A Note for Those Who Don’t Take the Bible Literally

“Did God Really Say THAT!? A Blog about the Bible” is mainly intended for those who think that every bit of the Bible was inspired by God, and are willing to reconsider this belief. But it can also be helpful for those who do not take the entire Bible literally, and want to communicate with friends and family members who do.

If that’s your goal, be careful how you present this blog. Use it as a springboard for conversation rather than as a club for whacking your literalist relatives. I do not want to provide lighter fluid for starting arguments. And beware of feeling superior to those who treat every verse of Scripture as holy writ. All of us have made mistakes about religion and none can be complacent.

Especially during the December holidays, it’s good to follow the advice of Aldous Huxley, who said when he was nearing death, “It’s a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one’s life and find at the end that one has no more to offer than: Try to be a little kinder” (quoted by Tom Owen-Towle, Spiritual Fitness, p. 343). In talking about religion with those who disagree with us, a little kindness can go a long way.

I’m going to take a couple of weeks off from blogging. Happy Holidays to all,

Roger Christan Schriner


Is the Bible God’s Word?

After retiring from my work as a minister and psychotherapist, I have been searching for ways of bridging the gap between different theological viewpoints. In November, 2012, as I look back on the Presidential election, it seems more obvious than ever that Americans are polarized about both politics and religion. And one of the key issues dividing people, both here and abroad, is the question of Biblical inspiration. Is the Bible divinely inspired?

Here are some possible answers to that question:

1. The entire Bible is divinely inspired, and every verse is literally true.

2. Except for minor problems such as errors in translation, everything in this book was inspired by God.

3. The Bible may contain incorrect statements due to human error, but God ensures that no harm will result from these mistakes.

4. Some passages of the Bible reflect human opinions rather than divine wisdom, but the Bible as a whole is divinely inspired.

5. Much of the Bible is God’s Word and much of it is not.

6. None of this book was inspired by God. It is entirely a human creation.

This web site is primarily intended for those who accept statements 1, 2, or 3, and are open to considering the possibility that these statements may be incorrect.

In a series of postings I will attempt to show beyond any reasonable doubt that options 1, 2, and 3 are incorrect and lead to dangerous and destructive consequences. I will take no position about items 4 – 6. I hope those who believe in one of the first three options will read this blog with an open mind and send me their comments.

You may find this site helpful if:

* You have believed that all of the Bible is divinely inspired, but you are troubled by passages that seem morally repugnant.

* You notice scriptural passages that seem to contradict each other.

* You wonder about seeming contradictions between the Bible and modern science.

* You accepted the complete literal truth of the Bible when you were young, but now that you’re older you would like to revisit this decision.

* You disagree with someone you love about whether the Bible is “inerrant” (without error), and you would like to reflect on this issue.

There are already web sites purporting to show that the Bible contains errors, contradictions, and hazardous ideas. But many of these sites sneer at Christians and Christian beliefs. I wish to explore this issue in a way that respects those who treasure the Bible, regardless of their opinions about divine inspiration.

I have friends who are Biblical literalists, and I have no interest in denigrating anyone’s faith. I hope the conversation I am beginning will bring us all closer together, not push us farther apart.

In my next entry I will consider inerrancy, the idea that the Bible is entirely true because it is entirely God’s Word.

Roger Christan Schriner