Saturday, June 25, 2005

Sola Scriptura

I have come to a place where I no longer accept this basic tenet of Protestantism. I believe Sola Scriptura is a self-refuting concept. The Old Testament, by long tradition, was the accepted Word of God and was held intact by careful preservation through the ages. All references in the New Testament to the "Word" refer to this body of work. The New Testament, as we know it today, did not exist in its present form until at least 300-400 A.D. As such, it is incomplete (Paul's reference to an earlier Corinthian letter, for example). There is still debate between Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants about the Apocrypha. In brief, we did not receive the books of the Old or New Testament out of the sky, directly from God's hand in either King James or NIV language. These books (particularly the New Testament) were chosen for inclusion based on men's (or more specifically, the church's) traditions. Therefore, Sola Scriptura has attached to it, umbilically, the tradition of the church as to what should be included. Luther himself even disputed the inclusion of James, and Revelation through the ages was much disputed. So, we must respect church tradition when considering our present Bible.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Galileo Problem

Clearly, the Church has not always been correct. Take, for example, the geocentric view of the universe (the Earth is at the center of all things).

There are verses in Chronicles and Psalms that mention the earth standing firm on its foundations (I Chronicles 16:30; Psalms 93:1;96:10;104:5) and there is a passage in Joshua that had him commanding the sun to stand still (Joshua 10:12-13) implying, of course, that it was the sun which rotated around the earth. A careful reading of Scripture seems to place the Earth at the center of everything, and proposes that the Earth is indeed flat (references to the "foundations of the Earth," "the four corners of the Earth," etc.) This is what the Christian church believed (and everyone else, surely) for thousands of years. In the Christian church's case, they believed this for at least 1600 years. It is plain that the Earth has no foundation in the builder's sense, and the shape of the Earth is not in question. The Bible, literally, says the Earth is little more than 6000 years old. This is plainly ridiculous.

Polish astronomer Copernicus, in the 16th century (Luther's time), put forth the heliocentric view of the Universe (the Sun was at the center). Galileo, in 1602, expanded upon this theory and was roundly excommunicated. He was finally reinstated in the late 20th Century to the Church's good graces. Even Luther, Protestantism's great founder, thought Copernicus to be an "upstart astrologer" and a "fool." Luther had opinions. Luther was wrong. The Church thought the Earth was central to the Universe. The Church was dead wrong for over 1600 years.

Now, that being said, I believe the spirit of God did inspire the Bible writers, but only within the sphere of knowledge they had at the time. That is, God did not speak to them about integral calculus, or Einsteinian relativity, because that knowledge had not been discovered by man yet. A heliocentric, spherical Earth worldview would have been as foreign to the Bible writers as the concept of an ATM. So, God only gave the basics. This is why I think it is foolish to ascribe "literalness" to the Bible regarding the creation of the world. It is in simplified form, for a people who had no idea of hydrogen fusion going on in the sun, or of circular orbits of the planets around the sun, or of a day representing a period of the Earth's rotation, or a year representing the period of the Earth's solar orbit.

Friday, June 17, 2005


When did rock and roll become the official worship style of Protestant churches? Why do I have to endure non-words like "gonna" and "wanna" and "na na nananana na" in worship? Why do mike checks and sound checks and "worship rehearsal" take all the fun and joy out of worship? Why do we spend precious time adjusting monitors, and amps, and getting a substitute bass player? What if...horrors...we just worshipped through song? No instruments? What if, like, the congregation carried worship and not the Protestant, hip, rock and roll band? Who gave anyone permission to replace the theologically-filled hymns with lightweight Christian pop? To "appeal to the youth?" Heck with 'em.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I am Now an English Major

I recently changed my major from Math to English. I believe I can excel at English. To continue in Math, while possible, would have extended my education beyond my planned May 2007 graduation date. I need to go back to work.

I feel much better now.