“So, do you still hold that the biblical character – miracles and all – is an historical reality or that he is simply a narrative construct, a literary device if you prefer?”
I would like to commend a blogger you may not know. Arkenaten is his blog-name, and A Tale Unfolds is his blog. Ark asks the best questions. Ark names himself an atheist. Ark prefers yes or no answers to his questions. I have to admit it prompts deeper thought than a lot of questioners. Ark demands. And keeps on demanding. The question above is the third/fourth iteration. So why my reluctance to say simply yes or no?
Simply because the answer tends not to answer my definition but that of the questioner.
Much like a courtroom.
“So I put it to you, paulfg, that Jesus as you find in the bible is not in fact Jesus to be found anywhere by anyone (other than a brainwashed sycophant who must genefluct to this fictitious megalomaniac), is this not the case … ? And I will accept nothing less than an unambiguous and waffle free “yes” or “no”.”
If you have read this short series of posts you will have already found the answer. That, despite finding the bible not to be a factually accurate historical record, I am now free to walk even closer to God Soft Hands Jesus within. That my name for God is Love. That my childhood and country has borrowed the bible and the recorded God within as its own. That rejecting all that goodness and love simply because of a “name” has little value for me. That any name for something of spirit – invisible in the spectrum of physical sight – invisible to the rigorous demands of laboratory testing – any “name” will carry baggage not of my packing.
“Do you believe the bible has no value? Do you believe the bible to be a poison infecting the minds of our children? Are you not commanded by the very command of this fictitious megalomaniac to infect others with this vile lie?”
I sense the bible is more a “living word” in your life than mine, dear Ark.
I have no need to fear the bible. Not now that I have no need to defend the factually accurate historical record it is not. But know this as well. Long before concluding the bible was not “fact” I had grown weary of the Christian search for sin (as recorded and recommended in the bible I was taught). Only because, it seems to me, that if I spend my whole life looking for sin I will waste my whole life NOT looking for Love (God). And if Love is the key as we are taught – why are we taught to look for Sin more than Love?
If Love is the key why do we need salvation? And if we need salvation, why do those born out of sight, hearing or touch of the bible miss out? And if the key reason for salvation is “because the bible says so” how can that be the evidence to convict when “because the bible says so” is no evidence at all. Not unless you believe the bible to be a factually accurate historical record in the first place. And in that case you look for sin because you are loved (which makes no sense to me ). And because you miss out on heaven if you don’t. Which isn’t very loving. Except we are taught that we don’t make that call. God does. Which lets us off the hook. Because the bible says so. We are taught that we need that certainty.
So while Jesus as recorded in the bible is not – for me – a factually accurate historical record, miracles and all, the “narrative” has great value. Because whilst the words stay the same – I don’t. I change.
Am I yes or no?
I have changed from believing the bible as taught, to not believing the bible as taught, to believing the bible as taught, to not believing the bible as taught, to now believing in the bible as I find. And the bible has not changed one letter of one word in all that time (revisions and upgrades excepted).
Which in my book gives that book great power. Greater power than any other book I have read. And for each faith that is true (and, dear Ark, I begin to think in your book as well).
Which gladdens my heart.
Where all connected Love lives.