Saturday, August 20, 2005

Is God Fallible?


In a comment on my last post, my friend Francis Lynn says:

"The problem with quoting from the Bible is that if it is the literal Word of God, word for word, then His Word has survived hundreds of centuries of oral recitation before it was written down, the translation errors, the editing & the prejudices of those who decided what to put in the Bible & what to leave out. This would make sense if God directed that His Word survived through these processes. Still, the literalist concept brings about its own internal inconsistencies & contradictions in the Bible.

If the Bible is not the literal Word of God, then it is a recounting of what God said & did. It opens the door to interpretation by those who wrote it & those who read it now. For instance, "Adam" in the Aramaic language in which the text of the original scrolls were written, can be translated to mean Adam- a persons name, or Adam- meaning mankind or adam - red, reddish color. Most scholars today believe that the Bible is a guide to God & not the literal Word.

Did God really say, "Who is this that darkens..."? Or did someone put words in God's mouth, so to speak? It is a dicey proposition when quoting the Bible. I am not a literalist.

As an aside, Jesus spoke Aramaic. If you want to see the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic & hear it recited in Aramaic, as it would sound if Jesus spoke it, go here:
http://www.v-a.com/bible/prayer.html"

This is what I have to say in reply:

So, you are not a literalist. Then perhaps you can tell us what parts of the Bible are not true and what parts are. And while you are explaining that, also explain who decided which of God's words are not accurate.

Do you really think that the God Who created the universe out of nothingness would allow His word to be inaccurate?

If you were to say, for instance, in John 11:35, Jesus did not weep but was really just very sad, then you could just as easily say Jesus didn't exist at all. If any part of the Bible is wrong then the entire work is suspect. And if it is suspect then you might as well consider it absolutely irrelevant. Every word.

Who besides God has the authority to decide what parts to believe? This idea that one can decide for oneself what parts of God's word is to be believed over another, is the same belief that inspires homosexuals to disbelieve or at least, ignore that part of God's word that says any man who lies with another man as he would with a woman is an abomination unto God.

Where does fantasy end and truth begin? And once again, who has the audacity to crown himself the arbitrator of that truth over God, Who is the creator of the Truth?

My God doesn't make mistakes. My God wouldn't create an abomination unto Himself. That just doesn't make sense.

God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, and omni-everything else. Does it not occur to you that a God who is all these things wouldn't allow His Word to be changed, perverted, or inconsistent? Throughout history men have tried to destroy, discredit, change, and discount as inaccurate God's Word, and have failed.

Why? Because God's Word is eternal.

Matt 5:18 states, "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled."

(God's word is The Law)

The "Jot" is the Hebrew word "Yodh" which is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is also the smallest letter. It's European or English equivalent is the letter "Y" as in the English term Yahweh or in Hebrew YHVH since there were no vowel's used in the ancient script.

The word "jot" itself is an English transliteration of "iota" which is the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet. "Iota," in turn, is the nearest Greek equivalent for the Hebrew yodh.

The "tittle" is the small decorative spur or point on the upper edge of the yodh. If you can imagine a tiny letter with a slightly visible decorative mark.

Tittle is used by Greek grammarians of the accents and diacritical points. It means the little lines or projections by which the Hebrew letters differ from each other. One example would be the difference between the letter L and I. The difference is only one small mark. We use phrases like "the dotting of the i, and the crossing of the t," and "every iota."


It is interesting that the Jewish scribes who copied the MT (Massoretic Text) of the Hebrew Bible scrolls paid the greatest attention to the minutiae of detail and such marks attached to each consonant throughout the entire text. They even numbered every letter, word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, section, and scroll to insure that the total equaled that of the text being copied before allowing it to enter the holy synagogue.

The meaning of the passage is very clear. Not even the smallest letter or even its decorative spur will ever disappear from or be added to the "God Breathed" Word until all is fulfilled. In fact when heaven and earth are replaced by a new heaven and earth, the Word of the Lord will have accomplished its purpose and will be fulfilled in every detail even to the very letter.

More on this can be found here.

So, yes, His Word has survived hundreds of centuries of oral recitation before it was written down, the translation errors, the editing & the prejudices of those who decided what to put in the Bible & what to leave out. This does make sense because God did direct that His Word would survive through these processes.

Or is Matthew 5:18 wrong, too?

If the Bible cannot be counted on to be the inerrant Word of God, then we might as well just do as we please without fear of God's judgement, because without it there is no law.

32 comments:

mlwhitt said...

