Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The assurance of things hoped for.

Just now I was playing Snood at work instead of doing my reading, and I somehow started thinking about the Bible as an infallible text. Yes, I know I'm weird. Its interesting though, because when I was taking my Biblical History and Culture class, a lot of people were unable to even accept the idea that the Bible could be historically inaccurate and still true. While I was in my Snood-trance, I had the epiphany that we don't have faith in God because of the Bible, we have faith in the Bible because of God.

Actually, if the Bible could be proved 100% accurate, it still wouldn't lead to faith. "But faith is the substance of things that be to be hoped, and an argument of things not appearing." (Hebrews 11:1, Wycliffe Trans.) Another translation of Hebrews 11:1 says "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for." Faith itself is the proof, not the product of proof. Really, anyone could put a spin on real historical events to convince people of this or that belief- its called propaganda. I believe the Bible because I trust God. The important thing isn't whether or not Noah lived 950 years, what is important is that Noah listened to God.

Some people try to prove the existence of God by searching for proof of the Bible's factual accuracy. That's not an exercise in faith, that's an exercise in the scientific method. I remember in high school two girls asked their friend, "Aren't you afraid you'll go to Hell if you don't believe in God?" Of course the friend didn't believe in Hell either so the argument was pointless.
I do think that reading the Bible can produce faith, but not because it proves anything concrete, but because it feels true to the reader. Faith is born when people read that God loves then and feel that God really does love them.

Personally, I think that when God wants to sit at home and watch something funny on tv, God watches the History Channel. "You silly people, that's not Solomon's Temple, that's a stable. Hahaha..."


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