Monday, August 09, 2010

What I think about the Bible, reposted

First posted in February 2007; reposted as an answer to Paul's meme

The I-Monk interviewed himself (go read it here, it's very interesting) and I thought I’d steal the “Ten Questions About the Bible”

1. State briefly what you believe about the Bible.
Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation; it witnesses to Christ – and in Christ is eternal life. (John 5.39)

2. How is the Bible inspired?
'God-breathed' - God is the subject of the text. Also: at each stage of the process: composition; collation; reading.

3. So is the book of Judges inspired, or only the Gospels?
At what point does the valley become the mountain? God was present at the time of the Judges, the book of Judges records what the community understood of Him at that time. The understanding of the gospel writers was significantly in advance of that.

4. How is the Bible authoritative?
The Bible carries the authority given to it by the church – so, for the Church of England, it is the controlling authority, which is best understood with the help of tradition and reason.

5. Is the Bible a human book?
All books are human. There is a docetic suspicion lurking behind this question – an assumption that because something is human it cannot also bear the stamp of divinity.

6. Are there aspects of the Bible that are not divine?
All of it. And none of it. The Spirit, being the relational part of the Trinity, is what is needed for anything to become divine. It is not ‘inertly’ divine (that seems more like the Islamic understanding of the Koran).

7. Why do you call the Bible a conversation?
Because there are lots of competing voices in it. The way to read the Bible, the way for it to help you to walk in the Christian way, is to listen to the different voices and get a handle on the common subject – then you are in a position to take the conversation forward in your own life.

8. What do you believe about canonization?
Canonisation is the process by which the church discriminates between those writings which give life and those which destroy life. I trust its discernment. I also don’t see any canon as final; I think the church universal has the capacity to amend the canon, either positively or negatively.

9. Do you reject the inspiration of some books?

10. Anything else you want to say?
Inerrancy is never claimed by the Bible. It is an alien importation from the doctrines of men and represents a crippling disease in the Body of Christ.

11. is your theology “inconsistent?”
God knows.

Even if it's not explicitly a meme, I'd be very interested in other people's answers to these questions.

(Picture taken last week; chosen because you can't sail on a reflection, even if a reflection can tell you an awful lot about the original...)


  1. 1. State briefly what you believe about the Bible.

    I consider one statement in the Bible to be absolutely true, namely "The truth shall set you free of sin and death". All else of a dogmatic nature in the Bible and elsewhere, and the remaining questions, are to be analyzed and evaluated in respect to this one statement.

  2. It's quite interesting, especially the part about a docetic suspicion.

    I would ask the writer, however, the following question: "If God is perfect, and God is the ultimate writer of Scripture, wouldn't it logically follow that He would put in the canon that which was necessary and exclude that which was in error?" If He chose to come in Palestine two millenia ago, HE knew the environment and chose it for a specific purpose.

  3. Ah, at last I can interpret the picture you use in MyBlogLog as the symbol of your blog.

  4. Thanks - if I had time right now I'd answer myself, though fairly close to your answers overall.
    Re #9: Deuterocanonicals? I assume you go with Article VI?


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