Very good posting Mark. I will have to have my brother stop by and comment as he is a bible scholar that has been to Divinity school and very opinionated on the fact that the Bible is the literal word of God.

Mark said...

My brother has a Master of Divinity degree, and he doesn't believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures.

He and I disagree.

Michael said...

You are exactly right Mark. The bible is the inerrant word of God, this is not an opinion, it is a fact.

Mark said...

Oh, by the way, Francis, I neglected to answer your question, "Did God really say, "Who is this that darkens...'?"

The answer is Yes.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "And once again, who has the audacity to crown himself the arbitrator of that truth over God, Who is the creator of the Truth?"

Well, for starters, the church councils -- rife with politicos and bishops and such with their own personal aims and political goals -- had such audacity. They are the ones who gathered some documents and letters together, and discarded others, in the first place, and called it "the Canon," which we call "the Bible," in, what, the year 300-something?

Man, if "the Bible" reall was "one" piece of writing, I'd engage any argument that said "it" was inerrant or literal. But it's not -- it's 66 different pieces of writing, spread across centuries.

Is it inspired? I believe so. Is it holy? I believe so. Is it inerrant? This being a theological-philosophical question, not a real factual question, well, yes, I believe so. Is it literal? As literal as a bunch of different kinds of writing, from census records, to poetry, to personal letters, to metaphor, can be. In other words, it depends.

Here, I put this up at Toad's place just last night. He was quoting Matthew 6:5-8 as an argument against public prayer (which I agree with him on, if it means government-supported prayer). It bears repeating here:

Toad, I am a Christian. I'm not worth a damn at it, actually, but that's beside the point.

The point: You're dead on right.

The main problem, IMHO, with the Christian Wrong is they deify the Bible, as if the concept of the Trinity wasn't difficult enough. They want a quadrophonic God!

They mistakenly call what James referred to as "working out your salvation" -- which pretty much means thinking, reasoning and meditating, admitting doubt, struggling to find the truth, but relying on the mysteries of God to see us through, as well, as something bad.

The absolute surest sign that someone has fooled himself into falsely believing he is "saved" is lack of humility. I can think of aboout one or two famous Christians who exhibit humility. And I can think of very few everyday "Christians" who exhibit such.

The fact is, if evangelical conventional wisdom about the Rapture is accurate, the sudden absence of so few people will hardly be noticed. Maybe a crawl on MSNBC for half a day.

God help us all, and God bless you. All y'all.

--ER

Mark said...

ER, yes, the Bible is 66 different books written by various different scribes. I say scribes because that's what they were essentially when it came to writing down the what God told them.

Once again, God, Who can do anything and knows everything, is the author of the scriptures.

Since the scribes simply put on paper the words that were given them by divine revalation, They wouldn't have to know, or even know of any of the other scribes, and the Words would still be accurate.

As far as councils removing or editing parts of the Bible, This goes back to my previous point which is: God would not allow changes to His Word. Anything that is not in the Bible shouldn't be there.

As far as what you wrote on Toads blog. I don't understand it. You are more educated than I. But I too, am not a very good Christian. And I believe God expects us to question Him. How else do we learn?And I also believe God doesn't get angry when you get angry at Him. I always say, His shoulders are big enough to handle that burden.

Sheila said...

Mark,

The current King James Version of the Bible was written during the reign of Henry the Eighth and written in terms that he wanted for the Anglican Church. His invention.

Now, I was raised on the King James and happen to enjoy reading it. But, surely you realize that there have been men in history that didn't exactly write things down the way our Father would have wanted written.

Afterall, one of the greatest gifts he gave us was free will. Of course you can take that both ways can't you.... :)

Sheila said...

One more thing. I prefer to understand The Lord and The Father also gave us the ability to speak to them and understand right from wrong.

I also think it's OK not to follow God's directions to the Israelites in Levitikus (sorry bad spelling). The jewish culture does. There are parts of the Old Testiment that the Islamic Community chose to ignore while writing the Quran.

My point is. The 10 Commandments are the Law. The other books of the Bible are a supreme guide book to a great life and worthy of following. But they were written by men who probably gave over to a little "Scribes Ownership". Doesn't take away from these holy men though.

rich bachelor said...

Again, Sheila makes my point before I can get here: free will is probably the way to explain how The Council of Nicaea came to almost completely overhaul the whole book, for instance. And all the not-anyone's-fault-really stuff like translation from Greek to Latin, to the King James to the N.I.V.
And of course, the Gnostic gospels aren't in there at all, which is weird, since they were written about two hundred years after Christ, unlike the gospels in widespread use now, the earliest of which is more like four hundred after.
There's a lot more to say here, but I'll see where the rest of you go with it.

