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March 25, 2008 |
These posts are in response to last week's Old Scout column.
To the Host:
I've been a fan of Prairie Home Companion for years and recently I've been enjoying your column in the Saturday Kansas City Star. Today's column was about your doubts about your faith which I think we all have at times if we're honest. I just want to recommend a book to you. It's The Case For Christ by Lee Strobel. It answered a lot of my questions about how the gospels were written. Have a Happy Easter!
Thanks, Sandy, and as soon as I finish reading Garry Wills's "What The Gospels Meant" and "What Paul Meant," I will look for the Strobel book. I'm a little busy writing a book of my own this spring so time is limited, but if it's going to answer nagging questions about scriptural authority, then I had better get to it.
Your thoughts about how the Gospels were "cobbled together" rather than handed down on high reminded me of something I read recently by Karl Barth (in Church Dogmatics 1.2). Yes, the humanness of our scriptures requires faith; but that is exactly the point! The Lord chose not to give us the scriptures "mechanically" but to give them to us through people in all their humanness. Barth refers to this as "the miracle that here fallible men speak the Word of God in fallible human words... being justified and sanctified by grace alone, they have still spoken the Word of God in their fallible and erring human word... Verbal inspiration does not mean the infallibility of the biblical word in its linguistic, historical and theological character as a human word. It means that the fallible and faulty human word is as such used by God and has to be received and heard in spite of its human fallibility."
Your point is a good one, I'm sure, but I was brought up in a Bibliodolatrous group that held that each word, each comma, each semi-colon, was placed there by God Almighty and was not to be questioned or quibbled with, which of course was a spur to scholarship but also to legalism and to a squadron of Pharisees. Fallibility was not part of the deal. The Sanctified Brethren admitted to no doubt whatsoever. But I will look up the passage from Barth. And thanks for sending it on.