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Written in 2008

The Bible as the Word of God

Let's imagine that the laws of Canada are open to debate. Some of them, surely, can't apply today? A lot of them come from a different country, and from hundreds of years ago. How can those laws apply to our modern times and our present culture? And some of them the police don't even enforce, so how can they apply for today? There's even a law in Canada that makes Fortune Telling illegal. That can't be right, because doesn't everyone have a human right to do what they want and not be told what to do? There are other laws too, which are not really hard and fast. I mean, when I'm late for work, you don't actually expect me to drive at 50 kilometres per hour, do you? Its just a game. Sometimes you get caught, but most of the time you get away with it....
Other laws, I agree with. Those ones should be kept and enforced. The ones I agree with are good.

So it is with the Bible, in some denominations. Surely the bible can't be relevant today? Surely it is not really the word of God? Surely we don't have to hold to all of it - we have to change with the times and the culture. And the Bible cannot be seen to override our human rights - how can God go against our human rights....? ("Did God really say, 'You can't eat anything in the garden....?'")

OK, I'm done with that. As I write it I can't believe the folly of this thinking.... The problem is that first you take away the foundation - that the word is reliable, and dependable, and that we are accountable to it. Then it becomes open to interpretation, we can pick and choose, and leave out the bits we don't want to agree with. The awkward parts, the parts that challenge us. The parts that would force us to change. The parts that would make us have to stand for something. Finally, the very idea that the Bible is relevant for today, and has to be followed can be dispensed with.

Nicky Gumble, of Holy Trinity Brompton, in London, UK, famous for heading up the Alpha Course, tells a story of the Anglican church. The announcement was made that God had decided to leave. But (short version) they formed a committee and announced that while it might be inconvenient, they thought they could carry on well enough without him.

 

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