which the church through history has always answered 'yes'. As you say, it is often our presuppositions that shape how we read scripture.


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Gauk
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Glenn is quite correct about the texts I had in mind.

Another thing to bear in mind is the process by which we received the Bible. It was not written all of a piece. Most of it was composed long after the events described. Its chaotic nature is consistent with what we know historically about how it came to be written: a process of accretion from different fragments of source materials.

If you believe that the whole thing was dictated by God word for word, then you have to believe that God works in very mysterious ways indeed and has distorted His own message in very strange ways.

The argument that the Bible must be the word of God because it says it is has another problem besides circular reasoning. If you reason thus, then you must be consistent. If the Koran says that it is the word of God, then it must be also, because the same argument applies.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.


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Bonzo
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quote:

If we accept that God's nature and character are fully revealed in the person of Jesus, then it's not illogical to assume that God's self revelation ended when the witnesses Christ appointed had finished their work.

A large part of the New Testament is written by Paul who was, we are told, converted on the road to Damascus and not appointed by Jesus during His lifetime. It certainly is illogical to assume that God's revelation ended when the witnesses Christ appointed had fisnished their work. There is simply no basis for this assumption.

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Love wastefully


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andras
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quote:
If we accept that God's nature and character are fully revealed in the person of Jesus, then it's not illogical to assume that God's self revelation ended when the witnesses Christ appointed had finished their work. Except of course that he continues to reveal himself by his spirit through the living word of their testimony in scripture.

A common but ultimately unscriptural view - for Jesus assures his disciples that the Holy Spirit will will reveal things in the future which they are not yet ready to hear or understand.

Thus the idea of continuing revelation is scriptural; or, as a friend of mine once put it, The Bible is paramount; and the Bible tells us that the Church is paramount.

John

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God's on holiday.
(Why borrow a cat?)
Adrian Plass


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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Bonzo:
So If the israelites theology was wrong when they invaded the promised land, and is corrected by the 'correct' theology of the New testament. Why is it that you can't believe that the writers of the new testament were wrong on, say, the role of women, why can't God's revelation of true theology be an ongoing thing?

The point is that individual statements in the Bible need to be tested against the combined testimony of the Bible as a whole. I agree that this applies to New Testament writers as well as Old Testament ones.

You need to have a very good understanding of the whole of Scripture in order understand any one part of it. Despite its chaotic history it is an incredibly unified work, both as to message and imagery. Inconsistent elements can be isolated and explained by comparison with the rest.

And I agree that Paul was simply wrong when he spoke about the role of women. I don't think his statements are consistent with the rest of Scripture, but I don't have time to list the reasons now.

quote:
Gauk writes:
The argument that the Bible must be the word of God because it says it is has another problem besides circular reasoning. If you reason thus, then you must be consistent. If the Koran says that it is the word of God, then it must be also, because the same argument applies.

This is right. Lots of people claim to be inspired by God, but aren't. The claim is meaningless by itself.

However, if the claim is true it is more than a little significant. This, of course, was Jesus' claim, and the stated reason for His subsequent crucifixion.

A claim of this nature has a watershed effect. If it is accepted, it has the effect of magnifying the significance of the information. If it is rejected, it is difficult for people even to take seriously even the good ideas in the information.

Christianity has traditionally accepted the claims of divine authorship. I guess that one way of looking at it nowadays is neither to accept or reject the claims, but to see them as a common feature of ancient writing.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


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Bonzo
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quote:

The point is that individual statements in the Bible need to be tested against the combined testimony of the Bible as a whole.

Yes, but most importantly, against your own concience.

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Love wastefully


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gkbarnes
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# 1894

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Looks like I started something here.

quote:
Originally posted by Gauk:
it was never required for anyone to travel to their birthplace to be taxed; this was a plot device to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem.

In the book of Daniel, Baltezer (spealing?) is mentioned as King of Babylonia. For years no-one could find any histiorical records for him, so it was presumed the book of Daniel was just a myth. Then archeologists found something that proved beyond doubt that Baltezar existed. The point is that we will find something that proves the Gospel of Luke, and we will all go "of course."

quote:
Originally posted by Bonzo:
Surely you can't be serious?
When, for example, the Israelites entered the promised land, according to the Bible God told them to ethnically cleanse the land! If you are suggesting that this is the nature of God then you must know some other God than the one I know.

