Home > Uncategorized > Why Focus on the Bible?

Why Focus on the Bible?

Somebody asked me recently why I was focusing so much on the Bible in these early posts on this new blog.   So here’s a quick response.

For me, as a former believer, my journey away from faith really all began with my experience of reading the Bible.  Over the years as I preached on the Bible and taught numerous Bible study classes, I saw more and more problems with the text that I had no good answers for.   Instead of strengthening my faith, the Bible was driving me away from it.  At first I thought the answer to my doubts would be MORE Bible study.   I thought my faith was weakening because I wasn’t sufficiently immersed in “God’s Word.”

Well, as many of you know, the more one delves into the Bible the more problematic it becomes–just too many fabrications, contradictions, and anachronisms for it to be a reliable guide to any kind of truth.   Also, as I’ve noted before,  I came to see that the Bible doesn’t play any real role in the lives of believers anyway.  It functions as a holy relic, a talisman.  Just ask your believing friends to share with you what they like about Nahum or Obadiah.  They will be stumped and clueless.  Yet, if Nahum and Obadiah really do contain some eternal, divine message for humanity,  you’d think people would be reading them all the time.   It’s not happening.

In the future I will not focus exclusively on scriptural issues, but I do think the Bible is one lynchpin in the debate over  faith versus reason with believers in America. The scientific arguments against belief are, of course, compelling.  But most folks don’t really think scientifically on a day-to-day basis.  I’m not a scientist either.  I find some of the evidence for evolution at the level of molecular biology to be fascinating, but I admit I don’t totally get it.

Most people in America do revere and respect the Bible; or at least they pay lip service to it as a “holy” book of divine wisdom.   A concerted effort to educate people about the glaring deficiencies in the book might make a big difference.  It might get some people thinking.  Or maybe that’s an unrealistic hope.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. October 24, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Who asked why you are focusing on the Bible? What else would you focus on in your current position? It seems you are finding plenty of fodder. There is so much judgment and negativity here, I have a difficult time reading.

    • October 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Well, I guess negativity is in the eye of the beholder. I’m having a wonderful time being able to talk about doubts and struggles that have been building for years. Actually I’m not aiming to be either particularly positive or negative. I just want to express my experience of searching for truth.

      What could be more positive than the path of liberation from oppressive dogmas and superstitions?

      • October 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

        Oh… you took my comment personally! This is your blog, and you have made it clear what you are working through. I don’t have to read it if I don’t choose to. Comments like, “Paul is a douche.” are not necessary and make the dialogue less constructive than I had hoped. May I say, “S is a douche.” and have it posted here as well?

  2. S
    October 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Scary stuff the bible. In my ‘cult’ church we had large pictures made of the gold statue with the feet of gold, the whore of babylon (she’s pretty, why is she bad?) and other mythical creatures. I had nightmares over them. They really do look like characters out of a fairy tale. Very very weird fairy tales.

    • October 25, 2011 at 11:01 am

      Scary indeed! Reminds me of those churches that put on “Hell Houses” this time of year as an alternative to haunted houses. Have you heard of these? Instead of being scared by monsters and ghosts, you are treated to “realistic” depictions of the torments of hell. The source of more nightmares, I’m sure.

  3. Andrew
    October 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Human beings have very large reservoirs of fear and guilt welling inside of them. Churches exist to exploit those emotions in equal degrees. People desperately need to be told, on a regular basis, that everything is going to be fine. The alternative is too scary for them to contemplate.

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