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Essays

Scripture

Short version:
The Bible is spiritual pablum.  For most young people it's nutritious.  But it's meant to be outgrown.

Long version:

I do not believe scripture (Bible or otherwise) to be inspired by any deity in the sense that everything in it is true, or that the directives are applicable to all generations following those to whom the books were written.  I do, however, believe scripture (at least most of the Bible) to be inspired by an assumed God to whom mankind is accountable in the sense that the directives were applicable to the generation to whom the books were written, and to a limited and/or diminishing sense applicable to succeeding generations.  I also believe scripture (at least the Bible) to be inspired in the sense that our assumed God inspired men to leave a record of their efforts to understand and communicate with God, so that succeeding generations can learn from the successes and failures of their predecessors.

If statements are inspired by God at all, very few of them are inspired in the absolute sense - i.e.  that they are objectively true universally and eternally.  Most of them are inspired relative to particular recipients - i.e.  they accomplish something God wants to accomplish in those recipients.  The same statements may not be inspired by God relative to other recipients - or even to the same recipient at a later time.  If a particular statement accomplishes something God doesn't want to accomplish in a particular recipient, then that statement was definitely not inspired by God in the absolute sense.

I believe the Bible is inspired by our assumed Creator in the sense of being expedient to get people connected up with our Creator.  I do not believe the Bible is inspired by our Creator in the sense of telling the truth, because people are too ignorant, unintelligent, stupid, and frightened to handle the truth.  It must be assuring because people are frightened.  It must promise condemnation of disbelievers, because if your scripture is correct, disagreeing scripture must be incorrect.  After scripture has accomplished the connection, it has no further spiritual value.  All subsequent spiritual progress comes from personal interrelationship with God even if it's an imaginary relationship.  Scripture then becomes the refuge of those who want justification of ignorance and reassurance of safety without further spiritual maturation.

Minds, if designed by a Creator, are designed to learn and evolve.  That purpose can be thwarted by willfully clinging to what you've been taught, as is advocated by Paul:  2nd Thes 2:15, 2nd Tim 1:13, Col 2:7, Tit 1:9.

Also, our Creator may have inspired people to write things which were useful for a time, but then remain codified as scripture after they have outlived their usefulness.  When this happens, the same assumed Creator will necessarily inspire people to figure it out, and reinterpret their scriptures.