Sunday, November 9, 2008

Introduction: Taking the Bible Seriously

As I explained, these Theses constitute a survey of the Bible, going through in chronological order. Chronologically and theologically, I'm putting John chapter 1:1 ahead of Genesis 1: "In the beginning was the Word."

This verse tells us two things: Christ is divine, and the Word is divine.

Many don't believe that such a claim is true; they say, "I don't believe it's true that Christ is divine, and I don't believe it's true that the Bible is divine. But that's a completely different issue from the question, "What does the Bible claim?" Does the Bible claim (whether falsely or truthfully) that Christ is divine?

As we go through the Bible in these 95 Theses, I ask the unbelieving reader to suspend disbelief in order to accurately understand the claims made by the Bible. Just ask, "What is this book trying to assert," rather than "Is it true?"

If you believe that the Bible claims that priests have a right to molest you, you will never agree that the Bible is true. And well you shouldn't. Understanding what the Bible really claims will make it easier for you to accept it as divine and true, I believe.

The Bible is a story. If you want to say it's a "fairy tale," that's fine for now, as long as you make an honest effort to understand the plot of the fairy tale. Nobody believes that Aesop's Fables are literally and historically true, but there is still a literary science to understanding their moral message.

If millions of Christians believe that the Bible claims that George Bush has a divine right to declare martial law and suspend the Constitution, it's in your own interest to be able to convince them that the Bible makes no such claim. You can believe that the Bible is a fairy tale, and that the world is just a heap of random chemicals, and all meaning is illusion, but you may live longer if you can help me persuade millions of Christians that the Bible is libertarian in its moral message.

Connection to Luther's 95 Theses:
The Bedrock of the Reformation

More Reasons to Take the Bible Seriously

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