The Bible is a Witness to God’s Eternal Word

Nothing more or less. (Of course, being the witness of God’s Eternal Word, Jesus, is a really, really big deal, so I’m not sure why some feel the need to make the Bible also be a science book, a history book, a constitution of church life, a guide to manage money, run a business, etc.)

Chaplain Mike at the Internet Monk has a nice explanation about why Rick Warren’s defense of the Bible as scientifically accurate in light of a phrase in Isiah 40‘the sphere of the Earth’ is a gross misreading of the text. Also, Chaplain Mike has nice picture depicting the ancient Hebrew understanding of the cosmos.

Beside the failure to truly grasp ancient Hebrew cosmology, Warren’s well-meaning but embarrassing defense of the scientific acumen of the prophet Isaiah is based on the false notion that the understanding of a round Earth is relatively recent – say when Columbus sailed west to reach the Orient. However, the ancients did understand the spherical shape of the Earth. The Greeks understood this no later than the Third Century BC!

Anyway, I have lots of experience with Warren’s style of desperately clinging to any little phrase in Scripture in an effort to make the book stand against those evil, secular, atheist so-called scientists. For example, I once had a Sunday school teacher try to explain in a Christian Evidences class (insert snarky comment here) how Leviticus 17:11 (which reads: For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement NASV) proved that ancient and medieval practices like bloodletting were the result of Biblical ignorance. If only those doctors who killed George Washington had been reading their Bibles, they would have known that life was in the blood! Of course, it wasn’t as if pre-modern medical authorities simply thought “Hey! What’s all this red stuff in here? Surely it’s not important; let’s drain it all out!” Even as a teenager, desperately wanting to be a good Church-of-Christer, I couldn’t swallow this nonsense. We were suppose to bring our friends to church with us and let them hear this stuff? Such rank Biblicism obscures the Gospel, and drives people away from the churches (certainly not just Churches of Christ) who teach it.

Anyway, file this away as reason #1563 I joined the Episcopal Church – all truth is God’s Truth, including discoveries made by science. Scientific ignorance is a liability and not to be praised.

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