God is all about us knowing the truth, not merely believing the truth. You should read the New Testament and take note of the things it says we can know for 100% certainty. God's purpose is not served by us never really being completely sure. Truth is knowable according to Jesus and He doesn't qualify that by saying that we can know the truth up to a point. In fact we are responsible for knowing the truth.
Your faith isn't rooted in the Bible, as you have made abundantly clear, yet it is the Bible that tells us that we can trust it, because it comes from a God who cannot lie or or be in error. I can't trust what I can't depend on 100%.
Two points. First, you can be 100% confident in something without 100% certainty. I would hope you are 100% confident in how you view the Bible at least on some aspects. I know I am. I would also hope you are 100% confident in at least some decisions you make in life that you cannot possibly have 100% certainty on. Having absolute confidence in our decisions is how we are able to accept the consequences of them, learn from them, and persevere through any trouble that arises from our actions. Peter, for example, had 100% confidence that he could walk across the water to Christ and was doing it until he lost confidence. The certainty that a man could walk across the water was as low then as it is now and was not affected by his confidence or lack there of. The thing that changed was his confidence in the face of uncertainty. 100% confidence and the power of God allowed him to do the miraculous; doubt caused him to fail.
As for God leading us to the truth, he sure does. But He never said we would have 100% certainty through hermeneutics. I can tell you from experience that it isn't that easy. The problem with certainty is that we fallible beings are the ones who qualify something as 100% certain. And when we do so, we often do not doubt our ability to qualify something as 100% certain, so we fail to test what we receive, allowing us to be deceived. This is a huge reason for 1 John 4:1 that extols us to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God." All knowledge comes from God, but that doesn't negate the limitations of the methods we are using. Hermeneutics is no different in that respect than natural science; that it is aimed towards Scripture doesn't negate its limitations either.
I didn't say that is what objective meant. I am juxtaposing objective against your subjective and selective approach to the Bible.
Your juxtaposition is inaccurate. You are overblowing a difference of perception into a structural difference in approach. We both utilize the same methods. The only thing different are a few of our assumptions (a few of them are the same) and our perception of the certainty given the methods. If my position is subjective, then so is yours. The only difference is that you have place absolute certainty in YOUR SINGULAR interpretation of Scripture while I place relatively high certainty in mine while still recognizing the possibility of other interpretations being correct but that are much less certain in comparison. Certainty does not make something subjective nor does arbitrarily limiting one's self to a singular possibility. Objective processes have methods for the user to correct himself, but inappropriately placing 100% certainty on one's conclusions fosters hubris that gets in the way of correction.
Okay, I will make the point again. It is a historical narrative because that is the genre of the text.
And that it one piece of evidence in favor of taking it as historical. But as I've shown, something written in the genre of historical narrative neither means with absolute certainty that it is intended to be taken as an historical narrative, nor does it demonstrate that another audience should. People used to believe in the historical narrative of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and other tall tales, but that doesn't mean that we should, nor does it negate the underlying point of the story.
Claiming it is historical is not the same as claming it is true. You are confusing things here. I am making two points that are independent of each other. Hermeneutically, it is an historical narrative. Whether or not it is a TRUE history is a separate argument. Hermeneutics doesn't establish the truthfulness of the text. Hermeneutics tells me what the author intends me to take from the story. It is clear from the text that the author intends Genesis 1-11 to understood as an historical narrative.
I agree with you in as far as Genesis is predominantly written in the style of an historical narrative but that it also contains poetic aspects as well. I also agree that something can be written in the historical narrative style without being true. I would also add, which you may or may not agree with, that it also does not necessarily mean it is intended to be taken as true and/or should be taken true by all audiences even if the author intended for the original audience to take it as true.
Whether or not I choose to believe the author's recollection of history opens up a completely new area of discussion. Once we establish what the author intends, we can then discuss the truth value of the author's claims. In this particular case, sense Genesis 1-3 occurs within the context of a supernatural environment, the presence of cheurvim with flaming swords, the serpent that spoke to Eve, are not unreasonable events. So it really comes down to a matter of faith in God's word and whether it is reasonable to believe that the events happened as they were described?
I would also add to that final question, which I think is a good one, whether it is NECESSARY to believe that the events happened as they were described. I would venture to guess that you would see this question as a slippery slope. I do not, for the simple reason that I have not found it to affect my relationship with God in the slightest. In some cases, it has even gotten unnecessary mental conceptions out of the way between myself and God.
Let me ask you this: Do you believe that Adam and Eve "fell" in that when Adam ate of fruit, mankind was separated from God? Do you believe that event to have even happened at all?
