Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The other Holy Trinity...

It is a caricature, but those outside of the tradition in which I was raised occasionally accused it of believing in the other Holy Trinity: The Father, the Son and the Holy Bible...

Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that much of my doubting over the last couple of years has been on issues connected to the third 'person' of that trinity, the Bible itself.

Through quite a lot of reading, listening and reflecting, I have come to the conclusion that the Bible is not a book authored by God, but rather is a very human document which shows the beliefs of various people and groups of people at various points in history, even though many of these are in conflict with other beliefs expressed in the same collection, and even sometimes in conflict with other beliefs in the same book.

This discovery has more or less knocked out one of the legs of the three legged stool upon which my entire belief system sat. It is fair to say that most of what I formerly believed has come crashing to the ground.

If I had been raised a Catholic, this wouldn't necessarily have been a problem. Remove the authority of the Bible from a Catholic belief system and the entire thing is still upheld by the authority of Church Tradition. But as a good Protestant, I can't accept that. Sola Scriptura! And thus, as a good Protestant, I can't remain a good Protestant...

What I'm left wondering, even at this stage, is if it is possible to rebuild my belief on a different set of legs. I don't want to reject everything just because some things need to be rejected. Babies and bathwater. But I'm not sure if what remains without the authority of the bible is anything big enough upon which to build.


4 comments:

Mike Blyth said...

I'm in almost the very same position. I'm not sure being a Catholic would be an advantage, as there is probably a lot there to contemplate about issues of authority and tradition. However, a less-strictly-inerrant approach to the Bible might have made it easier to hold the pieces together.

Mike McQuaid said...

Also agree here. I'd have considered converting to Catholism if I didn't have an irrational dislike of figures of authority (particularly those who are authoritarian).

I think, to use their own language, that conservative evangelicals hold the Bible up as an idol; it often feels like God exists only through it and without it we can know nothing of God.

Ricky Carvel said...

Indeed. But the problem I am wrestling with is that if you don't use the Bible as the means for finding out what God is like, then you end up with a radically different God to those who do. Almost completely unlike the Biblical God, in fact...

Christie Teng said...

Hi Ricky

The trinity should be God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit not the BIBLE. The truine God Father,Son and Holy Spirit. The bible is God's inspired word by the Holy Spirit. It's a guide. I believe and know God sees and knows your heart. So stop struggling and rest in Jesus. He will thru His Holy spirit guide and lead you. Just as I am guided to your blog when I type shaking and trembling in the presence of God. Christianity is a daily walk with Jesus. He loves you. I also have many questions like you do after many years as a child of God(34years) when I took the bible literally as new babe.Bible has been tremendous strength(esp Psalms) when I was all alone 4 years as a student in Australia. Many of the 'logos' Word of God became 'Rhema' word of God. Now I dont read much. I pray(talk) daily to God when I drive my kids to school. At times in the car, I would pray /intercede where I would be shouting n praying powerfully in tongues. So dont be too hard on yourself as you talk to God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, the triune God will lead you. Thank you for writing your blog.Thank you being a blessing.