Thursday, January 15, 2015

Making the Bible Acceptable

This is a tough one. I mean the job of altering the Bible so that people can accept it. The people who do this one deserve all the money and credit they can get.

My knowledge on the subject of "taming the Bible" is limited. All I can tell you is from my experience and a few things I have read.

The simplest way of dealing with an undiluted Bible is to ignore it. I suppose that this is the most widely used. It works for both believer's and non. For non-believers you just say that the Bible is a bunch of outdated myths and tribal stories, which, if they ever had any meaning, are no longer "relevant".

Back in the 70's I knew a young lady, very "hip" and on to every new trend, who came down with "relevancy fatigue". I was laughing at the term and it's over-use. She told me, "Honestly, I can't stand to hear the word any longer."

In many people's minds, the very term "relevant" has become irrelevant. So we'll just say that to many, the Bible truths, though once perhaps useful, no longer apply.

But for the hard-liners, who believe the Bible is our Creator's book, and is very up to date and even futuristic, there are still ways it can be downgraded.

As above, ignoring works best. My father, though a very devout man, avoided the book of Revelation. The Methodists had taught him not to touch it at all, ever. They told him it was impossible to understand and, therefore, always misinterpreted. What they did not tell him was that the book of Revelation destroys their empire-building, amillennial philosophy.

If the ignoring strategy fails, there is still reductionism. Dissect and over-interpret God's Word with devices such as the Graf-Wellhausen theory until no one is sure who wrote it it or what it means.

Imagine a man's love letter being treated this way! "Got a love letter supposedly from Bill today. But was it written by just one guy named Bill, or by a bunch of guys at different times? Maybe it was from proto-Bill, or deutero-Bill?"

Poor Bill! To authenticate the authorship of his letter, he'll have to show up in person and straighten things out.

That's what God is going to do.

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