Re-read of the Bible

I am absolutely intending to finish reviewing Geisler and Turek’s book. It’s become important to me to keep blogging because it keeps me from avoiding the review for too long. More and more, I simply have better things to do, but I still feel that it’s important to make a good faith attempt at reading it all and considering the arguments.

A few times while I’ve been reviewing, I’ve wondered why this and not the Bible. I had certainly tried searching the Bible in the past, hoping for an epiphany of faith. Any response I would have now would be more calm and observational. It struck me that the Bible is an important collection of writings, but I had never read the Bible without an agenda, without looking for anything. Although I’ve read every book of the Bible at least once, and some verses literally hundreds of times, reading in a devotional manner is completely different than reading for comprehension.

As a Christian, I was always looking for the “life application” or “how does this point to Jesus”. While I was a doubter, I was attempting to read in a devotional manner about prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the knowledge of God. Throughout my deconversion, I read some criticisms that pointed out Biblical inconsistencies and contradictions. Whether there was a true contradiction or a possible resolution, I was shocked at how I’d been taught the Bible in such a way that I had never even noticed in how many places there seemed to be a contradiction, how anything not related to an unambiguous moral lesson was passed over. But when I reached the conclusion that I had no reason to believe in Christianity, I stopped reading because I was tired, and then felt that the book review was taking enough of my time.

I became interested in hearing more about the Bible as a nonbeliever through listening to Yale’s open courses. I started listening to an Old Testament class to see how the OT was presented from an academic and non-fundamentalist viewpoint. After reading along with some of the classes in a patchy way, I started over to read as an observer rather than as a devotee, seeker or skeptic. I don’t feel the need to try to prove or disprove anything. I don’t consider myself either close minded or open minded. I’m not unbiased, but I’m observing.

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