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December 3, 2007


sticky moments in the Republican campaign

by quaesitor

Do you believe every word of the Bible!?
That’s the question. You’re entering deep water here, boys – beware of drowning in it!

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 3 2007

    interesting. thanks for posting this

  2. Dec 4 2007

    Mark–How about the following for a response?

    I disagree with the premise behind the question–that a candidate’s answer will tell you everything you need to know about him. Both the Pharisees and Jesus believed ‘every word’ of the Scriptures–yet their lives were entirely different. Jesus read the Bible as if it were all about him and the salvation he brought; the Pharisees read it as if it were a set of rules and means by which they maintained their own salvation. Its not only how true you take the Bible to be, but also how you read and interpret it, that shapes who you are. By the way, yes–I believe absolutely every word in the Bible, but I believe in and read it like Jesus did.

  3. Dec 5 2007

    Tim Keller?!….any relation to Tim Keller?

  4. Dec 5 2007

    Thanks Tim. Your point is spot on.

  5. Wendy Shank
    Dec 14 2007

    “Do you believe every word of the Bible” is such a loaded question that it’s impossible to answer clearly within the time constraints of a televised debate. I doubt whether Romney quite understood at that moment why he was fumbling: he would have needed about 10 minutes to define terms before he could even begin to answer coherently.

    But here’s a related situation my son faced early this semester under the (adjective avoided) teaching of one Bart Ehrman, a rather famously atheistic professor and author at UNC Chapel Hill (author, “Misquoting Jesus: the Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why”). On the first day of class, Ehrman asks for a show of hands: “How many of you believe that the Bible is true?” About one third of the students raise their hands (bravo!). Next question: “How many of you have read the Bible, cover to cover?” Perhaps three or four students still have their hands up. And you can guess the next question: “Why would you say you believe something you haven’t even fully examined?”

    I have been musing on this little story all semester. It rings disturbingly true about too many American believers (they certainly should have read the Bible). But it disturbs me also because I sniff some dubious (and perhaps dangerous) assumptions behind Ehrman’s question — assumptions which I am having a hard time articulating. Anyone care to help here?


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