Statesboro, GA, USA
I guess the difference is that some people put their faith completely in what was written by man. The bible alone should not be what you verily choose to believe, should it? If God has a powerful part of your life and yourself, what do you need the bible for?
That's a complex question. One key to answering it, is thinking of our nature and God's nature. If God chose to give a revelation through humanity, in written form, It must be needed. Because I know that God is all-wise, omniscient and all of that, I don't see him doing something needless. That's one argument from God's nature.
Now just a few arguments from our nature:
-Language and writing are an intrinsic part of who we are. Writing, speech, and definite ideas communicated with words, influence us profoundly. Just think about how many ideas, or how much ideology you've accumulated through reading, or through spoken words.
-Throughout history people have felt that important events, ideas, and truths should be recorded in written form, for posterity, and for the benefit of study and learning.
- We are moved by all different kinds of writing. Ranging from poetry to history ... from love songs to predictions of the future ... from philosophical truths to practical epigrams. The Bible contains all of these and more.
- A revelation of God's truth cannot be trusted to come from our minds "naturally", or God wouldn't have had to do anything through history in the way of communication, or miracles. We have a tendency to believe what we want to, making truth into "our truth". The Bible afforded that God's truth would be communicated in more definite terms, tangible enough to correct our thinking when we mistake our arbitrary musing for God's voice. There was a prophet, Jeremiah, who wrote "The heart is decietful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?". That's why individual intellect, feelings, and sentimentality cannot be the foundation of divine revelation. We're just too apt to change the truth. Can you do that with the Bible? Certainly, but it's harder than without it. And if we do, we have less excuse.
I guess one of my biggest confusions is the bible to begin with. There's so much that I don't seem to understand about how it was written.
You should try reading Josh McDowell's "Evidence that Demands a verdict", especially the section about the Bible. There are also lots of other works describing the origin of the books of the Bible. If you ever have any questions that I can personally help you with, also, I'd be glad to try. Though I'm only a lay-person, the origin and canonization of scripture is one of my pet interests.
It repeats itself, and not only that, it does so and changes things about itself depending on who wrote a certain part of it.
It does repeat itself in many instances. And as any child educator will tell you, repitition is invaluable in the learning process. As to "chaning things about itself depending on who wrote a certain part of it", I don't exactly know what you mean. Could you explain that better, or maybe give me an example?
Maybe what I mean is this, inside of you, you know who God is.. you know what he expects of you. Faith in God or anything at all is dependent upon what's in your own heart.
There's a lot of truth in what you're saying here. But as I said above, we also need more than just our own "heart" to judge by. Something to measure our subjectivity against. If you worshiped a God who saw everything in the same way you do ... who felt the exact same way you do about everything, wouldn't you be a bit suspicious? Another good reason for a written revelation.
I would question the books, preachers, priests, etc. I would feel that I were doing a favor to myself by using what was given to me to find out what I feel is right to believe in.
I basically agree with this ... with a caveat or two.
1) Don't confuse angry cross examination with questioning. Sometimes it's easy to do.
2) Question yourself at least as much as you do the preachers and books. Sometimes it's very hard to do.
As humans, we're capable of finding our own morals and beliefs. That is how we're blessed.
To a degree. God has given us a conscience. But how often do we repress it, doubt it, and bury it in a corner, until it only gives a whimper? To me the Bible is a spade, that allows me to dig up what in my sinful tendencies I always manage to bury.
And even if we could find the right set of morals on our own, we can never live up to them. Thus we need the forgiving, redeeming God whom the Bible points us to. But that's true of us all, me as well as you.