Faith Lies (with Darrell Smith): Lie # 1, The Bible is Only the Literal Word of God

Today we continue our Thursday series with Darrell Smith, who is sharing from his book Faith Lies: Seven Incomplete Ideas That Hijack Faith and How to See Beyond Them.

Faith Lies with Darrell Smith
Lie #1: The Bible is Only the Literal Word of God

Try these statements on for size…

“The Bible is not up for interpretation. It is the inerrant, infallible Word of God.”

“If the scriptures are not literally true, then they are not true at all.”

“God said it. I believe it. That’s it.”

My guess is that most of us have heard statements like these before. We may even have been the one speaking such statements.

While an honorable intention behind such statements might be to treat the Bible with reverence and respect, the reality is that these ideas are not helpful, and they steer us into cul-de-sacs rather than opening up the journey.

Telling an imperfect human being that the Bible is a volume of perfection—writings that are without error or humanity—ensures not only that we will not be able to relate to the Bible, but also that we will only be able to use it for measuring.

If it’s simply the divine rulebook, then all I can do with it is decide whether I am following the rules well enough to be okay with God...or decide whether or not YOU are following the rules well enough to be okay with God.

This is not to imply that the Bible does not contain any words from God—only that the Bible is not the written record of God’s dictation. God was most certainly the inspiration for the Bible, but not the medium. People were the medium—they did the storytelling, the writing, the selecting, and the interpretation that resulted in the Bible. The Bible is not God’s Bill of Rights and Constitution. Rather, it is a divinely inspired story of progression that should open things up rather than constrict and regulate.

If we are going to undertake an earnest journey into our faith, we must first be critically honest about the map.

Next week, Faith Lie #2: God is Angry and Doesn’t Like Me—Especially When I Sin.

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