Monday, December 15, 2014

Hoping Scripture is wrong

A common objection to inerrancy is that inerrantists have a totalitarian commitment to the plenary inspiration of Scripture. They are deeply invested in the issue. They can't afford for Scripture to make mistakes. So they resort to desperate expedients to defend the inerrancy of Scripture.

There's some truth to that allegation. Mind you, there's nothing wrong with fighting for a worthy cause. The meaning of life is pretty fundamental. And absent divine revelation, the meaning of life is groundless. 

In addition, there's a difference between commitment to inerrancy and the need to demonstrate inerrancy. There's no presumption that we can or should be able to explain everything in Scripture. It's bound to have some obscurities. Our ability to harmonize the Gospels is not a precondition of inerrancy. Since we didn't see what they saw, we may be in no position to piece together the whole picture. But that's not surprising.

However, that's not the point of my post. Let's turn the objection around. Why do many people deny the Bible? Well, some people deny the Bible because they think there's evidence that disproves the Bible. But that's not all. 

Many people, both inside and outside the church, think the Bible is wrong because they want the Bible to be wrong. They need the Bible to be wrong. They have a vested interest in the falsity of Scripture.

You have atheists who don't want God to exist. God's existence offends their sense of autonomy and self-importance. God is a superior being. That knocks them down a peg. If God exists, they  are answerable to someone else. 

There are "progressive Christians" who think St. Paul is sexist and homophobic. They want Paul to be wrong. They can't both be right. 

There are "progressive Christians" who need Jesus to be wrong about hell. 

There are "progressive Christians" who think the divine command to sacrifice Isaac was immoral. They need that to be fictitious.

They don't reject it because they have evidence to the contrary. It's not as if they have a tape recording of Yahweh telling Abraham not to sacrifice his son. 

There are "progressive Christians" who don't want Yahweh to exist. They hate Yahweh. They hate what he says and does. They hate what he represents. They are counting on Scripture to be wrong. God can't be like that. Scripture must be wrong. 

There are scientist who want Bible miracles to be fictitious, "for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. Anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured"

There are theologians who hope that God doesn't know the future. For if our actions are 100% predictable, then in what sense are we free to do otherwise? 

Make no mistake: this attitude informs much of what passes for Bible scholarship of the SBL variety. The Bible has to be wrong. There's too much at stake if Scripture is true. They have too much to lose if Scripture is true. 

No comments:

Post a Comment