You're not going to like this answer, but for the agenda of accuracy, I can tell you that I believe that I don't know. I believe with 100% confidence that mankind is fallen in the sense of being separated from God in a way that requires God's grace to reconcile. That is at least the spiritual truth to be grasped from the Genesis account and explicit theological statements in the Bible (ie. men needing to be called first, being saved "by grace through faith," etc.) But I see no reason to necessarily believe or disbelieve in the existence of an Adam and Eve. What is clear from our very blood that contains our life is that the entire human race could not possibly have been descended from two people ~6000 years ago. Genetics would have to have worked completely differently back then, and it's times like these that some bring in miracles of God to explain a discrepancy. Not saying you have or are going to do this, but if you are, I'm just going to point out that there is no justification for it in Scripture, that it is solely to save your own interpretation, and then I'll tune that part of the discussion out.
The Bible makes no scientific claims. The Bible exists pre-science. It makes observational terms, just like we do that are not scientifically accurate, but we don't accuse people of having a wrong cosmology. It is a bit hyprocritical to hold the Bible to level of scientific precision that we don't use ourselves.
I'm glad we agree on that. I know some people try to make the Bible make specific scientific claims, and then deride science for not agreeing with them, so I figured I'd get that out there in the open. But if you don't mind me taking it one step further, do you believe that the Bible, for lack of better phrasing, implies certain scientific positions such as the age of the earth, it's place in the solar system/universe, etc.? My point in asking is that given the all encompassing nature of science solely within the natural realm, anything that happens in the Bible that is not 100% miraculous and that happens in the natural universe is going to leave an effect that it occurred in the natural universe. We have never observed a natural phenomenon that did not leave at least a millisecond of evidence for its occurring, so we can be 100 confident and infinitely close to 100% certain that events in the Bible, particularly major events, would leave certain evidences that may or may nor be currently observed or may or may not be contradicted by our current observations.
LOL, did you get that off of some atheist website or Infidels.org? I honestly feel like I am debating an atheist. And by the way, you are wrong, but I think sitting here and discussing the evidence for the Exodus like Tel Armana stele and the Mernepta stele would be wasted on someone like that is on a campaign to pretty much discredit the Bible at every turn.
See, you can be 100% confident in something that is not 100% certain (given that you are using inductive reasoning to make your conclusions) and that is flatly wrong. Thank you for demonstrating my point. What I am, again, is a Christian who wishes to be accurate just like the many MANY Christians who searched for evidence of the Exodus and came up with nothing or came up with something that they later realized did not support their position. The twists of evidence and reason I have seen made to make the Exodus seem even remotely plausible, such as aligning the Exodus with the Hyksos exodus, echo the attempts people have made for centuries to reconcile the census in Luke with both Matthew and what we know of history. So you will forgive me if I am equally skeptical.
That being said, by all means bring up Tel Armana stele and Mernepta stele. In the discussions I have had with others about the historicity of Exodus, none have brought up the former, and only one brought up the later in passing but never went anywhere with it. Though we may want to move it to another thread as our posts (mostly mine) are starting to bloat.
You don't care about accuracy. You care about promoting Evolution at the expense of the integrity of Scripture.
And you care about promoting your interpretation over accuracy. Now, did that make you feel better to get that out of your system? And did my empty words accomplish about as much as yours?
My faith is not in hermeneutics and I never said that there was 100% certainty in my position, per se. I am saying that my position is based on the 100% reliability of the Word of God because it comes from a God who cannot lie and who does't err. I can trust every word He says. That is where my certainty lies.
And this is your own musings. The Bible does not say that the Bible is 100% accurate, only that it serves its purpose, which it certainly does. You may need to Bible to be 100% reliable in all possible matters for your faith and to make God neither a liar or error, but don't presume that others do. That, again, is not found in the Bible. To do otherwise would be to presume the 100% certainty of your position, which will blind you to any contrary information or position, making it look like an attack either on you, the Bible, or God. My confidence 100% lies in God. I personally find no need for 100% certainty. If you do, fine. I won't try to change the way you live out your faith, and I would appreciate it if you did not try to change mine because to me your position makes God out to be a liar through His Creation completely unnecessarily.
What I will try to change or at least point out is anything you inaccurately represent because it will only serve to hurt your faith and get in the way of anything you try to do that requires you to use this inaccurate representation. It will also help me become more accurate by discussing with you. So I will point out things that by definition cannot provide 100% certainty when you present them as such. Your claims about my position being subjective and that there is only one interpretation, from my perspective, has been telling me for the last few posts that you believe that hermeneutics can lead to a 100% certain conclusion about the understanding of Scripture. But you've twice in this post shifted to talking about God in connection with truth. So do you agree that hermeneutics cannot provide 100% certain results for what "the interpretation" of Scripture is?
Edited by HumbleThinker, 08 December 2013 - 06:29 PM.