Answering Objections

I was listening to a sermon by Tim Keller that addressed common objections to the Bible as God's Word, and I thought he made a very clever point.  He has a way of turning an objection into a virtue, which I think is something Greg does well, too.

Keller was addressing the cultural objections people have to the Bible, e.g. sexual mores, marriage, patriarchy, etc.  He pointed out that what his audience in NYC would consider oppressive sexual ethics would be considered liberal in the Middle East.  He asked them to consider what culture 100 years ago would not have objected to in the Bible that they object to, and what they don't object to now that may be considered ignorant and backward by their great grandchildren.

He said if the Bible is from God and not from culture, wouldn't we expect that it would conflict with every culture at every time?  And that is what we see.  If it was produced merely by men living in a particular culture, it would reflect a particular culture rather than conflict with it.  So rather than cultural objections working against the Bible, it's actually an indication that it stands outside of culture  And that's a line of argument that the Bible is from God, not man.

He also addressed people who want to cherry-pick from the Bible.  Some people say the Bible is a good book, then choose what they consider good and reject what they think is bad.  He challenged this view of the Bible as a "Stepford" idea.  He likened our relationship to the Bible to marriage.  Disagreement and conflict is inevitable unless someone is passive (Stepford wife).  It's the conflict that is partially responsible for changing people in marriage.  If we stand as the authority over the Bible cherry-picking, it can't change us because we reject what conflicts with our views.  But if the Bible is from God, of course it will conflict with us because that's what changes us.  Without that, it has no power to improve us.

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Melinda Penner

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