Subscribe for 17¢ / day

Many assume that the Christian Bible is known well enough to confirm faith. But the book promptly puts skeptics to sleep; that 1,545-page book can't be known by those who question. But then, to what extent can it be known by those who don't question?

Even if the Bible were completely memorized, it would not be understood, because it presents interpretive problems. How should Scripture be taken? That question spawns major disagreement between Christians, and between well-educated lifelong Bible scholars. Evidently, the faith and comfort the book provides are bootstrapped from faith, not understanding. So the Bible is not truly known, yet it is idolized and dangerously influential.

Human rights can't be guaranteed, but with or without them, the interpretive problem spawns enough different Christian denominations that Bible credibility and church influence are limited. So the interpretive problem is a godsend. Voltaire might say, "Were there but one or two religions, they would be fearsome; but there are many, and we have peace at last." The interpretive "problem" and the U.S. Constitution are interdependent barriers to theocratic rule. So, to block theocratic rule, we should remind Bible dogmatists that the Bible is not the straightforward reference book they assume it to be.

Tragically, dogmatists sidestep the interpretive "problem," adopting incomprehensible dogma that  instantly divides the world into believers and heretics. Dogma is like poison; appealing dogma like  sweet poison. Eventually, it exacts a big price: oppression and conflict, for example. (If Bible  dogmatists really knew the Bible, they would know its warts.)

Bible dogmatism is a growing menace in the U.S.! Some dogmatists aim to establish theocracy and some do, dismissing contrary Bible scholarship, and banking on biblical ignorance. So believers and skeptics must challenge faith that is too dogmatic and dangerous for the nuclear age.

Glen Morris, Missoula

0
0
0
0
0
You must be logged in to react.
Click any reaction to login.