Thus, a consciousness of genre and literary form (not always an easy determination), can promote the Scriptures as free from error in the sense that the meaning intended is free from error.
Given all of the varying styles and forms, and varying intended readers, how can you ‘know’ that you are not just interpreting the message to suit your needs? Seems like a risky way to send such an important message. Also, would it not follow that all of this confusion over the meaning was intended?
... lies in the economy of salvation.
Doesn’t this just mean that if you believe it then it is true? Mysterious ways.
Is your point that if you take the whole thing in, like you would a painting, then the message is flawless and cannot be misconstrued?
Yes, and like so many technical religious terms, it is a self-serving construct. It is being used in this case to explain the apparent inconsistencies in the bible. In other words, it’s all going according to plan even if it does not look like it.
Jesus is talking about a law written on our hearts.
I was reading about conscience the other day and came across this statement made by Pope Paul VI in Gaudium et Spes
For man has in his heart a law written by God; to obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he will be judged. Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, Whose voice echoes in his depths.
While it makes some sense to me that this is where a GOD would chose to write his laws, where would I find support for this idea in the bible? If this is indeed the case then what purpose does the bible serve? Why confuse everything with words when you can just stamp it on the dna?
As I have said before that only is a problem if you understand the Bible as a book supernaturally dictated by God as opposed to being a book written by fallible human beings telling a story of their cultures expereinces of God.
I agree with this but doesn't it completely desanctify the bible?
The bible is not literally inerrant in that it contains many historical errors, embellishments, omissions and contradictions. However, these errors are converted to ‘non-errors’ when considered as part of a whole work. Much like taking a shot of tequila might be considered an error until you follow it with some salt and lemon. Or if you looked at a picture like this and said that the horse and dragon are not anatomically correct but then you see that they are precisely what was intended.
So the ‘truth’ or perfect message is in there but it is only ‘knowable’ after you believe that it is the perfect message and therefore faith is required. A shot of ether to get the engine going. After you accept it the authority is revealed.
The bible is not literally inerrant in that it contains many historical errors, embellishments, omissions and contradictions. However, these errors are converted to ‘non-errors’ when considered as part of a whole work. So the ‘truth’ or perfect message is in there but it is only ‘knowable’ after you believe that it is the perfect message and therefore faith is required. A shot of ether to get the engine going. After you accept it the authority is revealed.
If the testable portions of the Bible fail spectacularly, then what new tests are available once you opt into your view of the Bible? If no new tests are available, then how is what you say any different than wishful thinking?
I was trying to summarize GDR’s position. I also thought that this was what the OP was alluding to. I apologize to GDR if this was out of line or completely wrong.
As a ‘notatheist’, I see the problem this way. We might think that as a God it would be easy to communicate with the sentient parts of your creation. But maybe that is not the case.
If the message of the bible is that we should ‘love God and neighbour’ then perhaps the authority lies in the evidence that the world is a better place when we love. The bible certainly has some pertinent lessons for us regarding how to get along with each other. Many of these lessons seem to be applicable across a vast swath of time and are in that sense fundamental.
The great irony for me is that the bible makes alot more sense when you remove the personification of god.