Rob Auld's Objections Answered
ROB: I'm arguing that the Bible is to be believed, perhaps not literally in all cases (Genesis, Abraham's boosom (sic) Jonah, Job etc)...
ANSWER: What in Genesis is not true? Moses presented all of it as true. He did not say, "Here is a parable. In the Beginning God created..."
Logic 101--There are only three possibilities for the veracity of a statement proposed as true by the speaker/writer. It is a mistake. It is a lie. It is true.
There are no other possibilities. Moses presented Genesis as true. If your position is true and Moses is wrong, he was either a deluded fool or a liar. Paul used the Genesis account as the reason for gender roles. If creation is wrong, so are the epistles. Check out his use of the rib-to-Eve story and the story of the fall. He took them as literal. Jesus used the same stories to justify the permanency of marriage. If you do not take Genesis literally as true, you deny Christ.
ROB: ...but hyperbole and story is the way God has chosen to communicate.
ANSWER: God uses a number of literary genre, forms, and devices, including hyperbole and story. However, you miss four important things here.
First is the simple fact that we Christians are aware of that. Since I was old enough to understand language, I knew what a parable was. Assuming Christians don't know this almost seems as though you are purposely making a straw man. In fact, I have never known anyone who read the Bible at all who did not realize this.
Second, you mention "story." You are making another wrong assumption here. Narrative in Scripture is meant to give real history. It is not an imagined story. Every writer of Scripture has recognized this. As I pointed out, the writers of the Pentateuch, the Chronicles, Samuel, the Kings, Esther, Ruth, the Gospels, etc. do not say, "This is just a story." They are relating what really happened. Hence the geographical references and the genealogies. The contemporaries of the writers realized this, too. Ask yourself this question: "If I follow Jesus and Jesus is told of in the Gospels and if I do not believe the Gospels, what do I really know of this Jesus and how can I follow Him Whom I cannot surely know?" Your assertion that you are a follower of Christ is now meaningless, because the terms of your own views render such a claim untestable. That is to say your doctrine and behavior could be anything and still fit the claim. In a word "Repent!" is now meaningless because you cannot tell what doctrines and behaviors are approved or disapproved of by your "Jesus," whoever he may be.
Third, while God has used hyperbole and parable, these forms do not stand alone. Entire books of the New Testament are doctrinal theses--Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews for starters. Hence, to simply wave your hand and erase all we can know of God on the basis that the Scripture has these two forms ignores the rest of Scripture, even if one concedes (and I don't) that we cannot know much through these two forms.
Fourth, even with the literary devices of hyperbole and story, communication is accomplished. "I could eat a horse." That's hyperbole. Yet it communicates a truth.
And only ONE TRUTH. It is not up to interpretation. It communicates with clarity. No one will ask, "Are you hungry?" They already know that. And no one will think "I could eat a horse" means "I can't hear." Everyone knows it means "I'm hungry."
So appealing to hyperbole, even in those passages where it is used, it is not an excuse.
ROB: THE BIBLE IS NOT A SCIENCE BOOK,
ANSWER: No one I know has ever said it is. It has little to say about science. However, it is not in error, either. If it errs in science, it is not the word of God. Read Deuteronomy 18.
ROB: ...AND (the Bible) IS A VERY ONE-SIDED HISTORY BOOK.(This is where the nuance and thinking comes in).
ANSWER: Bias is quite a flaw. Obviously, it is not accurate in your view. That goes far beyond nuance. To really answer this in a more specific way, you will have to tell me exactly what the bias is. At any rate its views are suspect in your schema.
ROB: The Bible tells us about the Character of God. It also tells us about the original plan God had for His creation.
ANSWER: Well, that's nice, but as I have already said, since the Bible is flawed, what is the key by which we ascertain the true and the false? If you cannot give us the key, the Bible is useless. It tell us nothing, especially since it's biased.
ROB: It (the Bible) tells us that we are sinful and need God. God wanted to reconcile and sent his Son as a Perfect example. To die for humanity so we didn't have to reap the consequences of our choices. Did we need to know more to be a Christian?
ANSWER: Yes. A lot. For starters, Jesus did not come primarily as an example, but as the Lamb of God. And it is not what we know alone. Jesus said, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."
ROB: It may be helpful to know what specific issues people writing the book were dealing with. Otherwise, you can completely misinterpret what God is saying.
ANSWER: This is basic hermeneutics. We Christians use this method. The goal is to ascertain the intent of the author. Assuming we don't know this is wrong. In fact, Emergents like Robert Webber, John H. Armstrong, and Brian McLaren deny this method. And liberals like Karl Barth deny it also. So you're pointing the wrong direction on this one.