Reply Wed 22 Jun, 2011 08:26 pm
One thing that is quite unsettling is when fundamentalists who say every verse of scripture is god inspired and has a divine purpose were it is used, how, when and to whom it is addressed. So they apparently do not use any outside source to interpret the Bible but they believe the Bible interprets itself. This approach appeals the most to me and it would be great... if it worked.

All you need is two verses that completely and absolutely contradict one another and the entire premise of biblical fundamentalism and the foundations of Protestantism (for the testament) crumble to the ground at our feet.

If the Bible is God inspired and "perfect", as the Bible says of itself, then why would God not know better than to flat outright contradict him/her self?

Example: The very crux of Lutheranism is that "faith is of grace" and not of works and the Bible clearly states that. Then later the Bible clearly says "faith without works is dead". Whose works?

This (and many more) contradictions prove the idea that the "testament" is either flawed, or rather ambiguous on purpose.

Why would God contradict him/her self on purpose? The only thing that would accomplish is to render "the testament" unreliable.

One might then try the approach to take the clear verses and magnify them above the unclear verses. Yet these two verses are plainly written one says salvation is not of works and the other says salvation without works is dead. Are we supposed to draw straws?

Is it works or grace that brings salvation? If we can't depend on the testament for even the most basic rudiments of faith how can we build truth upon truth and ever reach illumination? Rather it is error build upon error where in ambiguity we are forced to choose ourselves what the truth is.

When we look at salvation as a work accomplished by Jesus it is of grace because we surmise he did the complete work of our salvation but if we then again inject our own works into our salvation then it implies Jesus' works were neither complete or fulfilled.

As pure and wonderful as protestantism (for the testament) may seem and as fundamental and logical its appeal it still seems to falter when you actually try to apply these ideals to the scriptures. Add the gnostic texts/Apocrypha and you only have more outright and blatant discrepancies to contend with. Having the testament books in both Greek and Aramaic and a number of copies in each language all slightly differing in choice of words adds even more ambiguity where no clear cohesive picture seems to emerge.

So how might we find Christian orthodoxy in all of this? Some say we just study it to death... Study around it and they apply the words "theology" to this and also "exegesis" and eventually an answer will emerge.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Comment: But how do we rightly divide a bold faced contradiction? No matter how much we study it, it is still going to contradict itself.
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