Episode 288: J.C. Ryle once wrote, “For your own soul’s sake, dare to make up your mind what you believe, and dare to have positive, distinct views of truth and error. Never, never be afraid to hold decided doctrinal opinions; and let no fear of man and no morbid dread of being thought party-spirited, narrow, or controversial, make you rest contented with a bloodless, boneless, tasteless, colourless (sic), lukewarm, undogmatic Christianity.” Today’s episode is my extended “Amen” to this quote.
Today in Church History: John Eliot arrives in Boston (1631)
Question of the Day: Are Christians perfect?
Do you think that this entire question is completely dependent on is believed about biblical inspiration? Could we possibly trace this back to what theological institutions are teaching concerning the nature of inspiration?
Absolutely! Check out point 5 here: http://progressivechristianity.org/the-8-points/
Absolutes are undervalued or even devalued in favor of “religious agnosticism,” as Ryle called it back in his day. Progressive (which is code for “liberal”) Christianity is notorious for this.
So, I don’t know if it was like this for you, but in the senior level Bible courses at my “very conservative” Christian University… any other attitude was called “arrogant” and that the only enlightened possible view is one in which you have to accept that “you will never now the answers, and that this is part of the wonder of the divine, that you can never truly grasp these things.” And if that was not enough, basically, the class treated those who do not agree with this as poor, ignorant, arrogant, little children who think they can actually know anything for certain from the N.T. witness. It was surreal to imagine that this is what Bible majors are being fed… this is the basis upon which their faith is being established… these are the future proclaimers of the gospel… these are the credentials that churches VALUE so highly when selecting a preacher (must have at minimum a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited Christian college or university; that doesn’t even need to be in Bible; it could be in anything). Sorry for that rant there.
Weren’t you enlightened, like I was, in my Biblical Criticism courses to the fact that the N.T. documents are only inspired in the sense that they are from God, but that they are colored by the prejudices, ignorance, limited points of view, and personal experience of the authors?
Hence, Paul the bigoted homophobe! Those poor, ignorant fishermen just didn’t understand what we, by virtue of time & space, have been enlightened to.