That's an interesting post. Good to be reminded of.
Having come from an "evangelical inerrancy" type perspective, these days I often find myself wondering if the power of what the bible communicates would lose one bit of strength if the bible "inspiration-level" were the same as, say, that of the works written by Plato about Socrates. In that case, the strength of the message comes simply from the truth of what was said. And for me, it is the same with Jesus. My faith in him doesn't flow from the idea that he makes an appearance in a divinely inspired book. It comes from just how convincing he was to me in what he said and how he lived.
My concern is not so much "is what the writers wrote inspired by God" as much as it is "is what the writers wrote true" (ie: not propaganda). Because if it is true, then we have a record of the words and actions of a divine being, of what God wanted to communicate to humankind. And therein lies its authority. Not because a council got together and agreed "these books are from God, these are not".
I can imagine the canon could be different by a few books in this direction or that, and it would have minimal effect on our expressed faith. I mean, with the closed canon that we have, there is already enough breadth and diversity of opinion so as to seem ridiculous at times. Closing the canon seems to have had little bearing on what is orthodoxy.
That's why, for me, centering strongly on Jesus makes a lot of sense. I admit this sets up a kind of biblical hierarchy (Jesus first, epistles and OT informing what he was about) but I think that is defensible. To me there is clarity and simplicity of thought and action in Christ that gets muddled or even ignored when we raise things like biblical inerrancy, church tradition, etc. to places of vital importance.
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
This was supposed to be a comment...
Yeah, a comment over at Maggi Dawn's site, but it said it was too long, so I will put it here because I don't wanna just delete it:
Posted by JJ at 10/12/2004 09:52:00 AM