Francis Lynn said...

In the Christian view of God, of course God is not fallible. That goes without saying. But infallibility & Authorship of the Bible are 2 separate issues. It is perfectly reasonable to have an infallible God, yet fallible Man who authors the content in the Bible.

If God is responsible for every word in the Bible, then He is inconsistent. For instance, John 19:17 says Jesus carried his own cross. But in Matthew 27:32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26, it is Simon of Cyrene who carries it. Which is it? Since God is infallible, He cannot be responsible for the inconsistency. It must be Man who authored that example. There are many examples of inconsistency in the Bible. Inconsistency = Man.

Another example: Genesis 6:2. "There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them..."

Who were these "sons of God"? Because the Bible is unclear about it, there are a few schools of thought as to who they were. Thus, devout Christians each have their own interpretations about it.

Revelations reads like an acid trip gone wrong. It is wide open to interpretation.

An Authorship of the Bible by an infallible God would not allow for the inconsistencies & contradications. An Authorship by an infallible God would not allow for ambiguous passages open to interpretation.

Oral history, mistranslations, religious agendas, misinterpretations & honest mistakes all add up to what the Bible is now - a telling of the Chrisitan God, authored by Man.

We are not disparaging the Bible. We are just saying that men wrote the Bible, trying as best they could to define their beliefs, trying their best to tell the story of their religion as others had told it to them. Because they were not perfect, it is the challenge of each Christian to seek the Truth within their words.

Mark said...

An Authorship of the Bible by an infallible God would not allow for the inconsistencies & contradications.

Exactly what i was saying. Just because mortal man cannot understand some parts of the the scriptures, or have trouble interpreting them, it doesn't mean it is wrong.

Poison Pero said...

I'm pretty sure I'm going to suprise some of you here.

I believe in good and evil, right and wrong, and I believe in a god, but not in God. --> Or his son. (though I'm sure of the real person's existence).

I have no official religion, because I feel they are all crooked versions of their own truth.........But I have no doubt there is Truth. --> In all religions.

Are you following me?

The 3 major religions don't do it for me at all......But Judaism and Christianity have a strong influence on me.

And the Judeo-Christian American nation is the best in the history of the world........It is not perfect by any means, but no other system of justice and society has ever been as fair, just or close to the Truth.

I feel very strongly about the Eastern Religions (Hindu, Buddhism, Taoism, etc.), but have no cultural assimilation with them, so I'm sure I'm missing much.........But I greatly appreciate their openness, and universality.
------------------------
As far as God goes, I doubt his personal touch in our lives, but believe his is in all of us.......Good, bad or otherwise.

I have no doubt about Creation, and no doubt about evolution........The monkey came from the sea, and man from the monkey, but all from a creator who pointed their way towards existence.
------------
So back to the original question about the infallibility of God.......

I do not believe in such infallibility, because I do not beleive in God, though I do believe in god.

Sheila said...

And your not wrong Mark.

But the New Testament was for the better part of it, letters to fledgling Christians getting the sheparding and teachings from far away, while Peter, Paul, and the rest spread the word.

Two differant views of the story of Jesus passed down word of mouth until it could be written. These letters all contained wonderful teachings to strengthen understanding of the ways of Christ. They are said to have embelished the story for the audience and it doesn't make it wrong.

The Bible is not wrong. It's a rock of knowledge for the three greatest religions on the face of the earth. But except for the Ten COmmandments which all three utilize, their teachings use differant parts of the Old and New testaments differantly per cultural need.

Paul, with the help of Peter changed the rules so Us Gentiles could be Christians, which changed the face of Christianity. Before only jews could be Christians and had to hold the rules listed in Leviticas... I need a bible to spell. :)

I think that's the beauty of God's giving us free will.

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Francis Lynn said...

The Bible: Jesus carried his cross, no wait, Simon carried it.

That is inconsistent & contradictory. Are these 2 statements the Authorship of God? If so, then either He is inconsistent or mortal man cannot understand it or has trouble interpreting it, as you say, Mark.

To me, it is more likely that 2 different men wrote those sentences, describing the same event from what they heard from different sources. That does not detract from the overall story. It just means that one of them got a detail wrong.

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rich bachelor said...

