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An Interview with Christian Smith on “The Bible Made Impossible”

March 30, 2012

The simple fact that Biblicism is widespread and yet impossible, that it cannot really function as it claims to. I don’t think it is good for believers or the church to be trying to operate with theories about the Bible that do not add up, which require various forms of exegetical gymnastics and smoke and mirrors to seem to make work.

If Christian faith is true, as I believe it is, then it has to be reasonably sensible and defensible, not built on impossibilities. My sense is that very many people are vaguely aware of the problems of biblicism but don’t really know how to put their finger on it and what to possibly do about it. So I wrote to help people express an uneasiness they probably already feel.

…Interpretive pluralism means that (I presume usually) well-meaning, well-educated, smart, serious Bible readers come away from studying scripture believing that it teaches many different things on most theological topics imaginable, both small and large. Everyone says scripture is divinely given to provide the reliable basis for truthful knowledge about Christian faith, church, life, and practice.

But those same people disagree into various camps on most issues about what the Bible actually teaches. That itself undermines the claims to scripture’s authority. How can it be an authority if on nearly every topic we go to it to learn about people say it teaches many different things?

This is a quote from Christian Smith in an interview with Frank Viola. He goes on in the interview to talk about deeply believing in the Christological  approach to Scripture. I have written about that approach in a previous post and what can happen when we choose to come at the scriptures for any other purpose than to find Christ.

Read the complete interview with Christian Smith on “The Bible Made Impossible.”

If you read the entire interview, what were your thoughts?

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