I agree that it seems very shoking to our eyes to read it. Remember, God is right. I apologise in advance for the anger that this will cause, but please let me try to explain. Physical death is never the same as eternal death (this is sounding really evil, and I apologise. It ism't meant to). What I am trying to say is that this was God's just punishment on a people who He had given ample chances to repent. Remember Jonah? I belive God would have destroyed Ninevah, if they hadn't repented.


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Bonzo
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Oh yes, Jonah and the big fish... right!

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Love wastefully

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Steve G
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To back track slightly...

Jesus words to the 12 in John 16 that "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the spirit, comes he will guide you into all truth" are widely understood as being fulfilled in the writing of the New Testament. Jesus was granting his Apostles (including Paul) unique status as his witnesses and the founders of the church. This would seem to point to an end to the era of special revelation. This is why the later NT books place such an emphasis on recalling what has been taught and passing it on to the next generation.


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Atticus
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Frankly I think that the very fact that myth of inerrant scriptures has survived for so long is because there is an element of truth to it. I in no way support 100% inspiration. But there has been, over the years, more and more facts in OT and NT accounts that have been found to be historically accurate. Which would mean that these books were written, or at least the oral history started from a date much closer to the events than was previously believed.
These are not myths or fairy-tales. Neither are they necessarily flawless historical accounts. But lets not trivialize the Bible out of antagonism or reactonary or revisionist thinking. The fact is it is by FAR the most historically accurate text of all the world religions. We aren't just dealing with "another set of myths"

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

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Astro
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Most of the great characters of the Bible are scumbags - murderers, liars, adulterers etc. What the Bible teaches consistantly is that God can work with such people, even genocidal Hebrews. I think that the bible is inerrant in saying that God can use such people to His glory, even if they are errant in their life.

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if you look around the world today – whether you're an atheist or a believer – and think that the greatest problem facing us is other people's theologies, you are yourself part of the problem. - Andrew Brown (The Guardian)

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Bonzo
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quote:

Originally posted by Steve G

Jesus words to the 12 in John 16 that "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the spirit, comes he will guide you into all truth" are widely understood as being fulfilled in the writing of the New Testament.


No, Jesus words here imply that the Spirit in all our lives will guide us, through our deepening knowledge of God. There is no evidence to suggest that he was talking about the New Testament being written this is just your interpretation and has no logical foundation. Remember that each book of the Bible was written as a discreet book, The canon was compiled by men who disagreed even up to today! Texts were excluded or included on the basis of an emerging theology.

As for being 'widely understood', it might be widely understood by those who already believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, but I doubt that most theologians would go along with that.

quote:

Originally posted by Atticus

The fact is it is by FAR the most historically accurate text of all the world religions. We aren't just dealing with "another set of myths"


Are you familliar with the texts of every world religion?

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Love wastefully


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Gauk
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gkbarnes writes
quote:
In the book of Daniel, Baltezer (spealing?) is mentioned as King of Babylonia. For years no-one could find any histiorical records for him, so it was presumed the book of Daniel was just a myth. Then archeologists found something that proved beyond doubt that Baltezar existed. The point is that we will find something that proves the Gospel of Luke, and we will all go "of course."

This is very curious logic. Because something in the Bible turns out to be historically correct, therefore everything in the Bible is historically correct.

The point is not that we might find something that proves the Gospel of Luke, but that we already have plenty that disproves it; or at least, disproves the nativity story, which is evidently a bit of retroactive prophecy fulfillment.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.


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Gauk
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While I'm here, I might note in passing that my dictionary gives:

Inerrable - incapable of erring.
Inerrant - unerring.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.


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Atticus
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Bonzo, I should have quoted that, but I can't remember fully which author it came from. I have a friend who lived in a Morocco and I became acquainted with the Koran through him. Second hand knowledge only, but enough to convince me that the Bible is a VERY accurate book. Both compared to the apocryphal books that aren't included and compared to the Koran and the Vedas(although a hindu wouldn't necessarily claim these to be factual either)

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gauk:
This is very curious logic. Because something in the Bible turns out to be historically correct, therefore everything in the Bible is historically correct.

