I’ve avoiding diving too deeply into the subject of inspiration. On the one hand, I find it hard to pin down my own thoughts on the matter. On the other, I know that as we begin delineating what God does and doesn’t do, it’s very easy to lapse into error. Finite man is able to accurately define an infinite being.
Maybe it’s best to start with a couple of things I don’t believe:
- I don’t believe in divine dictation. That is, I don’t believe that the Holy Spirit whispered in the ears of the biblical writers the word-for-word texts they were to record. There is too much humanity in the Bible for me to believe such a thing. Why would we have four gospels if that were the case?
- I don’t believe in a purely man-made Bible. I believe that there was divine intervention in the creation and preservation of the biblical text.
Now let’s try some affirmations:
- I believe the Bible is the product of God’s people under God’s guidance. I don’t believe the views and attitudes expressed in the Bible to be “secular” nor sinful.
- I believe the Bible was created within a specific context and reflects that context. The Bible did not drop down out of the sky, nor was it written by a group of people who lived in isolation from their own situation. The fact that the Bible was written in at least three different languages illustrates that point.
- I believe that the biblical teachings (even when not in written form) defined the religious culture of God’s people rather than vice versa. In other words, I believe the Jews didn’t eat pork because God told them not to, not that they put that into the Law because they weren’t pork eaters.
So that’s a start. Give me some feedback, share some of your thoughts, and we’ll continue this discussion.