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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Commentary on People Who Have Lost Their Faith

This is the promised commentary on the article from the last post. IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE ARTICLE WHOSE LINK IS IN THE LAST POST PLEASE DO SO BEFORE CONTINUING ON.

First, I would like to point out that Mr. Ehrman is considered an authority on the christian faith and has written several books on it. Now, Mr. Ehrman says that he lost his faith due to his studies of the Chritian faith. He was once of the view that the Bible is inerrant historically and geographically. His scholarship as a student led him to the view that these views are wrong. He says that these views shifted him from being an "Evangelical" to being a "mainline liberal Protestan Christian". For those of you who know me personally, and go to church w/ me, you will know that several (more than likely most) of the members hold a view similar to this- that the bible is not innerant in any way and that it is riddled with descrepancies. Mr. Ehrman lost his faith from coming to realize that there couldn't possibly be a God that intervenes in the world given its present state.

Now, to give a fair view of the article for those who haven't read it, all of those interviewed said they do not believe in the inerrancy of scripture.

To move on to the Baptist minister-Mr. Strange- he says that he sees no connection between his faith and any scholary research. This is interesting. He sees faith and reason as to seperate things- that faith is something that comes from God and therefore cannot be touched by reason. Here I'm going to interject something that's coming from me and my experience. We as Christians cannot seperate our faith from our reason. God made us as creatures who can think and reason things out. To seperate ourselves from reason in our faith in God is DANGEROUS. We can say that it is based on our experience- like Mr. Strange- but there is a reason that comes from being saved where the Bible comes together as a whole for the first time in our lives. This is part of the gift of Faith- the ability to see the Bible as resonalble.

Also, Mr. Strange says that his faith is not based on propositional truth- that is, truth that can be tested and found to be true no matter what. For him faith cannot be tested and found to be true, therefore it is to him just another part of his existence. He also says that having a relationship with God is like being in love- when your in love you are overwhelmed and incapable of uttering propositions. He says that his scholarship has had no effect on his faith.

Now we switch back to Ehrman- he says that his scholarship led him to question the historical claims of Christianity. I.E.- the resurection ,etc. He sees Christianity as rooted in faith and that to deny any of those claims is to invalidate ones faith(my wording). Strange on the other hand sees the resurection as a metaphor and is not to be taken literally. To do this is to invalidate the 2nd coming of Christ, as well as the experience of those who witnessed Christ's resurection. Now, most of the article goes on to interview Lawrence H. Schiffman and William G. Dever. Here is the link to the article so that you can read the rest of it.http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BAR/bswbba3302f3.html . The article continues on in much the same way. An interesting note- what these gentlemen base their faith or lack thereof is their experience. They are saying that our experience trumps the experience of those who wrote the Bible. This is to say- I didn't experience it therefore there is always the possibility that it didn't happen. Well duh- there are hundreds of things that I didn't experience- the Gaulic wars, Socrates and Plato's dialogues etc. and yet there is more to evidence to say that Jesus existed and was(and is) the son of God than these things happened the way they are taught. Either Jesus was who he said he was and not some crack pot fool or he was a crack pot fool. You can't have both- either you accept the Bible as fact or not.

I will give Mr. Ehrman this- He has Intelectual Integrity, that is to say that he sees what Christianity is founded on and does not believe in it. He is striving to be consistent in his worldview.

Debate Q's for the comments page:

Who, if any, in this group is saved? Give evidence(gut feelings are acceptable).

Do you agree and disagree with anything (or nothing) that these men have put forward.

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