Posted by Pastoral Musings on August 22nd, 2011
Giberson then wrote: “The Bible is not a book. It is a library — dozens of very different books bound together. The assumption that identifying one part as fiction undermines the factual character of another part is ludicrous. It would be like going into an actual physical library and saying ‘Well, if all these books about Harry Potter are fictional, then how do I know these other books about Abraham Lincoln are factual? How can Lincoln be real if Potter is not?’ And then ‘Aha! I have got you! So much for your library.’”
That is an amazing and deeply troubling paragraph. Giberson uses the metaphor of the Bible as a library of books — a metaphor popularized by emergent church author Brian McLaren. But Giberson then goes where many others lack the courage and candor to go — he is ready to identify part of the Bible as “fiction.” In his words, “The assumption that identifying one part as fiction undermines the factual character of another part is ludicrous.”
What can his argument mean but that Adam is to be understood as like Harry Potter, a fictional character, while Jesus is like Abraham Lincoln, an historical figure who really existed?
I’ll not say much about the issue of Adam and Eve at the present, though I am building a case for their existence.
What I shall say is that it seems that there is a faulty presupposition underlying the idea that the Bible is a library, and thus one cannot expect to find all books to be alike. The presupposition is that the Bible is to be treated and viewed as any other book. In reality the Bible is not just another book, nor is it just another library.
The Bible is not a disjointed set of books that has somehow managed to be compiled and called a book. The Bible is a thematically united book of books. It is a theological library. It is not a smorgasbord of books, but a carefully chosen library that declares to us the one true God who created all things for His glory.
With this in mind, see this and look for a continuation of the series as I work to show how the themes unite the whole of the library of books into one Bible.
- The Unity of Scripture [EvolutionBlog] (scienceblogs.com)
- False Start? The Controversy Over Adam and Eve Heats Up (believersbattlecry.com)