Yeah, how come you get spammed and I don't?
Excellent point about 'Revelations', Francis. St. John the Divine seems to have been what would today be described as schizophrenic, and after he wrote it, it was declared heretical.
Two or three hundred years later, it's in the bible. God's plan? Or just the usual mendacity of organizations?

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Liam said...

Is God fallible? Surely anyone who believes in a God is going to deny that because if their God isn’t perfect then their whole religion is potentially undermined.

But let me give you a non-religious person’s view: First off, if you are perfect what need do you have of anything else? Why bother with Creation? To be driven to create something implies that there is a need that you are trying to fill; a lack of something. Imperfection. Fallibility.

But, overlooking that point, your God created everything that there is (apart from himself of course. I wonder who created him!?) That includes his arch-enemy Lucifer/Satan and, by extension, evil itself. Not the best of starts for the new Creation. Now either evil was a mistake (in which case God is fallible) or evil was deliberate (in which case God is a sadist.) Which is it?

Onto human history; throughout the Old Testament, God seems very much to be siding with the Israelites; his ‘chosen’ people. (If his Creation is perfect why does he need to intervene at all, taking sides with one tiny part of it against the rest?) He’s stomping around being a vengeful God; cursing and smiting anyone who gets in the way. Then along comes Jesus and suddenly the whole ballpark changes. Suddenly God is loving and redeeming for all who believe in his son, not just the Israelites. Huh??? If God wanted to save mankind from sin (which he created in the first place!) wouldn’t it have made more sense to do it back in Eden; “You’ve eaten a forbidden fruit. Repent now and I will forgive you.” Why the sudden change? Did God change his mind, which suggests he was wrong before? Or did something unforeseen happen to force the change on him? Unforeseen events imply flaws in the design which means a fallible designer.

I’m sorry, but if God exists as Christians generally perceive him then he is fallible.

Regarding the content of the post, your argument is circular: The Bible is literally true because God is infallible. God is infallible because it says so in the Bible. Your argument relies on its own conclusion. That’s not a valid argument. Short of God putting in a personal appearance to sign off on the text there is no way to prove that the bible has any greater significance than any other contemporary document.

Finally, as you mention the Leviticus passage about homosexuality as not being open to interpretation, can I ask you about some of the other commonly quoted law-giving passages? Are you, for example, in favour of executing people who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2)? Do you switch off your furnace and boilers on the Sabbath, even in the depths of winter (Exodus 35:3)? Have you never eaten pork (Leviticus 11:7) or calamari (Leviticus 11:12)?

unaha-closp said...

If God had written the Bible then the first Book would still be around not decayed to dust over a few hundred years. You could produce a book that lasts longer using modern tech, this means your methods would be less fallible than whoever produced the first Bible.

Fitch said...

Where does fantasy end and truth begin? This seems to be my problem with believing anything in the Bible at all.

Zefrog said...

I had several points to make but they have already been done by other people before me.

There was something about the contradictions in the bible and the fact the new testament (and I am talking specically of the gospels here) is mostly a collection of the testimonies and recollections of individuals reporting events they witnessed or had been told about.

There was something about the fact that the bible had been put together only recently, That means, if I follow you reasoning that for centuries people have been living with inacurate versions of the bible. How could your god allow this to happen if he does not allow changes to his word?

This could be of interest in that respect: http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbible5.html

Currently there are also several versions of the bible being used by different comminities (the variations coming mostly from translation). How do you know which one is right? and going to you end of your reasoning, shouldn't translation of the bible be forbidden (and mentioned in the bible as being so) as surely this consitutes changes by more than an iota in the nature of the word?

Following on Liam's foot steps, are you suggesting that slavery should be reinstated, since it is sanctioned in Exodus 21:7 and in Lev. 25:44

Finally you say: "And once again, who has the audacity to crown himself the arbitrator of that truth over God, Who is the creator of the Truth?"

It seems to me like YOU have that audacity... were you there when god alegedly said "Who is this that darkens...?" No? so how do you know he said it? Who are you to know what god says and thinks and wants?

You say that your brother is a theologist, surely he knows better? Why not listen to him a bit more....

Daffy76 said...

Mark, I am sorry that you have so many people commenting on the Living God and His Word that have no business doing so. Those of us who believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God are acquainted with God and are therefore given the revelation of the Holy Spirit to its truths. People who do not believe in God cannot understand His Word because it has not been revealed to them. That is why you get discussions like this one.

Those that believe the Bible has been tainted by those who translated, canonized, etc. the text need to realize that by doing so you deny that God has the power to preserve His Word. Sure, humans are fallible and prone to our own interpretations and prejudices, but God is bigger than humans and has the power to prevent us from making such errors.