I don't think this was the point at all. The point is that some things that we currently think are incorrect may turn out to be historically acurate. So we should be careful about labeling questionable Bible history as wrong.

quote:
Originally posted by Gauk:
The point is not that we might find something that proves the Gospel of Luke, but that we already have plenty that disproves it; or at least, disproves the nativity story, which is evidently a bit of retroactive prophecy fulfillment.

Most of the nativity story could never be either proven or disproven. The fact that it is currently thought that people were never required to return to their city of birth for a census does not necessarily mean that it was only a plot device intentioally invented by Luke. Further research may shed light on what Luke meant.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


Posts: 12829 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

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A book I would strongly recommend is "Models for Scripture" by John Goldingay (1987: Paternoster Press). In a section on Scripture as Inspired Word he address the problems associated with inerrancy, and concludes by saying
quote:
The people of God need to be encouraged and helped to take the whole of scripture seriously, but they are more likely to make that commitment by being helped to hear scripture speak and to meet Christ through scripture than through being provided with solutions of ever-decreasing plausibility to an ever-increasing range of problems of ever-increasing triviality.

Alan

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Don't Brexit if you haven't a scooby how to fix it.


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ekalb
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bonzo,

So the arguments don't work, eh?
Well, I think they stand up rather well if you will take a closer look:

1) You wrongfully imply that just because God would command the Jews to slaughter a people group that it automatically makes God a 'monster'. (Nice choice of words by the way. An easy way to dodge an argument is to throw in some emotionally-charged words like 'monster' or 'vengful' and misdirect the real issue.)
It is perfectly logical and justifyied to believe that God can kill humans at anytime solely because He is God. (I'm not saying GOd 'normatively' does this. He is love and He wishes to redeem rather than scrap us, but He is allowed to take away our life at anytime.) Try reading Job: "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job recognized that, though we have genuine freedom, God is our maker and He has the final say.
By the way, can you prove that killing, in and of itself, is evil? It is the intent in the heart that turns 'killing' into 'murder'.

2) Far from making God evil, the text in question must be seen in God's story of redemption as a whole. In other words, God's morality and holiness don't change, but how He acts with 'changing' humans does change.

3) lastly, circular reasoning may be useless when trying to establish a fact, but it doesn't reveal whether a fact is false, know what I mean? It is circular reasoning to say that that the BIble is God's word because the Bible says so, BUT that does not mean that it isn't true.
I would not dare to be so arrogant to say that I know soooooo much that what I "perceive" to be contradictions or problems in the scriptures are indications of it's 'errancy'. COuld I be wrong? Absolutelty!

please respond.....

--------------------
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


Posts: 347 | From: Purgatory (Canada) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gauk
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Freddy's approach strikes me as special pleading.

His argument seems to me to be saying, "OK, at present X is contradicted by all other evidence. But who knows, maybe something else will turn up?"

Maybe a new moon landing will prove that the moon is made of cheese after all. Then again,
maybe it won't.

Intellectual honesty requires a fair assessment of all the evidence. Not this "I WANT the Bible to be true so I won't hear a word against it ever" approach.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.


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Cusanus

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A few observations about the Bible and historicity:

1) Recent archaeological work in the Holy Land seems to be producing findings which contradict a lot of the OT picture of ancient Israel. So, while the Daniel example mentioned above may be true, the weight of current research is actually going very strongly the other way.

2) The issue with the Lukan nativity is twofold: it contradicts pretty clearly understood fact about the Roman Empire AND it contradicts the Matthaean account. If one is to argue inerrancy (rather than truth, which I'm quite prepared to acknowledge) then the intellectual gymnastics necessary to reconcile the two passages are too extreme for me to accept.

3) If God can command the Israelites to commit genocide then he isn't worth worshipping. If you could deomstrate the inerrancy of this passage, then I would gladly go to hell, rather than be in heaven with such a deity.

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Bonzo
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quote:

Originally posted by ekalb
please respond.....

Doesn't seem much point in me responding. If you believe in a God that will go and tell humans to slaughter other humans, and you believe there is no difference between that God and the God who wants you to love your enemies, who forgave his crucifiers, then there's nothing I can say to persuade you. I'll just get accused of using emotive adjectives again!

The posts are there, others can make up their own mind.

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Love wastefully


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Polly

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Sorry Cusanus I disgree


1) Recent archeological findings have proved much of the OT like the existance of The Hittites, all the geographical place of Sodom & Gomorrah (sp)also William F Albright (famous archeologist)said "there can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of the OT.

