Peace to you!
otseng wrote: ↑Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:38 pm
tam wrote: ↑Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:48 pm
It is also ok to throw away the belief that the bible is the authority for Christians. God is still on His throne and (more than) worthy of our trust, faith, love, allegiance; Jaheshua (not "Jesus") is still Savior and Lord. He still gave His life and rose from the dead, God still created all things through Him, the flood was still a literal worldwide flood, Adam and Eve are real people. We should still keep the law - but the TRUE law which is written upon the heart of those in the new covenant - which law is LOVE (love is the law from God, from the beginning). We still have an authority: the TRUE Word of God, who
is alive and sharper than any double edged sword. He (Christ Jaheshua) lives and teaches and leads His sheep into all truth.
This is a good segue into reasons for accepting the Bible as the authority for Christians.
Sure, but I do want to reiterate that I do not want to stand in your way on your journey; I just wanted to make the same reassurance about 'authority' as you did about 'inerrancy' .
Going again by the definition that you gave of authority here:
The Bible is the highest source that all Christians must submit to. Any doctrine or teaching from the church must have Biblical support. It supersedes the authority of people, traditions, opinions, and creeds. - Otseng
(I might just make a comment on the last sentence there; because neither people nor tradition nor opinion nor creeds are the highest source of authority that Christians are to submit to, either. I get that the authority of the bible might be embraced as better than those other things - due to corruption and error of course - but corruption and error are both factors in how people interpret the bible as well. Even if there were no errors, though we both agree that there can be/are errors. I mean, even 'the bible' agrees with that, re: lying pen of the scribes.)
Let's start with the assumption that theism is true. A person believes God exists and it interacts with mankind. Without some sort of written material, how would you know it is like? How would you even know about its characteristics? It would either be someone else told you or you heard from it, But, that would not be very objective. A book would be an objective way to transmit information. So, the best way for God to reveal specifics would be through some sort of book.
way would be through His Son, His Image, the person He sent to perfectly represent Himself.
(I know some would say that the best way would be for God to appear and speak Himself, not even His Son and Image as intermediary, but God is not a man. He is an extremely powerful being, creator of all things - meaning also that the greatest power sources that we know of, came from Him, making Him even more powerful than those. Angels (spirit beings) are fiery, glowing, after being in the presence of God. Our flesh is weak. Even if our flesh could hold out, many if not most would be terrified. Christ came in the form of a man, though He is the Son and Word of God, the perfect image and reflection of His Father. To see/know/hear Christ is to see/know/hear His Father. Not the physical appearance - but the actual person/nature/etc.)
Without some universally accepted written document, there would be no basis of rule and cohesion.
With this universally accepted written document (universally accepted by those who profess to be Christians at least, as well as Muslims, and the OT by Jews), there is no cohesion. And even the doctrines that mainstream Christianity accepts are based upon
tradition and creeds (which is putting the authority of people, traditions, creeds, opinions, even above the bible). The trinity, for instance. Hell (the doctrine of eternal torment in hell). Sure, they claim support from the bible, but so do newer (and conflicting) doctrines, ie: everyone must keep the law given through Moses - or - the law is done away with.../only Christians receive eternal life - or - everyone receives eternal life - or - more than Christians receive eternal life but not everyone. Etc.
How can a person know what is true if the bible can be used to support a number of conflicting doctrines? Many people say that you need to read the bible as a whole (but those people are in conflicting religions, with conflicting doctrines). Even that is incorrect, because CHRIST is the Truth and the One to whom God said to listen. So even if one were going solely by the bible, His (Christ's) word would trump any other word in that book.
So we can KNOW what is true by listening to the One who is the actual authority, the One who is the TEACHER whom God sent us. That One is Christ. Even the bible attests to Christ being the One to whom we are to listen; to Christ being the Truth and the Word of God.
Suppose we play a game and we just make up the rules as we go along. It wouldn't really be much of a game. People can play a game together because the rules are codified. Countries (at least civilized ones) are governed and ruled by a codified set of laws. Without that, it would be anarchy. Companies are built on a business plan that founders and investors can agree on. Written documents are especially important as an organization gets large.
Depending on what kind of rules you are talking about, Israel did not always have the written law. Abraham did not have it. The law was written upon his heart (that has been promised to be written upon the hearts of those in the new covenant), and that law is love. That is the law that Abraham had, that Abraham would have taught his sons. That is the law from God, from the beginning (which only makes sense considering that God is love - would not the law that proceeds from Him also be love?). But at a certain point, Israel needed that law to be written down because their hearts were too hard for the law to be written upon them. Israel even needed allowances to be made for them in the law due to their hardness of heart.
And of course we can harden our own hearts against God and His Son, speaking.
"Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."
With a Bible, Christians in China and Christians in Africa can agree on things. Without it, there would be little basis for agreement. (Yes, I hear the skeptics pointing out Christians don't agree on everything. But, without a book, there certainly would be much more disagreements.) With a Bible, at least there's an agreed upon starting point for discussions.
I don't know if there would be more disagreements or not. And agreement doesn't mean much if people are agreeing on false things. Not many agreed with Christ, but that didn't make His words any less true. We can know what is true - regardless of who agrees or not - from listening to Christ (even when it comes to understanding the scriptures). But listening to His voice takes faith (not just belief) and it is harder to walk by faith (which is based upon what one hears) than it is to walk by sight (based upon what one sees). I understand that the bible is a sight tool, and as such, it can help give someone something to see, to consider, give evidence for or against a claim that someone else has made. Like if some religious leader claimed that Christ wants us to curse other people, it can be used to show a person what Christ actually said, a person who might have been fooled by that religious leader. It would be best to take the matter to Christ, and of course to test it against love - since there is no law against love - but showing that person something might help them stop and think, perhaps even exercise faith and take the matter to Christ.
I do love reading something that is about (or from) my Lord, in the Psalms, and Proverbs, and Prophets. But these are scriptures that bear witness to Him, and we have Him to come TO. The actual person.
Without a Bible, how would you even know there was an Adam and Eve? Or a worldwide flood? Or even about Jesus for that matter?
It's not about there being no bible (some people need something to SEE due to walking yet by sight - though we should be learning to walk by faith), but how did the person who wrote about Adam and Eve know there was an Adam and Eve? Or a worldwide flood? These things were not written in real time, or by the people in the story itself. These things were later told to the person who wrote them down, given "in spirit" (aka... inspired).
But Christ is more reliable than BOTH.
A book is also a good method to reliably transmit information. Oral communication is prone to errors, esp when when it has to span a large space and time.
... AND... He has NO error in Him (unlike the bible and/or oral tradition). Christ is the actual Truth and Word of God. I hear something from Christ, I can KNOW it is true.
Peace again to you!
your servant and a slave of Christ,