The Reason For God – Part 8

Excerpts from Chapter 7 (pp 97-114) of Keller’s book, The Reason for God.  The Chapter is titled, “You Can’t Take the Bible Literally.”   

  • There are several good reasons why the gospel accounts should be considered historically reliable rather than legends.
    • The timing is far too early for the gospels to be legends.
      • This means that the Biblical accounts of Jesus’ life were circulating within the lifetimes of hundreds who had been present at the events of his ministry.
      • If there had not been appearances after his death, if there had not been and empty tomb, if he had not made these claims, and these public documents claimed they happened, Christianity would never have gotten off the ground.  The hearers would have simply laughed at the accounts.
    • The content is far too counterproductive for the gospels to be legends.
      • The working theory of many people today is that the gospels were written by leaders of the early church to promote their politics, consolidate their power, and build there movement.  That theory does not fit at all with what we actually find in the gospels. 
    • The literary form of the gospels is too detailed to be legend.
  • Many of the texts people find offensive can be cleared up with a decent commentary that puts the issue into historical context.
  • To reject the Bible as regressive is to assume that you have now arrived at the ultimate historic moment, from which all that is regressive and progressive can be discerned.  That belief is surely as narrow and exclusive as the views in the Bible you regard as offensive.
  • To stay away from Christianity because part of the Bible’s teaching is offensive to you assumes that if there is a God he wouldn’t have any views that upset you.  Does that belief make sense?
  • If Jesus is the Son of God, then we have to take his teaching seriously, including his confidence in the authority of the whole Bible.  If he is not who he says he is, why should we care what the Bible says about anything else?

~ by toddbumgarner on April 3, 2008 6:05 am.

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