2) Like where? Just because one account says something that isn't mentioned in another doesn't make it contradictory.

The Gospels are written from different perspectives and just because one Gospel writes about one angle doesn't mean teh other angel is wrong.

EG If I was watching a parade where the Queen and Prince Phillip were at with a friend a and I go home and report this to my wife but my friends goes home and says that he saw the Queen which one of us are wrong.

Same principle as interpreting scripture.

3)Actually you ought to check why God gave such extreme instructions as both the Philistines and Cananites were corrupt people and wanted to wipe the Israelites out and they were both given warning to change their ways and turn to God in fact the Cananites had 400 years of warning.

There seems to be a lack of consistancy when interpreting scripture and otehr historical writings. We need to apply the same rules for everything. The is "innocent until proven guilty".

Also just because the Bible gives an account what happens doesn't mean that God approved of it.


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Bonzo
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quote:

Also just because the Bible gives an account what happens doesn't mean that God approved of it.

Polly,

I think you'll find, if you read Joshua, that the Bible says God told them to do it.

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Love wastefully


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Polly

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Bonzo

Not disagreeing with you on the fact that this is what happened.

However the starting point is that God is a Holy Sovereign God and he hates sin. He giveth and he can taketh away.

The land given to the Israelites was occupied by a people that had otehr God's, were sexually immoral and practcised sorcery andchild sacrifice. They also were given chances to turn from their ways ( same as Jonah and Nivenah but this shows when a people are challenged by God and tey repent his mercy takes place)but didn't.

It does help to try to understand the contect of something before making judgement on it!


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Atticus
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I've heard of what I consider to be a very valid "one-step up" theory. Meaning God's morality isn't set in stone, or rather, God's is, but since we screw it up anyways, sometimes he uses our lack of perfection to meet other necessities
In other words, It is wrong to have sex with your sister. But then the sons of Adam didn't have much choice(this only applies to Genesis thumping literalists); it is wrong to murder, but in those days if you didn't hit first you'd be slaughtered withing the decade. In reality the Israelites where quite kind to their neighbors, at least, compared to the war practices of the times. While they indulged in genocide of the defeated, other nations were raping and torturing the defeated. While they were shaving slaves heads and putting them to work in the fields, other nations were herding them like cattle and using them to build monuments to their own vanity.
If we step away from our own limited point of view we see that in actuality God's commandements for his people(inspired or not) are far more liberal and kind-hearted than any of their contemporaries practices.

--------------------
This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

Posts: 321 | From: off the deep end | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bonzo
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Polly,

According to the Bible God told the Israelites to go and kill the people in palestine. Is this what you believe God actually did?

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Love wastefully


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Polly

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Bonzo

I have no doubt this is what was commanded.

Have a question for you.

Do you beleive that God is Holy and Sovereign and that He hates sin and that it is God's place to pass judgement?

Remember: The wages of Sin is death (Romans)


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Bonzo
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Polly

If that's what you believe and you can't see any conflict of nature with the God of the New Testament, I think it's unlikely that I will convince you otherwise.

On the point of context. The context is that the children of Israel were being led into battle by their leadership to take over a land occupied by another people. In any war situation the leaders usually justify their actions by saying 'God is on our side'. Unlike you, I don't believe that God ever tells one nation to wipe out another, in fact I believe he tells men to do the opposite, to love them, and forgive seventy times seven whatever they have done.

quote:

You asked,

Do you beleive that God is Holy and Sovereign and that He hates sin and that it is God's place to pass judgement?


Yes I do, but I do not believe that God strives to rid the world of an entire people when he disapproves of the actions of some of them. That's ethnic cleansing, not love.

Whatever judgement God may pass upon us when we die, He certainly does not urge his followers to carry out the sentence.

If you believe that he does, then I think that's a shame.

--------------------
Love wastefully


Posts: 1150 | From: Stockport | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Polly

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Bonzo

The point is that there is NO diference between the God of teh OT & NT.

God is Love.

His grace endures in the OT.

EG David and Bathsheeba, Jonah and the Ninehvites to say but a few.

Is it you can't believe or you won't believe just because you don't understand?


Sometimes Bible translations don't help but you are coming from a Humanistic view.

