Growing up a Seventh-day Adventist, I was taught that the Bible was literally true--all of it. Sure the Bible was written by men, but they were directly inspired by God, and their words, the stories they told, were considered inerrant truth. (For example, when confronted with the fact that whales don’t have the physiology that would allow them to swallow a man whole, as is related in the book of Jonah, they would point out that God had prepared a large fish--not a whale--to swallow Jonah.) I might also mention that we were taught using the Kings James Version, and that is how I thought the Bible was written, with “thees” and “thous.” I am too embarrassed to say how old I when I finally realized that the KJV was simply one of many translations from the original Hebrew and Greek.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
When an individual becomes a Christian or renews his faith in Christ, it’s often the occasion for a public declaration followed by public rejoicing. This generally happens in a church setting or at least with a group of like-minded Christians, frequently accompanied by numerous “Hallelujahs” and “Praise the Lords.” It’s high fives all around. Contrast that with what typically happens when one relinquishes his or her religious faith in favor of atheism. Generally, one keeps the news to oneself, at least initially: No public declarations, no hallelujahs, no high fives. In this essay I would like to explore the reasons for this difference in the context of my own journey.