(also originally written some months ago)
Warning: Potentially untheological and possibly heretical thoughts to follow.
I don’t think what I am about to share with you will be heretical in any way, but just so that I feel at ease to speak freely I figured I should start with that disclaimer. I should also say that most of what I am about to share with you is not my theological foundation that I would bank on and argue for, it’s just some of the thoughts that have come to mind over the years. If you do not agree with what I share then please discuss, do not argue with me.
When I started to form my beliefs (heavily influenced by my involvement in a church youth group in high school), I was from the beginning a strong believer in the inerrancy of scripture (“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”). If you doubt or call into question the reliability of the Bible then you could call into question the things recorded in the Bible, and then we’d have all kinds of problems. There is plenty of good arguments and evidence to put forth here, but I won’t bother you with that, if your interested you can find plenty elsewhere.
It wasn’t till later, after having taken Greek (more vested interest in believing in inerrancy), and spent a bit of time in some Bible classes, that I began to have some questions. Why all the male-centered, male-dominance of Scripture if it was God inspired? Why these letters and not others from the Early Church? And primarily, why so much time debating, expounding, and extrapolating on every dot and letter? I mean there is a lot of things in there that are pretty straight forward and clear.
First, the male-dominance of the Scriptures has come to bother me. It wasn’t always this way, I being a male did not have a difficult time seeing the Scriptures as meaningful and personal, but I have come to realize my sisters in Christ do not always have the same comfort.
How do you reconcile what you can see as inherent injustice of a patriarchal society with a book of “God Breathed” scripture? I’m not exactly sure.
What I’ve come to settle on, more then argue for or against, or spend time reading long theological academic journals, is that there are a number of things in the scripture that are clear as day to me. Jesus was real and the Sermon on the Mount is one of the most revolutionary texts I’ve ever encountered. I’m compelled to follow this leader. I could and probably will spend my whole life trying to put into practice the teachings of Christ in Matthew 5, 6, and 7, and I still won’t quite know how I perceive the Bible as a whole.