Saturday, July 31, 2010

L 1.4

In a disagreement with another Christian, Loftus recounts on p. 30 that “The interesting thing is that both sides claimed that they were motivated by love. We all had our bible verses to back it up too!”

When one set of verses are stressed to the exclusion of others, the case being made isn't substantiated. Just as important as the number of verses considered is the interpretation of the verses. Sometimes, the interpretation can be the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law or not in keeping with the meaning of other verses. A good example is accusing Jesus of advocating cannibalism when He said "eat my flesh and drink my blood". An evaluation of Jesus' character from the rest of the accounts clearly shows that He would never approve of cannibalism.

In the end, this is an attempt by Loftus to show that the Bible is at least confusing and at most, contradictory. It is a very common misconception that the Bible is internally inconsistent or in other words, contradictory. Those allegations have been answered many, many times over by scores of people in books and on the internet. To continue to perpetuate the misconception is to be plainly obstinate.

Non-Christians often state that the responses to criticisms of Christianity are little more than verbal gymnastics to salvage a flawed book. Christians typically respond that the objections themselves are exercises in linguistic obfuscation, that they are examples of deceitful, manufactured contradictions. These alleged contradictions require violating one of the two principles mentioned earlier; only considering an inappropriately small number of verses or revising the interpretation of verses. The data itself (the text of the Bible), isn’t the heart of the issue. The conclusion(s) drawn from the alleged contradiction is in question. Once again, the issue becomes one of worldview. People will twist the facts to fit their worldview. It has already been established in this forum that theism has an advantage over nontheism in that the non-existence of God can’t be proven. Therefore, nontheism is incomplete and the original objection is ultimately baseless.

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