If you have a bit of time try reading a book by Lee Strobel called " A case for faith"

He is a journalist with a Law degree who started off trying to disproove the Christian faith but spent ages examining stuff liek what we are discussing and then became a Christian.

He interviewed numerous "experts" on loads of issues including the one you raised.

Sorry for the "heated" responses but you have interpreted scripture to your point of view and haven't given any aspect of historical/archeoligical evidence to support your view and I get annoyed when non-christians do this and also if I did what you did with somethign other than teh Bible then I would get shouted down.

Scripture calls it "giving reason for your faith" - support your opinion with facts not just because you feel a certain way or read something another way.

When you provide me with "proper" facts (eg look into the situation and put it into context) then you may have some weight behind your arguement.


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Bonzo
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Polly,

I'm not sure what facts you mean, I've provided you with an example from the old testament in Joshua.

You say yourself that you believe that God did tell the Israelites to kill the people living if the land of Palestine, because it says so in the Bible.

I have pointed out that what the Iraelites did amounted to ethnic cleansing.

I have clearly shown the incompatibility of a God who instigates such horrors with the God of love and forgiveness found in Jesus' teachings.

Since we agree that God is consistent, I have therefore made it clear that the OT erroneously attributes the acts of the israelites to God's will.

Your reply just re-states that you believe that there is no difference between the God of the OT and the NT. You haven't offered any explanation of the apparent contradiction which I have plainly pointed out to you.

I have put the recorded acts of the Israelites in the context of the book of Joshua, that of a historical account of invading army justifying it's acts by saying that God is on it's side.

But you haven't replied with any evidence to contradict what I'm saying. You haven't supported your opinion with any facts at all.

Instead, your last post accuses me of not supporting my argument with facts or context. You point me to a book written by a man who tried to disprove the Christian faith, as if that is what I'm trying to do! You then accuse me of not providing historical or achaeolgical evidence to support my argument, as if I was saying that the killings written about in Joshua didn't happen, when we both agree they did!

May I suggest that it is you who has little weight behind your argument.

--------------------
Love wastefully


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Gauk
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I notice a strong convergence between this thread and the "Is God good?" thread which is running concurrently.

In particular arguments along the lines of:

1) The Bible seems to describe God acting immorally;
2) Therefore either God is immoral or the Bible is wrong.

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Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence ... it is conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.


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Freddy
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I agree. And it is a conundrum that I don't believe is that difficult to resolve.

The resolution, I believe, is that in the Bible many things are explained and described the way that you would describe things to a child. It is full of appearances that are not literally accurate, even though they contain truth within them.

So I believe that God did not really tell the Israelites to ethnically cleanse the land. Rather, this is what they were inclined to do, and God used their inclinations as part of the writing of the Bible.

So I think that God is good, and that the Bible is true - but only when you understand how it works.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


Posts: 12829 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bonzo
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quote:

So I believe that God did not really tell the Israelites to ethnically cleanse the land. Rather, this is what they were inclined to do, and God used their inclinations as part of the writing of the Bible.

So the Bible is wrong when it says that God told them to do it?

--------------------
Love wastefully


Posts: 1150 | From: Stockport | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
John Holding

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And in fact they didn't do it. It is perfectly clear from Judges, Kings and Chronicles that Joshua and his people left large numbers of the original inhabitants people alive -- their descendants are alive to this day...where do you think the Palestinians came from? They are certainly not pute Arabs.

Why is it so important for God to have ordered genocide -- surely it is more typical of what we know of God from both Old and New Testaments to believe that human beings screwed it up again, especially when the books describing the events in question were first written hundreds of years after the events they claim to describe.

And, for what it's worth, Jonah is not history -- it is easily provable from internal evidence that it was written many centuries after Ninevah had been reduced to aheap of rubble. In the Jewish tradition it has never been described as, or treated as, or interpreted as the description of something that actually happened -- it is a parable.

John Holding


Posts: 5905 | From: Ottawa, Canada | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ekalb
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bonzo,
I've been reading the 'back and forth' between you and polly.

I agree with most of what polly has said, and without offense I believe that you really havent 'grasped' the point.

You are sticking to "the god of the NT (love your neighbour...) versus the god of OT (kill everyone....)

As is rightly pointed out by Polly, God's grace is seen throughout the OT and His vengence over sin is seen throughout the NT.

