“Do you think he will come today?” “I have a hope – not a belief. I have a hope he will.” “I don’t.”
We were taking about a real person doing real work in our real garden for a real agreed price with real consequences to our living and home life. The hope was of that happening today. The “not a belief” was a lack of “certainty” that the real person will really turn up today and begin work. The hope was in our choice of contractor and the contractor’s hoped-for integrity (as well as skill to do the job).
“Is the bible an historically accurate record”
Yesterday I punched in a google search – a yes/no question for a yes/no answer. I was keen to see others’ answers – as well as keen to see who answered. Of the first couple of pages of results, only two gave a yes/no answer. One of those was “click bait” (a religious organisation with no answer at all), and the other was a Genesis sect (who “proved” creation in six days was correct “because the bible proves it was 6 x 24 hours”).
And – without exception – all the results were from those “of faith” – those who believed the bible is the Word of God – that there is a God and a Jesus and Holy Spirit – those known as “Christian believers.” The not-theists were missing from google.
They have been present over the last ten posts (and more) in asking “Yes or no?”
If I think something then I should be able to explain it so that you understand it. If I hope something I should be able to tell you why I have that hope. If I believe something I must be able to validate and illustrate evidence to prove that belief is real. And that makes my hope a certainty we can agree is a certainty in real terms. Which means that if I think something there must be good reason for me having even that thought.
But what I did bump into (in those two pages of results) was this:
“Ehrman–Licona Dialogue on the Historical Reliability of the New Testament”
From February 19, through May 6, 2016, TheBestSchools.org hosted an in-depth dialogue on the historical reliability of the New Testament between biblical scholars Bart D. Ehrman and Michael R. Licona. The dialogue is now complete, and comments are still open on each portion of the dialogue.
If the weight of words lends credibility – this has much credibility! And (as so often is the case) this is a debate between two “cultural believers” – one current – one “ex”. Both brought up with the bible and Christianity (in some shape or form). Because isn’t cultural Christianity (or cultural “faith” in countries “of faith”) how almost all of us are brought up?
So I invite you to join me in working through this debate between Ehrman and Licona.
Because isn’t “biggie Christian belief” of “reliability” and “real” whether Jesus is … real ? Whether both the dying AND the rising is real … whether the miracles ARE real? Because isn’t that when “cultural belief” becomes very personal belief? When I live my life with a “not of this world but as real as this world” belief?
And an aside:
What caught my attention in both introductions is this: (paraphrased): That both seek truth. That both are prepared to lose their “faith” which was a real part of their lives. That both “follow the evidence” with determination and integrity. And that both find different evidence and a different truth.
I was reminded again of why the bible works if you believe before the bible. The bible is not the belief. The belief is not the bible. Belief is reinforced or undermined by seeking the truth in the bible. And what is truth (and what is belief)? And why is “yes/no” so elusive (and so frustrating to those that need a yes/no)?
“Do you love me?”
“Yes I love you.”
All is well in my world.
Isn’t that just another “belief” in something “out of this world” as well?
Because I have found that debating “Prove to me that you love me, what love is, how you evidence that love, why you believe my version of love is not as fulfilling as your version of love, and please do it in words that convince me beyond all reasonable doubt …”
… Is not the way to a long-term relationship.
I have found “to love and be loved” is the starting point. Because “external” answers are just that – external.