Tuesday, August 3, 2010

L 1.7

On p. 33, Loftus quotes an internet comment made about the Bible. “We opened the Bible and, instead of finding wisdom, we found violence and the justification of immoral acts. We found anti-intellectualism and backward thinking. We found oppression. We realized the fountain wasn’t a being; it was a religion”.

These statements cherry-pick certain alleged difficulties in the Bible and fail to acknowledge many other places in the Bible where there actually is wisdom, peace and morality. The importance of this response is establishing context. If there seems to be a conflict between the two (peaceful passages and apparently non-peaceful passages), then it's most likely that there is a good explanation for the passages that Loftus is referring to. There are events recorded in the Bible where people acted in a less than moral manner. Being able to prove that the Bible condones such activity is a different matter altogether than just citing the passages, especially when the rest of the Bible clearly doesn't condone violence, immorality or oppression (Proverbs 6:16-19). Most any commentary will be able to provide an obvious explanation for the kinds of passages in the objection.

There have been countless intelligent Christians who don’t find that the Bible is backward in general in it’s teachings. The problem with Loftus' statement is that he doesn't enumerate what he is comparing the Bible to in order to make the judgment that the Bible is backwards. Using smuggled in authority, he's not subjecting his own beliefs to the same test with these comments. He does state some of his beliefs throughout the book and they will be addressed in this forum.

Last, the person who finds anti-intellectualism in the Bible is apparently unfamiliar with the dictates found in 2 Peter 1:5 “make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge.” This is an explicit instruction for followers of Christ to be educated and knowledgeable as opposed to anti-intellectual or backwards.

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