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.