If I take a test, and I get every question right, does that make me perfect? No. But it does make me without error on that test. Given that, can't we also argue that under the guidance of God, the translators, etc. were also without error?

Now, for those who are arguing that the Bible is inconsistent--Angry God of the Old Testament vs. Forgiving, Loving God of the New--Well, there's an important fact that you're not getting. God cannot stand sin. It breaks His heart. Do you remember that when Jesus was on the cross, he asked why God had forsaken him? Well, the reason God was not with Jesus in that moment was that as the ultimate sacrifice, Jesus had literally become sin. God had to turn away. Sin puts a gap between God and myself. Without Jesus to bridge that gap, I would have to face the Angry God of the Old Testament. But because Jesus died for my sin, I can now commune with the loving God of the New Testament. They are the same God. I just can't experience His love without Jesus.

As for Leviticus, the law was given to the people of Israel to follow before Jesus came to redeem us. You have to realize that some parts of the Old Testament are made less relevant to us by virtue of Jesus' sacrifice. Being less relevant does not make them less true. In Acts 10, Peter has a vision in which God tells him not to call what He has cleansed common. This negates some of the Levitical law. If we believe the entirety of the Bible, we also believe that the New Testament is the completion of the story.

BRUISER said...

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Liam said...

Daffy

You say “God cannot stand sin. It breaks His heart,” yet, by virtue of creating everything, God created sin. It doesn’t make sense.

“…the law was given to the people of Israel to follow before Jesus came to redeem us.” So what redemption avenues were open to non-Israelites who lived and died before Christ?

In fact that question leads on to another obvious one; Why did God wait to send Jesus? As I asked Mark in my earlier comment; if God hates sin so much, why didn’t he nip it in the bud in the Garden of Eden by offering Adam and Eve the chance to repent their sin and be forgiven?

As for Levitical law, the point of Mark’s original post was that the bible is eternal, unchanging and not open to interpretation at all; a fact he illustrates with Matthew 5:18. You appear to be disagreeing with both him and the apostle, saying that earlier parts of the bible are superseded by later parts and therefore not all of Levitical law is still relevant. God is quite clear and unequivocal in Leviticus, but I don’t see anything so direct in the New Testament indicating which parts of the old law continue to apply and which have been replaced.

And just to round off, regarding your opening sentence: Mark asked a question on a public posting which allowed people to leave their comments. In fact in this post he welcomes people challenging him and holding him accountable for his views. Even though we clearly disagree on this subject, his willingness to discuss it gains him my respect. However you suggest that I have no business commenting. Quite apart from the infringement of my right to free speech could I just point out that if no-one were allowed to criticise the beliefs of the church then you would still be a serf in medieval Europe because, as everyone back then knew, the earth is flat.

Daffy76 said...

Liam,
I'm sorry. I didn't mean you couldn't comment, just that you don't know what you're talking about.

Yes, God created sin by virtue of creating humans with free will. He gave us the capacity for sin, because He also had to give us the capacity to choose otherwise. He can't stand sin because it is the act of human rebellion against him. But just because he doesn't like something doesn't mean he can't have created it. I make things all the time that I don't like. A crude example--I poop. I don't like poop. So I flush it away. The fact that I don't like poop doesn't make me any less the owner of it. Sin is a by-product of free will.

You ask about the redemption of people before Jesus came, well you should really read Leviticus to get that one. See here is the deal: All humans sin. Sin by definition is rebellion against God. God can't stand it and we cannot have fellowship with God while there is sin in our lives. The only means of atonement for sin is the shedding of blood. Sin = Death. Before Jesus came, each person would offer a sacrifice, some form of livestock, etc. to be killed, and burned before the Lord so that they could be redeemed. These sacrifices took the place of the person who had committed the sin. The Iraelist are the chosen people of God. As for non-Israelites, as far as I know, God opens the door to fellowship with Him and have the gift of salvation to those He chooses. He doesn't have to be fair, He's God. When Jesus came, He became the sacrifice for us by taking on the sin of the whole world and willingly giving His life for us. That's when salvation became a gift that anyone can receive.

If God had just gotten rid of sin in the Garden of Eden, humanity would never have known the gift of grace. Because if we did not have a record to show us what life was before Jesus came, we would not appreciate the sacrifice He made for us.

