“Is a thing true because the Bible says it is, or does the Bible say a thing because it is true?”Andy follows up the discussion by asking the question:
What's Wrong With Sturking?These are really good questions and get to the heart of bibliolatry. For many years I often didn't engage my brain (and really my heart) when it came to the bible. My "biblical" views about life, church and the world were very narrow ... those views caused to me live an arrogant and unloving life. I am growing these days in love and beginning to understand how little I know of love, humility and the bible.
The evangelical hermeneutic rests on this assumption - that if God is omnipotent, present, and interested in revealing things about himself, we can expect His revelation to have certain basic characteristics. Things like:I agree with what Michael writes - it is a balanced view ... a view that presents the bible in a way that makes sense ... in a way that shows that the bible points to God ... in a way that does not incarnate the bible as God.
1) Inspiration - God was involved in the production of the texts.
2) Infallibility - the texts do not err in their purposes.
3) Historicity - the texts were written at a place and time in history, by people situated in history, and as such, they are products of their historical/cultural perspective.
4) Textuality - text as text: the normal tools for interpreting meaning in any text are the appropriate tools for interpreting meaning in biblical texts. In other words, when we read “Joseph was lowered into the well”, the meaning is conveyed by the content of the words “Joseph”, “lowered” and “well”, just as it would be if those words were written in personal letter, a historical footnote, or any other work outside of the biblical canon. Attempts to use “secret codes” or numerological sequences to unlock the “true” meaning of the text are therefore inappropriate to interpretation (think Kabbala, or “The Bible Code“).