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Do I have to believe that the Bible is true ? Just Looking.

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Presentation on theme: "Do I have to believe that the Bible is true ? Just Looking."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do I have to believe that the Bible is true ? Just Looking

2 Your Father in heaven has given you free will to make up your own mind. Through Jesus, He invites you to make an informed decision as to whether – and in what way – the Bible is true Just Looking NO!

3 The Bible – which is, in fact, a collection of books – claims that it holds truth: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3 16 … but this is only persuasive if you start out believing it to be true! In reality, all Christians apply some form of interpretation to their reading of the Bible – and may see it as “true” in different ways

4 Just Looking “… anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell …. Matthew 5 28,29

5 Fundamentalist Fred Conservative Charlie Evangelical Eve Liberal Larry Post- modern Pippa Just Looking

6 “Have you no faith ? ” Mark 4 40 “Where is your faith ? ” Luke 8 22 “O you of little faith!” Matthew 8 26 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness …” 2 Timothy 3 16

7 Fundamentalist Fred Fundamentals” “ Fundamentals”  verbal inerrancy of scripture  the divinity of Jesus  the virgin birth  substitutionary atonement  physical resurrection and bodily return of Jesus Just Looking

8 Fundamentalist Fred Because the Bible says that it is God- breathed (in-spired), it is completely true – every word is from God Jesus must have said, “Have you no faith ? Where is your faith ? O you of little faith!” The universe was created in six literal days, in 4004 BC The Bible – literally true God commanded the deaths of idolatrous and sinful people Homosexuality is an abomination which deserves the death penalty Just Looking

9 Conservative Charlie Evangelical Eve Emphasis on Scripture as the foundation Commitment to sharing the Good News Centrality of Jesus Emphasis on Jesus’ death for us Commitment to caring social action Just Looking

10 At one end of the “conservative evangelical” spectrum:  standing firm against any dilution of the Good News  defending the inspiration of scripture  studies and knows the Scripture Conservative Charlie Just Looking

11 Because the Bible says that it is God- breathed, it is infallible. However, this is “as originally given”. All statements true “as originally given” It is possible that the six “days” were seasons of time ; but Charlie is rather suspicious of talk about evolution. Conservative Charlie The Bible – infallible God commanded it. His ways are not our ways. Gay orientation is acceptable provided there is celibacy. Just Looking

12 At the other end of the “conservative evangelical” spectrum:  wanting to be “culturally relevant”  committed to the Bible – but aware of “issues” of interpretation  learns more from sermons and worship than from study  in practice, may not do everything she believes the Bible says Evangelical Eve Just Looking

13 Speaks of the Bible as “authoritative” rather than infallible; apparent minor conflicts in Scripture are from transmission. Each gospel recorded or translated what Jesus actually said differently. Accepts the Big Bang – but God banged it! Accepts “theistic evolution”, but points out that the evidence is weaker for species to species. The Bible – authoritative These verses trouble Eve. She knows they should be true. She avoids them. Eve has gay Christian friends. She is troubled because her teaching says they are sinning – but she sees Jesus in them. Just Looking Evangelical Eve

14  Larry’s starting point is the love of God - this is the test for every belief  He prefers the New Testament to the Old, and is very Jesus-focussed  He thinks the picture of God in the Old Testament says more about the Bible writers than it does about God! Liberal Larry Just Looking

15 Considers the Bible “inspirational”, but has no problem with radical re-interpretation. Some parts are simply wrong or untrue. What’s the problem ? The Bible stories are clearly shaped editorially and show the authors’ points of view. What’s the problem ? Science tells about science, and within the Bible we find ways to find God. The Bible – inspirational A God of love would never do this. It must reflect the writer’s (mistaken) beliefs. What’s the problem ? God is the source of all love, gay or straight. Just Looking Liberal Larry

16 Post-modern Pippa  Pippa has not chosen her standpoint – she’s imbibed it.  She is not sure that there can ever be absolute truth.  She thinks everyone should “become their own person”.  She takes the impact of experience very seriously, and it shapes what she believes.  She loves the mysteries of Celtic faith.  She distrusts institutional religion. Just Looking

17 Reads the parts of the Bible that “speak” to her – on the basis of personal impact. Different people see “truth” in different ways. Accepts science … but is happy for others to believe whatever is “true” for them. The Bible - experiential Ancient wars aren’t relevant, and don’t have any connection with how we live. That part of the Bible reflects an out-dated institutional Christianity. Gay and lesbian people live the life that is right for them, and others should not judge. Post-modern Pippa

18 How did Pippa become a Christian?  she (genuinely)encountered the love of Jesus in her Christian friends  she experienced the touch of the Spirit in worship  she met Jesus within Scripture - and loved Him  she needed – and asked for –forgiveness from God  all she knows about Christianity is what she has heard in church. Her pastor may have assumed she knew more when she sought baptism.  because she chooses which parts of Church life to embrace, she will probably keep on living the Christian life that is “true” for her, and take time to extend her faith for her, and take time to extend her faith Just Looking

19 Fundamentalist Fred Conservative Charlie Evangelical Eve Liberal Larry Post- modern Pippa Just Looking


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