What if God was one of us
Just a slob like one of us
Just a stranger on the bus
Trying to make his way home
— from “One of Us, written by Eric Bazilian
This month’s syncroblog is “what if” – what if some or all of the Bible narrative is not really history, but more of a myth. How would this affect you or the larger church? Would it change you and how you view the world? (See the end of this post for other authors on this subject.)
The answer to the last question is a resounding “No” because I already believe some of the Bible narrative is not history, but creative story telling.
Before I thought of myself as a follower of Jesus, I did not know much about the Bible. I was brought up Roman Catholic, and we did not study the Bible. When I tried a class at seminary in the New Testament as a “special student” (i.e., non-degree seeking), I found myself way over my head at the very first class. The professor said something about someone going to heaven in a chariot, and two-thirds of the class yelled out this person’s name. The only chariot I could think of was the one in “Ben Hur,” and the only person I could think of was Charlton Heston. I may have not known much about the Bible, but I knew the answer was not Charlton Heston!
The more I read and studied the Bible and the history concurrent with its writing, the more I became convinced that there was some holy inspiration in the compilation of this book. Some of the stories are not original; the creation story, for example. While there were certainly multiple voices, everything fit together too well for it to be a random bunch of stories that some guys decided would become canon. While there are inconsistencies consistent with different author’s telling of a particular tale, there are also portions of the text that have been confirmed by archaeological evidence.
What would the world be like if everyone took the Bible, not literally, but as a guide? While it is proclaimed, I do not know anyone who faithfully carries out everything in the Bible to the letter, which a literal interpretation demands. In between literal, inerrant, directly God-given text and viewing the entire publication as fiction, there is a great deal of room. What if we could all have our view of what exactly the Bible is and is not, and do so without insulting, disparaging, or belittling those who do not believe what we do? What if we settled on believing we are called to love one another, leave the world better than we found it, and do no harm? That is not only simplistic; it is difficult to live out.
Other blogs on this topic:
- K.W. Leslie – When People Believe Christianity Is A Myth
- Jeremy Myers – What If The Bible Is a Myth?
- David Derbyshire – What If Genesis Is A Creation Myth?
- Bud Brown – What if Paul was wrong about the life of Christ living in me?
- Chris Jefferies – What If … Creation Was A Myth?
- Paul W. Meier – Is The Bible A Myth?
- Phil Lancaster – What If the Bible Were A Myth
- Carol Kuniholm – What If Newness Was The Norm
- Liz Dyer – Penultimate Truth