I listened to a message today by Ron Carlson, called "Why I Believe the Bible". He says:
The Bible contains 66 Books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, on 3 different continents, in 3 different languages!
When people make ignorant comments about the Bible just come out with that sentence, and give them something to chew over.
As Ron Carlson pointed out, the fact that that collection of books forms a coherent whole, with a consistent but growing theology throughout, is one of the many indications of the Bible's supernatural authorship.
Of course, you also have to point out that the Bible was written for and about people who lived up to 4 thousand years ago, and therefore has to be seen in that light. Some evangelicals talk about it as if it was written yesterday, which is clearly going to lead to erroneous conclusions. The fact, however, that so much of it is relevant - highly relevant - for 21st Century Man, is what makes is such a remarkable book.
I mentioned that the Bible contains a growing theology. I wish someone had pointed that out to me when I was younger. It would have helped me with those difficult passages in the Old Testament about stoning people for minor crimes... slaughtering multitudes of animals to 'please God'... and wiping out whole tribes—men, women and children—ostensibly at God's command.
Clearly our theology and morality have grown because now we see genocide as a crime against humanity, and rightly so. But people then acted on the light they had, just as the Conquistadores did when they 'cleansed' South America of the terribly corrupt Inca and Aztec societies.
It can be quite difficult to understand the idea of the Bible's growing theology, unless you understand that it's all about Mankind's growing relationship with God—and God's growing relationship with Mankind.
In Mankind's infancy, right at the very beginning (in the book of Genesis), we're told that we had an intimate relationship with Him. So at the very start Mankind, although naive, was able to relate to God without hindrance. But things went horribly wrong and that relationship was set back to the point where the whole human race became like an infant, needing it's nappies changed and having to be corrected when it threw its rattle out of the pram.
God has always related to humanity through intermediaries—priests, or priestly people. How else could he do it? Adam and Eve were the first priestly couple, created separately it appears from the rest of Mankind. Then there were Enoch and Noah, who seemed to be exceptions amongst a very violent and corrupt society.
Everything since then has been about the growing relationship between God and His (or Her) growing child. When the child was young it needed strict rules (the Torah) to prevent it from hurting itself. As the child grew it's Father gave it more and indications, in the prophetic writings, regarding what its adult relationship with Him would be like.
The coming of Christ was the child's 'Bar mitzvah'—its entrance into adulthood even as a young teenager—when it officially joined it's Father's business. The New Testament contains the Father's revised set of instructions, which are not about rigid 'dos and don'ts' any more, but about hearing His voice and learning to walk and work Him on a daily basis.
Previously the relationship had been between God and a people—Israel—with the prophets acting as God's mouthpieces. But after Christ that changed radically to a relationship between God and His individual children.
What a privilege! Somehow it's easy to think about God interacting with Mankind through a whole nation. He is God after all! So it's a huge step—a remarkable step—for God to humble Himself and stoop down to interact with individual human beings like you and I.
Isn't that incredibly humbling—incredibly! That GOD ... GOD! ... should deign to have a personal relationship with me! We're talking about GOD here—the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Suffering Servant and the Coming King, deigning to have a relationship with you and me!
We're talking about Yaweh, Jehovah, the Parter of the Red Sea, the Performer of all the miracles in the Bible, and the developer of human society since then.
And yet He stoops right down to my level, and allows me—calls me—longs for me—to call Him Father. WOW!!!
The Apostle Paul went to great lengths to explain, in the book of Galatians, that if we put our trust in Jesus Christ God installs His Holy Spirit in us, like a major software upgrade. Living with God then becomes a matter of "walking in the Spirit" in a day by day intimate relationship with Him. What a privilege!
So—to conclude—God's blog, the Bible, tells us all about God's developing relationship with His child, Mankind, and all about His wonderful relationship with us as individual Christians.
Some blog eh!
Posted by JoJoUK