But the real point is this: He is G-O-D. You cannot liken HIm to yourself and how 'you' would deal with the Pagan cultures in Canaan. The fact is, like I have already said twice, God is 'fully' justified in killing all of humanity whenever He chooses to. The amazing part is, even though we've rebelled against HIm, He chooses to be merciful.

For example, if 'Bob' owed you 10 dollars, you are completely 'justified' when you demand that 10 dollars back. But if you choose to be merciful and 'forgive' Bob's debt to you, then you are also justified in doing so.

See the difference?
GOd is not being unfair if and when He chooses to punish us (with death)for the sins we have willingly committed.

What does this all mean? -- That this text cannot "prove" that the scriptures are "errant".

Bottom line: You're views are wrong! Stop superimposing youre standards and 'postmodern' ethics onto God. He is wholly 'other' than us.

--------------------
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


Posts: 347 | From: Purgatory (Canada) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Glenn Oldham
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quote:
Originally posted by ekalb:
bonzo,
... Stop superimposing youre standards and 'postmodern' ethics onto God. He is wholly 'other' than us.

Bonzo,
If your 'postmodern' ethics mean that you are opposed to genocide then I would encourage you to stick with them!
Glenn

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This entire doctrine is worthless except as a subject of dispute. (G. C. Lichtenberg 1742-1799 Aphorism 60 in notebook J of The Waste Books)


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Nicolemr
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quote:
Bonzo,
If your 'postmodern' ethics mean that you are opposed to genocide then I would encourage you to stick
with them!
Glenn

amen!

--------------------
On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!


Posts: 11621 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Louise
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Polly,

William F Albright has been dead for 30 odd years and the quote dates from 1963. He did much of his work in the 1930s. This isn't exactly cutting edge research you're quoting here.

Albright is a maximalist in terms of Biblical archaeology (someone who thinks most of OT history can be verified archaeologically) and an outdated maximalist scholar at that.

The new work which was being referred to earlier in the thread has all been done since the 1970s - after Albright's death and has tended to a more minimalist position - ie. what has been found has tended on the whole not to support reading the Old Testament as a reliable guide to the archaeology.

There are of course areas of debate over this but no university archaology course would seriously cite Albright as an up to date authority on this without severe reservations as to the extent to which his approach has been revised and found wanting.


It looks to me like you're parroting Strobel again (as you've done previously over 'more and more' scientists allegedly supporting creationism) without showing much sign of having checked any of this out for yourself. It's starting to get a bit tedious.

Louise

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Now you need never click a Daily Mail link again! Kittenblock replaces Mail links with calming pics of tea and kittens! http://www.teaandkittens.co.uk/ Click under 'other stuff' to find it.


Posts: 6891 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bonzo
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quote:

originally posted by ekalb

Bottom line: You're views are wrong! Stop superimposing youre standards and 'postmodern' ethics onto God. He is wholly 'other' than us.


You have presented no evidence to contradict the argument, you believe that God is justified and capable of genocide and see no contradiction with the view of a loving forgiving God portrayed in the NT.

I haven't missed the point. You have your mind closed.

There are many other examples of the picture of God portrayed by the OT being different from the picture of God portrayed by Jesus. But I'll use the two stories Polly used to futher illuustrate my point (as if any futher illustration was needed).

quote:

Originally posted by polly

His grace endures in the OT.

EG David and Bathsheeba, Jonah and the Ninehvites to say but a few.


David and Bathsheba. God kills a child because of David's sin.

Jonah. God threatens the prophet Jonah (and also an entire ships crew) with death unless Jonah does what God tells him to.

The OT is riddled with it! No matter how much you say 'God is God and he is justified'. You can't keep saying that the OT understanding of God are similar to Jesus'.

No scratch that - you probably will keep saying it, even though you must know by now that you haven't got a leg to stand on.

--------------------
Love wastefully


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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Bonzo:
So the Bible is wrong when it says that God told them to do it?

It is wrong in the same sense that a mother parent is wrong when she tells little Johnny that "God won't be very happy with you if you hit your sister." The truth is that God loves Johnny whether he hits his sister or not.

Personally, I don't doubt the facts of the stories of the Old Testament. What I do doubt is that it was God Himself who told Joshua and Moses to do all that killing.

