Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Biblical Literalism promotes a belief in a book rather than in God

Biblical literalists actually put the Bible ahead of God and Jesus in things that they worship. Biblical literalism also diminishes the role of prayer and study and the role of the Holy Spirit. Evidence of the failure of the Bible by itself to provide a real understanding of God is provided by the irrefutable fact that many people with equal amounts of sincerity and equal years of study come away with different messages from the Bible.

There is a word that has been given to the worship of the Bible itself. That word is “Bibliolatry”. (Many people extend the use of that word to the worship of any religious text which is considered by some to be inerrant.)

The word is often used as a type of insult, as when one Evangelical group accuses another of over-emphasizing the Bible. A typical argument is found in this quote:

“On page 2 of the May 14, 1996 issue of the Western Recorder, a local Kentucky Baptist periodical, is a report of comments made by Morris Chapman, president of the SBC Executive Committee at a gathering of Baptists from across North America. Another denomination's top executive asked him to state an ‘irreducible minimum for an evangelical theology.’ In response, Chapman is reported as saying, ‘I would have to say the word of God is absolute truth and . . . Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Savior of the world.’ This is a very ‘tell tale’ comment. Chapman lists his commitment to inerrancy before his belief in Jesus Christ. If Chapman had been in the prison at Phillippi with Paul when the jailer cried, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ would he have responded, ‘Affirm inerrancy, and believe in the Lord Jesus?’” [1]

The real danger is that sometimes people will adjust their religious beliefs simply because they want to protect their own interpretation of the Bible. Most theologians would call that a dangerous practice.

[1] http://www.newreformation.org/heresy3.htm referenced on November 27, 2007.

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