The undeniable conclusion I eventually came to was this: the Bible was created by men who chose to include only those books which agreed with their already determined doctrine. They did not do a perfect job as there are some contradictions it would seem, but many of these have apparent explanations. Or at least so it seemed. I had always been taught that all the supposed contradictions in the Bible could be explained by looking at the Bible as a unified whole. However, this only works if you start with the assumption that everything in the Bible is true. If you take it at face value, there are some very obvious contradictions.
This leads to a very important question: if the people who wrote the New Testament did not believe they were writing Scripture (arguable I know, but lets go with it), who were these people 300 years later to suddenly become inspired to magically pick the right books? I mean in the church today most of us don’t even know these people’s names! We don’t know what they believed or how they lived their lives. And yet somehow we trust God used them to pick His Word? Why them? Why then? How do we know they are not wrong? What if Luther was inspired by God to remove Jude, Hebrews, and James? Perhaps he has inspired me to remove all but the Gospels? Shouldn’t this choosing of God’s Word, if anything, be clear? Faith is not virtue when it is used to circumvent the need for real evidence especially in such weighty matters.
Once this question took hold in my mind, I quickly moved from the fundamental camp to the liberal camp which allowed my to basically ask every other question I had ever wanted to ask but couldn’t because it wasn’t kosher is fundamental circles.
It also helped me realize something about one of the key tenets of Christianity. Don’t question God’s Word, don’t be influenced by the world, don’t let the wisdom of man pull you from God, don’t allow your faith to be shaken, God’s ways are mysterious and higher than ours: essentially don’t question the faith. Why? Because if you want people to believe something so fantastical and so dubiously supported by the evidence, you need to encourage them NOT to question. In other words: teach the WHAT to think not HOW to think.
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