God Himself appears only in an accommodated form to people. No one can or ever could communicate directly with the God of the universe - because He is beyond all human perception. But God has always had intermediate means to communicate. In the Old Testament this was often by means of what was called "the Angel of the Lord."

With ancient peoples the divine form was often very highly accommodated to their nature. Not everything that proceeded from these angels was totally literally in accord with what we would consider to be divine. Nevertheless, it always contained divine truths within.

As a side note, the basic pattern of Joshua's conquest, as presented in the book of Joshua, was that the Israelites entered the land and were attacked by the inhabitants. The Israelites only defended themselves! Well, not quite...

Initially, Joshua attacked Jericho, in a miraculous way. Then he attcked Ai, and was defeated at first before succeeding. After that the Gibeonites made a treaty with them, by deception. Then all the kings of the south attacked, followed by all the kings of the north. The book makes it sound as if the inhabitants of the land started the whole thing, as was the case with Sihon and Og of the Amorites on the other side of the Jordan.

This is not to defend the Israelites. It is more than obvious from the Old Testament record that they were not only "stiff-necked" and rebellious, but they had extremely few redeeming qualities.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe that the book written through them and about them contains all wisdom. It's a miracle.

--------------------
"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


Posts: 12829 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
ekalb
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bonzo,

This is truly getting tiresome.
I won't "attack" you're person, but your "views" are extremely narrowminded.

You are drawing a direct comparison between the immorality of humans killing one another because of hatred (i.e. genocide) and between God 'judging' a people-group because of their sin (i.e. justice). The comparison is faulted and dishonors God, who is perfectly loving and moral.

Your "views" fail to accept the fact that they are judging God in light of their own standards.

While I agree that a God who would commit "genocide" is not worthy to be worshipped, the text doesn't say that He committed "genocide". Rather, God chose to "punish" those people for their sins.
The difference is HUGE!

Genocide is sin. Divinely sentencing a people-group to death because of their sins is not.

I don't understand why your "views" cannot see this. God said, "don't lie, cheat, lust, etc. etc. Or else you are subject to divine punishment" But, you know what? I've disobeyed that command directly, and so has everyone else. God can enact His divine punishment on me at any time.

I will add that I am covered by Christ's blood and therefore I am justified in Christ so that I don't have to answer for my sins in that sense.
But if GOd decides to kill (yes, kill) an unrepentant sinner at any time,He is NOT WRONG for doing so. - We are the ones who have sinned, get it?

As I also said before, the amazing thing and the only hope we have, is that GOd Chooses to find another way. He did it by punishing Christ in our behalf.

People cannot, in my opinion, truly accept Christ, until they realize the very real "problem" they have.-SIN! If you don't think that we need saving from our sin then why would anyone follow Christ. I follow Him because I know that I can't make it on my own. I need help. And Christ stands their knocking at the doors of our heart offering us what we can in no way earn.......Grace, right-standing with our Maker, and love.

These truths have literally changed my life.

PS- since it is a thread about inerrancy, I will add that this defense of God's actions in the text is used to show that this text of God's "apparant" immorality can't be used to prove the 'errancy' of scripture.

--------------------
"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."
- Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)


Posts: 347 | From: Purgatory (Canada) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bonzo
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quote:

Your "views" fail to accept the fact that they are judging God in light of their own standards.

My views are not attributing any genocide to God and therfore cannot be judging God. My views attribute the genocide to men.

As you well know!

You are attempting to slur my argument because you have lost your own.

Joshua is a historical account and is supported to some extent by historical, and archaeological eveidence. The genocide written about in Joshua is most probably historical fact, what is in dispute here is that God instigated it.

Your views attribute that genocide to God and say that he was justified in doing it, which is disgraceful.

Your argument grows in absurdity when the only thing it has to explain why the portrayal of God by Jesus, differs so dramatically from the portrayal of God in the OT, is that God must have changed his attitude, that he's perfectly entitled to do so and we can't hope to understand him.

Using that argument, and your closed minded refusal to use any logical reasoning, I could argue that Winnie the Pooh is the innerrant word of God.

You are starting from the premise that the Bible is inerrant - a claim made by men not God. You are refusing to use any logical reasoning to justify that position.

--------------------
Love wastefully


Posts: 1150 | From: Stockport | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged



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