And there are parts of the Bible that don't apply to us now. They are no less true, or right. They just don't apply because we are no longer held to the Levitical code or to having to give sacrifices, by virtue of Jesus' sacrifice. All I'm saying is that the New Testament is the completion of the story begun in the Old Testament. It's like most books, it has a beginning and an end. Yes, God gave the law in the first five books and there are very definite passages in the New Testament that tell us that we are no longer under the law because of what Jesus did.

But, really I'm sure none of this makes sense to you. Because without the revelation of the Holy Spirit the ways of God do not make sense to man. That's why anyone who is not a professing Christian cannot comment on the Bible with any authority. Thank you, sir. Have a good day.

pecheur said...

I could have sworn I posted here earlier.

Liam said...

Daffy

I may not have had the revelation of the Holy Spirit, but I do have logic, reason and my own intelligence to inform my understanding and they tell me, for example, that Zefrog’s question above is valid: Who carried Christ’s cross? John 19:17 says that Christ carried it all the way to Golgotha yet Matthew (27:32), Mark (15:21) and Luke (23:26) all say that Simon of Cyrene carried it. There are other discrepancies; contrast Matthew 10:2-4 and Luke 6 13-16, then tell me the names of the twelve apostles; compare Matthew 23:35 with 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 and tell me whether Jesus misquoted scripture or whether the author of Matthew’s gospel misquoted Jesus concerning the father of Zechariah; Matthew 27:5 tells us Judas threw down the thirty pieces of silver in the temple and then hanged himself but Acts 1:16-19 tells us he bought a field with the money and then died by falling over and bursting open. Please give me some indication of how the revelation of the Holy Spirit reconciles these discrepancies.

Anyway, on to consideration of your comment: I’m afraid your example of creation is flawed. ‘Poop’, as you call it, is not something you choose to create. You have no choice about producing it because you are bound by your biology to do so as long as you live. Creation, on the other hand, involves an active desire on your part to make something and you are not likely make something which you cannot stand unless you are somehow obliged to. Now, looking back at the Genesis Creation, God is all-powerful and all-knowing and he is starting from a blank slate. There is nothing to bind him to a particular route so he could have created man with free-will and without sin. Surely to suggest otherwise is to deny the omnipotence and omniscience of the Creator?

Your later proposition that, “if we did not have a record to show us what life was before Jesus came, we would not appreciate the sacrifice He made for us,” fails for a similar reason; you are basing your argument on the current ‘human condition’. Surely that too is a function of the way that God has created us? He could have created us ab initio with a profound understanding of the value of his grace, so sin need never have entered the equation.

If God is truly all-powerful and all-knowing then there is no reason for him to do anything he does not want to do and no way in which he can be surprised by something happening. If he didn’t want sin he could have arranged the universe in such a way that it was never a possibility.

With reference to the pre-Christian non-Israelites (and presumably all those people since the time of Christ who were never aware of Christianity) yes, God answers to no-one so he could arbitrarily deny them salvation, but contrary to your belief that God doesn’t have to be fair, the bible states that God is loving (1 John 4:8), merciful (James 5:11) and just (2 Chronicles 19:7), but if Christ is the only route to salvation now then those people have been condemned through no fault of their own. That’s neither loving, merciful nor just; another inconsistency.

I know this isn’t a discussion about semantics, but on your penultimate paragraph can you please define ‘true’ and ‘right’ in this context? By any ‘popular’ definition your statement is contradictory; a law, in this context, is a statement of divine will and if the divine will changes then the old statement is no longer true. Let’s take a simple example; Exodus 35:2 states that “Whoever does any work on [the Sabbath] must be put to death.” Jesus contradicted/corrected this in Mark 2:27-28. So if God no longer wants us to execute people who work on the Sabbath then it is no longer true to say that that particular sentence of Exodus 35:2 is God’s law. God’s law is now; “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath,” which, Jesus has said, allows work to be done on the Sabbath. Both statements cannot be true simultaneously.

Finally if, as you assert in your earlier comment, the bible is the untainted, infallible word of God, surely there can be no problem with unbelievers commenting on it because there can be no flaws to find. In a divinely controlled document there can be no inconsistencies of the kind I believe I have listed above and so you will be able to immediately point out the errors in my logic. Thank you, ma’am. I trust you have had a good weekend too.

Zefrog said...

If, as Daffy says: "we are no longer held to the Levitical code", does that mean that religous right wingers in the US who use Leviticus to comdemn homosexuality have not got a leg to stand on and are actually wrong?

Or is it (as seems to be the case) a question of picking and choosing which laws they want to keep or reject depending on how they suit their arguments and prefered way of life?