Note: Please read part one, so that it flows together.
The Bible isn’t the end of our faith; its the entry point. God is alive, and therefore the text is alive – because the Holy Spirit is continually illuminating the written word. This is why it is vital to receive that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Timothy 3:16).
The word inspired is a beautiful word. It means “breathed by God.” The Apostle Peter referred to the Apostle Paul’s letters as scripture, (the word scripture means writing). Peter had referred to the prophets beforehand of speaking, “…as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit,” 2 Peter 1:21.
God only physically wrote the ten commandments. All of the remaining books of the Bible were written by frail humans, “as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” This may be of concern to some, but in reality its a beautiful and amazing thing.
If I were God, I sure wouldn’t let humans carry out my word. They would be certain to get it wrong. Have you ever played the party game “gossip?” One phrase begins in the ear of someone on one side of the room, and by the time it comes back around, its a totally different phrase! Humans can be unreliable.
Furthermore, if I were God and I wanted the whole world to know about my love, holiness, rules, and relationship; I wouldn’t include any of the bad stuff. I’d only tell of Noah hearing God’s voice, saving his family, and starting over. I would leave out the part about him getting drunk and that weird encounter in the tent.
And I sure wouldn’t let my one and only son become a human, and die on a cross.
That would be my version of demythologizing the Bible. Take out the parts I don’t like.
I’m not God. God decided to leave all of the ugly parts in the story, all of the misinterpretations of His character and nature. That’s not the problem of the scriptures; that’s the beauty of the scriptures!
The safest and most plausible approach to scripture is to read the scriptures prayerfully. Read them with the full disclosure to God, “such knowledge is to wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it,” Psalm 139:6. Read it with Wesley’s approach that reason, tradition, and experience aren’t opposing forces to the scripture, but rather companions.
In the words of the psalmist, “how shall a (young man) keep his way pure? By taking heed according to your word.” (parenthesis mine) Psalm 119:9