Friday, March 1, 2013

Slaying Giants

"How do we know there were giants?" my eldest daughter asked, out of the blue.

"Are we talking Jack and Beanstalk or the Bible?"

"The Bible."

The other one chimed in, "Because the Bible's God's word."

"I think what she's really asking is, 'Why do we believe the Bible is God's word?'

"We verify the things that we can. If those things stand up to scrutiny, we can trust the things we can't verify."

My youngest's approach is unfortunately common. She seemed scandalized the older one even asked such a question and wanted to take the "God said it, I believe it" approach.

I want them to know, though, that we don't take the Bible on blind faith. It's a reasoned faith, a trust in a trustworthy source.

We will never be able to verify every line of the Bible. But every year or so we find more reason to trust it. "The Hittites didn't exist." Oh, wait, yes they did. "There was no written language in Canaan during the bronze age." Yes, there very much was. "There was no King David." "Solomon didn't rule as much as the Bible claims." "Israel wasn't a powerful kingdom." The objections keep getting knocked down. And that's just the Old Testament. The NT case is much tighter.

Does this prove there were people two or three feet taller than what would consider "tall?" No. But if the records are reliable everywhere else, we have no good reason to doubt and every reason to accept the account.


dobson said...

I think this is a very illogical argument: If something cannot be verified, then it's unverified. Choosing to believe it is faith.

Your approach is little different from the "God said it, I believe it" approach - in fact all you are doing in this article is attempting to provide a rationale for that kind of literal reading of the Bible.

The Harry Potter books are set in a real place (London and England), in a real time (the early 21st Century) - does this mean we should regard these books as historically accurate? We would if we followed your logic.

Tim Hale said...

Hi Dobson,

I love your avatar, btw. I think we should all use a "Glamour Shot" if given the opportunity. I think you're willfully missing the point of the article. This seems to be one of your deepest flaws. The author specifically said, "We will never be able to verify every line of the Bible." He's only trying to say that folks like Voltaire and others have been trying to repudiate the historicity of the Bible and have been abysmally unsuccessful. As for your laughable analogy of "Harry Potter" well, I think it would be elementary to prove the fiction of that story. Again, love your pic and it's self evident that you have considerable talent in the photographic bad modeling arts. You are one nice looking older man!

ChrisB said...

Tim, thanks for taking the time to comment.

fake Dobson, sorry I missed replying to yours earlier. The difference is one presents itself as fiction and one as history. What reason do we have for disputing the details of that history when everything that can be checked out checks out?