Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Biblical Veracity

“Is the Bible Real?”
The veracity of the Bible is an interesting question. Not as much for the answer but for the way the answers are made and supported. When approaching a personal view on this question I suggest that the thinking person avoid an emphatic positive or negative response. In wrestling with this question the most likely danger to a genuine response will be short cuts to thinking; childhood maxims and ultimatums. I encourage the Christian believer to take this question seriously enough to actually come to a considered response. It will be worth the time; this is a foundational concept in Christian conversation.

“What type of document is the Bible?”
The way you answer the question will depend heavily on what type of document you consider the Bible to be. Historical: you will use archeology and literary references for support. Legal: you will use moral authority and point to a divine author. Instructive: you will use the evidence that following the text will lead to the promised results. These all could be used to support or refute its veracity, but such divergent conceptions of veracity have little commerce.

“A stepped approach to honest dialog”
When discussing biblical veracity I suggest you establish document type before you begin discussing veracity. No meaningful discussion on veracity can occur when the participants diverge on document type; this must be agreed upon first. Some zealous individuals will assert all three document types; my suggestion to this person would be to establish what type of document his partner in discussion is addressing and to adjust his discussion accordingly. Jumping around between support for this type and then that type will not lead to a good discussion but an attempt to bully or bludgeon agreement or at least acquiescence out of the other party. Don’t be afraid to have these healthy considered conversations; this can be honest dialog between two people of different opinion.

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